When Image Comics say this is a fast-paced adventure story they're right. And it's a fairly enjoyable one too, despite the artistic flaws and some storyline elements.
While on a trip in Kenya seeing his old college professor who has completed an extraordinary idea, MacGyver runs into a lot of trouble. See, unfortunately for MacGyver, there is a seven million dollar bounty on his head – and each day he stays alive that number dwindles down another million. Now, numerous assassins are on his tale and a bunch of misunderstandings are abound in this first issue of MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet.
The storyline is written by MacGyver co-creator Lee David Zlotoff and fan Tony Lee. This issue is your basic set -up for an adventure series. But despite being a set-up, it feels like there is a lot going on in this issue. Image Comics aren't kidding when they call this a "fast-paced" issue, and it's actually used effectively. The comic is made fast by creating a timeline: MacGyver has a bounty on his head and each day that bounty is getting lower and lower. Not only does this keep the time frame of the series short – a benefit for a mini-series like this – but it also makes the characters in this issue act more quickly. For example, the assassins are going to try getting to him as quickly as possible. Though it is surprising that one day passes where no one attacks MacGyver...
But before this fast-paced storyline even begins, the comic opens with an email on the publication page to MacGyver from his old college professor that was completely unnecessary and seemed to only serve the purpose of telling us that MacGyver is part of the 21st Century now. But the character's dialogue provides us enough that we don't need the email.
That helpful dialogue actually has multiple moments in this issue where it stands out and is really enjoyable. One of MacGyver's distractions towards the end of the issue (it involves jelly beans) is much more fun to watch with the explanation. Versus the other explanation when MacGyver is trying to get out of a cage and goes on about it too long. But both these explanations show how intelligent the dialogue is and I'd applaud it if I knew whether or not it could realistically happen... I guess I'll have to get some jellybeans...
What this title really fail at is the artwork. I really could not find anything I liked about Will Sliney's artwork. Fans who were looking forward to seeing MacGyver again aren't going to be seeing the clean-cut blond from the show but a grungy looking guy whose hair seems to shift from brown to dark-orange. His ally, Ireyna, never has a pretty panel – multiple parts of her body, particularly her nose, are drawn with unrealistic shadow lines. This trait is lightly in some other characters designs, but is never more prominent than with one of the main characters. The backgrounds are also a problem, with many being reduced to just single colors with no detail put into them.
This story's start in this issue is an enjoyable romp but is nothing revolutionary. Fans of MacGyver may find themselves disappointed with their heroes' butchered looks, but if they want a fun adventures story, this is a good start to one. And it does have killer jellybeans, so there's another plus.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.