REVIEW: The Bionic Man #15

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Steve Austin, astronaut, the man so awesome Daft Punk wrote a song about him. Having gotten to the bottom of the Bigfoot mystery, The Bionic Man now has to deal with finishing off the cyborg sasquatches and cleaning up the mess. Read on in this Major Spoilers review.

BIONIC-MAN-15-COVER-IMAGETHE BIONIC MAN #15
WRITER: Phil Hester, Aaron Gillespie
ARTIST: Edgar Tadeo
COLORS: Thiado Ribeiro
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
EDITOR: JOE RYBANDT
PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
COVER PRICE: $3.99

Previously in The Bionic Man: Steve and his Bigfooted pal were surrounded by a small army of augmented Almas and will have to fight their way out and face a foe very familiar to one of them.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE CRUCIAL

I was really scratching around for something to review this week. “The Bionic Man” #15 appealed to me only because of my love for its sister property, “The Bionic Woman,” starring the delicious Lindsay Wagner. Having not read the previous three installments of this four-part arc, I cautiously opened the issue.

Bless my heart, I was rewarded with an in-media-res Steve Austin and sasquatch compatriot facing off against an army of cyborg Bigfeet. I immediately thought “There’s no conceivable way I can’t enjoy this.” I was not incorrect.

Despite my ignorance of the overall plot I was able to quickly grasp the doin’s of the goings-on thanks to some clear writing and archetypical characterizations. Over-reliance on established archetypes is usually something from which I like writers to shy away, but it was extremely helpful in this case, especially given the lack of recap paragraph on the inside front cover—that’s something every book should have.

Austin and his hirsute pal, speaking through a kind of technological telepathy, get their smash on and head back to OSI headquarters where Oscar Goldman immediately throws them under the bus. Then, Steve makes the kind of noble sacrifice you’d expect from such a morally and mechanically upright fellow.

I’m pretty amazed I wasn’t lost at any point during this whole affair. This seems like it was a fairly involved storyline, but Phil Hester and Aaron Gillespie did an awesome job of including people like me who’re just jumping in with this issue.

SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST

The art, however, wasn’t all that amazing. It’s not awful or anything, and it’s technically proficient, but it needed more detail. Faces seemed… hollow and indoor scenery had about as many touches as a half-decorated hotel room. I expect this lack of detail from a Spider-Man Twinkie ad, but not here.

The artistic highpoint of the book came toward the end as Steve looks out over a great forested vista. This was impressive. Most impressive.

BOTTOM LINE: WEIRD PLACE TO JUMP ON, BUT NOT A DEAL BREAKER

This isn’t a perfect issue by any measure, but anything negative is overridden by one incontrovertible fact: This was an incredibly fun book to read. It’s a fantastic example of a good popcorn comic—nothing deep, just great action adventure. I came in on the tail-end of a story arc, but still found it an amazingly accessible issue. This is probably the worst possible jumping-on point I could have picked, but you should still think about checking it out; if this is even close to par for the series, then it’s worthy of your time and attention. 3.5 stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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