Comic Book Review: Bionic Man #11, "The Back Forty"
· Phil Hester
· Ed Tadeo
by R.J. Carter
Published: July 25, 2012
Steve Austin has been rebuilt from the brink of death to superhuman capacity. He's still adjusting to the bionic technology that lets him lift a car and run seventy miles an hour, and he's just been in the fight of his life against a battalion of cybernetic terrorists, forced into the confrontation by a very controlling OSI director.
Oscar Goldman is now in charge, which allows Steve Austin some time away from active duty. He uses the time to revisit the family ranch -- and his dying father. Phil Hester does a great job at putting the human back into the hero by giving readers this glimpse into Steve's non-business relationships. This reunion with his father may be his last, but the elder Austin is determined to stave off death until after Steve leaves, not wanting to have his son see him die.
When Steve's not restoring relations with his family, including his returning sister, Karen, he runs alongside his father's horse, Caesar. Steve used to be afraid of the horse, but now the horse -- sensing the changes in Steve -- is afraid of him. But Steve doesn't need to ride the horse to enjoy its company, and Ed Tadeo does a magnificent job rendering the two of them running side by side.
Possibly the most exciting cameo in this issue, however, comes during this run -- when we see a shadowy, possibly hairy figure observing silently. Fans of the original Six Million Dollar Man series may recall a certain recurring guest star who fits this description, and given the title teaser for issue 12 at the conclusion of this standalone story, I think it's safe to say we're going to see a certain American myth make an appearance very, very soon.
Dynamite has been doing impressive work with some classic franchises, Bionic Man being only one of them. Where television and film hasn't been able to succeed, Dynamite has made the concept work in the comics medium. Having grown up with the original series, this fan could only ask that the editors consider a guest stint with longtime Six Million Dollar Man supporter Richard Anderson. How about it guys? Get the real Oscar Goldman behind the pen for a story?