Friday, March 14, 2014

On The Shelf: The real "bionic man" debuts, plus other things

Dynamite Entertainment has been running a little book called The Bionic Man for some time now, which implied that they couldn't obtain a full license from NBC-Universal-Comcast to do a book based on the 70's series, The Six Million Dollar Man, for some reason. Well, that's no longer the case.

Following the lead of other publishers' efforts to continue popular series after they've been cancelled (i.e. DC's Smallville, Dark Horse's Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Dynamite finally gained a full license, and earlier this week debuted The Six Million Dollar Man: Season Six, which purports to be what would've/should've/could've been had the series been renewed by ABC for another year, or shopped to another network, as Universal did when The Bionic Woman left for NBC for its final season.

Recently, Dynamite had been doing a Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman miniseries, after the latter's solo book did a quick dip. Now that this miniseries is done, it would appear that this version of the franchise is finished, and if Bionic Woman were to relaunch anew, Dynamite could add a Season Four tag. Just sayin'.

On to the book. The first story arc brings in Maskatron, a character who wasn't used under that handle on TV, but was marketed as an action figure, which, if memory serves, was made by Kenner back in the day. Anyway, Maskatron is impersonating Col. Steve Austin while the real deal is on a mission elsewhere, so the usual havoc follows. Issue 2 promises a meeting between Maskatron and the "Seven Million Dollar Man" (I believe that was Monte Markham's character on the show), so this will last a while. Seeing as how I have recently obtained season 1 on DVD as a birthday gift, this will keep me busy. I like the artwork, and the story has promise. Since I have room in my budget now.....!

Rating: A-.

The reason I say that I have room in my budget is because Archie Comics sneakily decided that The Fox is now a series of miniseries, largely because the old MLJ/Mighty Heroes still don't have the same kind of fan appeal as their contemporaries. Dean Haspiel acknowledged in the text page of issue 5 that he's already working on the next miniseries, to be titled, "Fox Hunt". Hopefully, this will be better than the "Freak Magnet" arc that just ended, since it fell off the rails a bit despite the fact that veteran writers Mark Waid & J. M. DeMatteis were involved. DeMatteis wrote the final issue, likely to give the overworked Waid a breather.

DC still hasn't confirmed if Scooby-Doo Team-Up is actually a finite miniseries. However, this book has gone off the rails. Batman & Robin are back for the 3rd issue, which finishes things with the Caped Crusader for the nonce, but Bat-Mite joins the party this time, and, to poke fun at the very existence of him and Mr. Mxyzptlk, among others, writer Sholly Fisch introduced a humanoid imp who's Scooby's #1 fan in the 5th dimension. Worse, Larry, Robin's personal obsessed fan-imp from the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon, makes a cameo appearance.

And that's not all. In issue 4, it's a crossover with Teen Titans Go!, which will likely be a jumping off point for some folks. Like, I ain't going to be satisfied unless they can get Scooby together with Bugs Bunny and his pals........

No comments: