The Bionic Man #3


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The Bionic Man #3


  • Words: Kevin Smith and Phil Hester
  • Art: Jonathan Lau
  • Colors: Ivan Nunes
  • Story Title: We Can Rebuild Him
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Oct 19, 2011

Kevin Smith and Phil Hester focus on dialogue, despite the hero being a super-powered cyborg fighting for good.

Colonel Steve Austin has just survived the worst accident of his life. "Survive" being a loose term, as his body is shattered, with arms and legs missing and mangled, bones all wrecked. Austin was a great man, now he's a sack of flesh barely alive… but, they can rebuild him. They have the technology. They have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin could be that man. He could be better than he was before; he could be better, stronger, and faster, if he just agrees to do it. Oh, and it might just cost the government about six million dollars a day to recreate him.

Traditionally, Kevin Smith works best when he's dealing with dialogue, as this book tends to focus on. He gets the appropriate references (and updating) to the original concept of The Six Million Dollar Man, but oddly balances out with a B'wana Beast reference that doesn't exactly mesh on all fields. Thankfully, there's only four pages of action, something that Smith himself admits isn't his strong suit, but Hester theoretically could have helped him out here. The whole issue is, effectively, Col. Steve Austin recuperating in bed. This allows for a good amount of discussion and debate, but it's not an appealing comic when you're looking for some cyborgs running around fighting evil with a unique sound effect ringing in the background.

Jonathan Lau's pencils are great in the book, although many times throughout the book, Steve's doctor looks almost as if Wilford Brimley has found a way into the printed page. With only four pages of actual action in the book, he primarily gets to deal with characters interacting and emotions displayed, which he does fine with. Alex Ross' cover is amazing as usual.

Kevin Smith's Bionic Man is an interesting premise; like his Green Hornet book, it really comes off as the unpublished movie script stretched into an actual series with the aid of an additional writer. Problems arise from the pacing; while a six-issue storyline could easily become a movie, extra scenes would need to be added. In reverse, while a movie provides enough content that can cover a six-issue series, pacing is thrown off. Three months into this "movie," and Steve Austin hasn't even become the titular Bionic Man. Is it worth checking out? Definitely, especially for fans of Kevin Smith or of the old television show. Like Green Hornet, it's interesting to see what could be. While no new ground will be broken in this modern-day remake of the sci-fi hallmark, it's a nice diversion.

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