If Kevin Smith keeps turning his rejected movie scripts into comic books, maybe we'll eventually see what he had planned for Superman lo those many years ago. In the meantime, he's teaming up with Dynamite Comics, who just gave us his take on the Green Hornet, to bring us The Bionic Man this August, based on The Six Million Dollar Man TV series from the mid-70s about an astronaut with cybernetic prosthetics that enhance his strength and durability.
"True story," Smith said about his history with the character of Steve Austin, "when I turned in a script for The Six Million Dollar Man back in '98, there was an exec who dismissed it as being more like a comic book than a movie. It's an honor to head back into the trenches with the same creative team at Dynamite that made my Green Hornet script so readable and fun. It makes me moist." Of course it does, Kev.
Phil Hester will once again be scripting based on Smith's screenplay, with Jonathan Lau handling the artwork. "When I heard about The Bionic Man, my initial thought was how to make him stand out from the rest of the cyborg genre," Lau said, "and that's where my style comes into play. Hopefully this will be a fun ride showcasing a more extreme play of action than I used to do!"
They've also got comic stalwart and nostalgia buff Alex Ross handling the covers. He admits that "I'm one of those kids who grew up with The Six Million Dollar Man toys all over my house. I still prize them as one of the favorite parts of my youth for the amazing variety of things that Steve Austin could use or fight against. The Six Million Dollar Man is one of the coolest original superhero properties invented for television."
As we can see from the cover images below, the look of the character in his comic book incarnation is not going to be modeled after Lee Majors, who played the character in the series, nor will it be based on WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin – not that anybody was expecting that. Perhaps surprisingly, their biggest challenge will be making sure he doesn't look like Marvel Comics' Cable, as evidenced by the robot arm and the glowing eye.
Hester says "I'm thrilled to help bring Kevin's unique vision for Steve Austin and company, Fans of the original will find all the classic elements they long for, while those hungry for new elements will get a healthy dose of bionic action for the 21st century." He'll likely also admit that bionic implants are going to cost more than $6 million in this day and age.
Dynamite also says that there are plans for The Bionic Woman to get her own series in 2012.
Check out these preview images from Lau, Stephen Segovia, Paul Renaud and Ross.