Six Million Dollar Man #2 Writer Commentary by Bleding Cool’s Jim Kuhoric
P1 -2 Welcome back – Previously on The Six Million Dollar Man: we pick up with the cliffhanger from issue #1…the scientists of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center examine the recovered satellite and wonder just how it managed to survive reentry. But what’s this, an unidentified mass that could be extraterrestrial? This scene expands what we know about the entity which has been directing the probe since page one of the first issue. More on that to come…
P3 -5 Having met with success in his first unveiling of the MASKATRON robot, Oliver Spencer moves to field test the weapon against Barney Hiller…or is that Miller? No, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s a nod to the name change that the character underwent due to the popularity of a certain 1970s police show called “Barney Miller.” This is setting up the scene for MASKATRON to test his power against the “Seven Million Dollar Man.” Barney was a race car driver who was in a terrible crash and made bionic after Steve. He has all four limbs replaced with bionics and he’s just a bit mentally unstable. Barney couldn’t handle being super powered and ended up going toe-to-toe with Steve in an epic showdown in the series. Afterward his bionics were tuned down to human levels leaving Barney as strong as an athlete but not in the same class as our hero. It is here that we first start to see the AI of MASKATRON and how it reasons. The technology for the buzz saw hand is a lot of fun and homage to MASKATRON’s original appendages for the toy. And I am loving the groovy clothes and hairstyles of the thugs here. Just who is this Mr. Vaughn character? Only time will tell…
P6 -8 This sequence is meant to bring back memories of the rebuilding and bionic maintenance shots from the television series. Steve is so well adjusted to bionic life that I think there are points where he enjoys the abilities but probably wouldn’t admit it. Lee Majors would be jealous of the physique that Juanan gave him here…and hey where’s that mat of 1970s chest hair? I guess Steve got a bionic chest wax between seasons five and six – Da-Na-Na-Na-OUCH!
But seriously, we get some good information here and some fantastic art. Several of the strings are being pulled together to tell us what Oliver Spencer’s history with the Bionics Program is and just how our group of friends view him. There seems to be no love lost for Spencer.
P9 – 10 You know it is never good when you cut yourself on the alien stuff…I mean seriously, its 2014 and Ridley Scott didn’t learn that from 1970s TV? He still had his scientists running around without helmets and playing with alien goop in Prometheus. Ah well…this little development doesn’t bode well for the lovely Joan Anderson. Here’s a little fun fact – Juanan Ramirez actually used one of my favorite “Angels” – from classic television as the inspiration for Dr. Anderson. Charlie approves.
P11 – 13 I like how the name “MASKATRON” seems to stick no matter how hard Spencer tries to bury it. Some things, like this robot, seem to have a mind of their own. Anyway…this is a great action scene as MASKATRON cuts through the garage door and takes out the goons. And when catastrophe strikes…the backup AI is kicked in and that may cause quite a few problems for our OSI scientists. But you have to love Barney’s bravado here. If you remember him as the Seven Million Dollar Man you know this is exactly how he’d react. He’s learned to live as a souped-up muscle car surrounded by gas guzzling clunkers even as tuned down bionic man and he isn’t afraid of anyone or anything. More on Barney to come…
P14 – 15 This mission sequence is pretty damn cool. Juanan did a great job of simultaneously setting up the mission and giving us a clear indication that something at OSI is very wrong. Oscar would resign before doing anything to put Steve in a situation that he couldn’t get out of, but you get the feeling here that he’s having to tote the line with things he doesn’t agree with. The design for the Russian B-YAGA one man tank is intimidating. Who’s up for a bionic showdown!
P16 Sttt…Steve… Bad things are happening…
P17 – 18 This sequence really screams “Oliver Spencer” to me. We let the Frankenstein monster loose without a leash and it’s coming home. Fans of The Six Million Dollar Man will get the Mr. X reference on MASKATRON’s return. The funny thing is that I had the same reference set for issue #1 when we see the robot on the laboratory screen bending the steel bar. But “hoodie” was lost in the translation and the character ended up wearing a ski mask. We’ll call that a blooper and save it for the extras reel. And…what could be in that bag?
P19 – 22 I had a lot of fun with these pages. Steve’s starting the mission and admitting in his voice over that jumping is his favorite ability. I have to agree, of all the incredible things he can do, running at 60 mph and jumping several stories straight up has to be a lot of fun. Buuuut…not so much fun when you walk into a trap. Not only are the “Ruskies” waiting for him but they knew he was coming. I smell a rat and unfortunately Steve walked into the mouse trap.
Next Month on The Six Million Dollar Man – Steve’s surrounded by Russian soldiers and about to face the giant B-YAGA one man tank! And MASKATRON comes home to OSI with a surprise that will send the Robotics Department reeling and the NSB to the emergency room. Amid the insanity of the Bionics Department shutdown, Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman returns! See you next issue on these bionic networks.
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