Live action super heroes are not a recent fad. George Reeves launched the genre in the 1950's as Superman. Adam West, Van Williams and William Daniels kept it going in the 1960's. Former football player, The Big Valley and Owen Marshall star Lee Majors helped redefine the television super hero during the 1970's. Majors' astronaut-turned-secret agent was an amazing blend of science fiction and action adventure. Colonel Steve Austin created in the early '70's sci-fi novel Cyborg, by Martin Caidin was an amazing blend of Buck Rogers and James Bond. Because The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman worked on television, the '70's was populated by series like The Man From Atlantis, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman; and Captain America and Dr. Strange made-for-television movies. The Bionic Man and The Bionic Woman were even given reunion films, one that introduced Sandra Bullock as a next generation bionic hero; and Majors Steve Austin was given a fitting ride off into the sunset. Dynamite Entertainment, Kevin Smith, and Phil Hester have brought The Bionic Man back and he has returned to the greatness he enjoyed during the 1970's.
The Bionic Man #13 was like finding a stash ov View Master discs in a toybox in the attic. It's obvious that both Alex Ross and Phil Hester are fans. The Alex Ross cover is amazing and Ed Tadeo's interior art, with Ivan Nunes colors really fit the character. Steve Austin has really buffed up!
Phil Hester and Aaron Gilespie bring back a favorite character from The Six Million Dollar Man television series, Bigfoot. The TV show had a little of everything, which was why it was so cool. It had the James Bond espionage. It had the drama of handicapped people adjusting to prosthetics and bionic limbs. It had the heartwarming episodes. The series also had the Bigfoot episodes. Sasquatch is the uniquely American urban legend. It is so nostalgic to see the return of this myth.
Hester and Gilespie's story opens with Steve testing out a replacement arm after last issue's first encounter, where Bigfoot ripped it off. OSI Director, Oscar Goldman and an assistant find Austin in the medical lab undegoing tests. It's discovered that Steve's software has been hacked into and his bionics' GPS tracked. That's right about the time that Bigfoot comes knocking at the door of OSI's Denver facility.
Steve is ready for a rematch with Bigfoot. He takes on the sasquatch, and his bionic dog Max jumps in, as well. It is pretty graphic what Bigfoot does to Max. It took a second to realize that Max was not a real dog, but still Bigfoot is pretty ruthless in handling the animal.
ustin follows Bigfoot into the woods and his cave, where he finds a cybernetic mate. Originally, on the television series, Bigfoot was part of a superior alien race. The beast formed a friendship with the bionic man. Here, it almost seems as if Hester is suggesting that Bigfoot may have more in common with Marvel's Wolverine or Sabertooth. Austin's initial theory is that Bigfoot is a creature that has been experimented on by the Russians.
This theory may bear out, as Steve and Bigfoot head back to OSI headquarters with the sasquatch's mate. They are met by a military squad bent on reclaiming the beast and maybe his mate, too.
It will definitely be interesting to see how this resolves in the next issue. The Bionic Man #13 was an exciting read, very much a reminder of how much fun it was to watch the television series. Steve Austin is the human equivalent of Superman and the Shazam! Captain Marvel. Not an alien or based on magic; but more grounded in reality in science and technology. Is it any wonder that his DC namesake was chosen to replace the manhunter from Mars as a founding member of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's The New 52 Justice League. We've become such a gadget and gizmo society that The Bionic Man has become fresh and cool all over again.
Moving, like one is running in slow motion, with the Chevy Chase "nnn-na-na-na-na-na" from Caddyshack never goes out of style.