After a long, lonnnng wait, Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers returned, yesterday, in the latest-installment of ‘It Came From Deep Space,’ sending ‘Bionic Wednesday’ fans to their computers and comic’s stores at 60+ MPH, (in sound-effects included slo-mo, of course) in their haste to soak-it-up. (I’ve read it a few-times, now.) Once-again, James Kuhoric shows us who’s in-control, setting the final-pace for the next-issue’s climactic conclusion; while – he weaves a few hints about where this story is going from here, into the narrative: Bigfoot, Dr. Dolenz, Barney Hiller, not to mention Maskatron’s fate. Will he end as enemy, or – friend? It’s almost-certain that James will want to revisit this character, again, if Dynamite keeps this series printing; and judging by this story’s still-growing popularity (in-concert with the release of The Bionic Woman title coming up), this seems inevitable. Yet, how many times have we seen the ‘suits’ kill something we like? That said, Dynamite allowed Kevin Smith’s ‘Bionic Man’ title(s) to go on for a considerable amount of time; and – after the 10-part ‘Some Assembly Acquired’ launch, that series didn’t hold a candle to this series’ revitalization of that old-classic.
It’s clear, that James Kuhoric has a firm grasp of what the fans have been wanting, and he knows these characters, as-intimately, as we do. I’ve felt as if I’ve been watching a newly-discovered ‘forgotten’ episode of the show from the first issue. We’ve picked-up right where Universal left us, high-and-dry, 36 years ago, at the end of the series’ fifth-season 1978 cancellation. But, Mr. Kuhoric has gone further, bringing the show’s never-seen-on-TV arch-nemesis Maskatron into the mix, delighting cyborg’s fans the world-over, as we’re witness to them going at it full-throttle! My God, my Steve Austin and Maskatron action-figures had a battle to the death, when I was a kid; their broken bodies are interred in our old backyard in Starke, Florida! Plus, he’s reunited Jaime Sommer’s with Steve (what, with their show’s final seasons being separated by network contract entanglements); and – it’s clear, that neither of them have blown-out the candles they keep burning for one-another He’s brought us a long-forgotten character, in Oliver Spencer, from TSMDM‘s pilot movie, as well; reintroducing him in a fresh, imaginative, very-cool way. Let’s not forget the slew of familiar faces we’ve seen sprinkled throughout, either: Dr. Joan Anderson, Carla Peterson, Peggy Callahan, NSB Inspector Jack Hanson, and – the aforementioned Barney Hiller (‘The Seven Million Dollar Man’).
The action and drama of this reboot has been intense, as-has the dry humor and compassion from these beloved figures, that we grew to love in the old shows. We’ve seen the emergence of old and, new – thugs and villains, friends turning into monsters, enemies turning into friends – (??), the return of super-weapons and the creation of awesome prototypes (Russia’s B-YAGA), as-well-as ALIENS!!! And, you thought Predator was a badass… This series is jam-packed with fan-favorites, and James hasn’t even scratched the surface, yet! There are hundreds of characters and stories the could be fleshed-out and revisited; and because he’s not limited by a studio budget, the sky’s the limit!
Personally, I have truly-loved every minute of this story and I cannot wait to see how James wraps it all up, next-month, in what is sure to be an emotionally-charged, action-packed, surprise-filled conclusion. It’s about to ‘go-bionic’ alright, and there’s no telling where things will stand when the dust settles. But, that’s what’s amazing about James Kuhoric’s story; I have no fracking idea what is going to happen! Please, if you haven’t read this reboot, and you’re a fan of these shows, do yourself a favor and buy this series. Now’s the time to catch-up on The Six Million Dollar Man, (guest-starring The Bionic Woman‘s Jaime Sommers), and – let your inner-kid have a fun-romp back in time. It’s well-worth the butterfly collars, leisure suits and bell-bottoms, I assure you.
Lt. Eric Cone