Written by: Christopher Hastings
Art by: David Hahn
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewed by: Simon “BlaxKleric” Moore
Based upon the Seventies American science fiction and action television series, there is definitely an entertaining story desperately trying to be told within Christopher Hastings’ script for Issue One of “The Six Million Dollar Man”. But whilst the “author of The Adventures of Doctor McNinja” was clearly having “a lot of fun writing this book”, his penmanship’s over-reliance to persistently populate every panel with a whimsical gag or school ground quip disconcertingly destroys any semblance of seriousness to a plot which intriguingly focuses upon the cybernetically-upgraded astronaut travelling to Japan to stop a madman from firing a nuclear-armed rocket at the United States of America.
Indeed, just as soon as Colonel Steve Austin disembarks from a helicopter in order to start his first ever mission, the “decorated hero” begins telling secret agent Niko Abe all about being “a cyborg super-spy” like an overly- thrilled school boy, and simply doesn’t stop grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat until he’s excitedly explained that he is “stronger, faster and all around better than any Seal Team you could ask for.” The gushing former cosmonaut even provides his increasingly infuriated driver a typical body-builder pose during their ride towards Ansa Island, and jokes about his cover story for visiting the Nuclear Launch Facility should he be caught; “Very sorry to trespass, Mister Amari. I’m a huge fan. Could you sign my Ansa watch?”
Happily however, for those readers willing to put up with Hasting’s immature depiction of the titular character, the writer’s narrative for this twenty-page periodical still has plenty to offer during its second half, especially once the K.G.B. suddenly show up in order to provide the Japanese criminal mastermind with a nuclear payload. Ignoring Austin’s ridiculous desire for his partner to translate his cover story whilst he’s besting a dozen well-armed soldiers on a gantry, the pulse-pounding fisticuff action flows thick and fast, with Steve showing very clearly just what his considerable price-tag brings to the party. In fact, the Colonel’s confrontation with a demonic mask-wearing samurai is undoubtedly the highlight of the comic.
David Hahn’s pencilling is also worthy of praise, and his dynamically-drawn interiors make it plain to see just why this book’s author does “little dances in my chair” whenever the Ignatz Award-nominee submits his work. Clean-lined and easily able to imbue the main protagonist throwing some jaw-breaking punches, there is arguably little fault to be found with the artist’s storyboards, and his cliff-hanger splash page showing an impaired Austin facing a group of sword-wielding devils is debatably one of the few reasons anyone would want to pick up this series’ second instalment…
Check out Simon’s blog here: https://thebrownbagaeccb.blogspot.co.uk/