Whereas space has for many years been the final frontier for both man and Vulcan, the entertainment industry has seen that frontier become the world of comic books, where a great many franchises have seen new stories and arcs rise up where there was once only a void and a fanbase’s nasal murmurs. Joss Whedon’s Buffy and Firefly characters have thankfully lived on in two dimensions, along with those of The X-Files, and now a more classic hero will making his way into the funny pages, albeit with more slo-mo. Early next year, Dynamite Entertainment will be launching The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 6, which will pick up right where the series left off, back in 1978. Dynamite can rebuild his legacy. They have the technology, the writers, and the illustrators. They have the capability to create new adventures for the world’s first bionic man. I could keep going, but I won’t.
The series will be written by James Kuhoric, Vice President of Publishing for Avatar Press. Kuhoric has worked on a number of comics, including many involving the Army of Darkness series and its multiple horror mash-ups. While there’s no way to bring Lee Majors back to the role, considering he’s pretty old and isn’t a drawing, Kuhoric promises they will “bring back all the things that made it special to me back in the day.”
These will, of course, include the trademark slow-motion sequences where Steve Austin’s powers get highlighted. “We went out of our way to use the ‘Kung Fu Slow Motion,’ the sound effects, and all the oddities of that era so the comic book would feel like the original TV series,” he explained. I love the fact that they’re steeping it in the 1970s rather than updating it to modern times, which should allow for some pretty cool references and jokes. Disco forever!
One interesting spin they’re putting on it is that Austin’s nemesis for the series will be Maskatron, the “robotic master of disguise” that was created for the toy line produced by Kenner. Dynamite CEO and Publisher Nick Barrucci is quite overjoyed with the idea, having been a huge fan of the toy as a kid. “In discussions, we contemplated: why not bring into the series a villain fans would know from the toys, even though he wasn’t in the TV series?” Barrucci said. “Why not have a villain who could be The Joker to Steve Austin’s Batman, or Doctor Octopus to his Spider-Man?”
This won’t be the first time Austin has appeared in comics, as Kevin Smith created The Bionic Man for Dynamite a couple of years ago, based on a screenplay he’d written in the ’90s. It runs a little closer to actual bionic men rather than the TV show, so these two comic series should have little in common aside from a few details.
Season Six will hit comic shelves and online retailers in February 2014, to coincide with the show’s 40th anniversary. Let’s take a trip back in time with the signature opening credits, which feature the theme as performed by the Johnny Gregory Orchestra.