COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: SEASON 6 / AUTHOR: JAMES KUHORIC / ARTIST: JUAN ANTONIO RAMIREZ / PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 6TH
There has been a recent trend in rebranding comic book tie-ins of long-defunct TV shows as the ‘next season’ of the show, the idea being that the graphic novel serves as a canonical sequel and equal of sorts. There are a lot of advantages to this; the ages of the actors ceases to become a problem and the special effects budget is only limited by what the artist can draw.
The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 6 takes a show that many of us have long forgotten about and dives straight into the things that made The Six Million Dollar Man the huge hit it was 40 years ago; big silly ideas and Cold War paranoia. The graphic novel picks up from the last series quite well and introduces the Steve Austin foe Maskatron. This stupidly-named robot only ever existed as a Kenner toy, until now. Writer Jame Kuhoric has now woven the face-changing mechanical killing machine into the world of The Six Million Dollar Man and has done so with the style and silliness that we’d expect from the show.
There’s some lovely attention to detail here. For example, it explains the Barney Miller/Hiller situation quite well, and goes into why Steve Austin is so resistant to the side-effects of his batteries. After all, if you’re writing the ‘official’ next season of a show, you may as well take the time to address the silly little niggling things that the fans like to bicker about.
There is a bit of a kitchen sink approach here; we have alien invasions, shark-punching (though no sharks are leapt over), the Bionic Woman and even Sasquatch. Anyone who grew up with the show will be exceptionally pleased by this full on nostalgia fest, as the comic creators take full advantage of their near infinite special effects budget.
Juan Antonio Ramirez’s art style is well chosen; it’s quite retro in places and gives the book an old-fashioned feel that really suits the old-school approach of the book. It’s not jaw-dropping, but it’s lovingly detailed in all the right places, and the action is handled very well indeed. Comics’ publisher Dynamite have gone all out to prove that, despite inflation, The Six Million Dollar Man is still worth every red cent.
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