Steve’s leaking fuel from his severed leg, giving the baddies a trail to follow. He needs to make repairs, but it’s a little hard to stop when there’s a nuke in the room!
This issue was a lot of fun, picking up the chase scene from last issue and continuing it without any feeling of repetition. I love the choice made with this book to assume that everyone at this point should have some idea of what the Six Million Dollar Man’s whole deal is, skipping the origin story and chucking the readers right into a mission.
This issue establishes a big difference in regards to this version of Steve Austin. Rather than having a few robotic parts, he seems to be all robot (aside from a few organs, as he notes). It should be interesting to see what these changes mean for this character’s seemingly happy-go-lucky frame of mind. But it also goes a long way toward explaining how gung-ho Steve was rushing into battle in the last issue.
Steve’s injury actually leads to some fun and varied action sequences, with Steve having to be a little cleverer for this round. Without his leg, he can’t quite be the bruiser he was last week. There’s more of a cat and mouse aspect to this issue’s confrontations, which keeps it from being too much of a repeat of last month’s action (though it feels slightly padded at one point).
The tone is still a delight, as well. Steve’s a little worse for wear this issue, but he still has this “aw shucks,” can-do attitude that is so infectious. I think the fact that this isn’t a gritty reboot might be my absolute favorite thing about the series. It takes the inherently rad premise of the character and uses it to tell fun spy stories. It’s even better/funnier when you consider how Austin’s only real qualifications for the job are his abilities. He has zero field experience and the ol’ U.S. of A decided, “We need to send this dude in to fight terrorists.”
On the other side of that, Steve does show he’s not all steel muscles and laser eye. This month allows him to flex his brain a bit, too, explaining to his partner some of the science behind the bomb they’re trying to stop.
Speaking of his partner, Neko Abe is an excellent addition to the series. She provides us with a more grounded side to espionage, giving the series a much-needed window character. However, she’s not only there for the purposes of exposition. She’s shown to be just as capable as Steve, serving not only as a badass spy but as his comedic foil. They’re effectively a cybernetic John Steed and a decidedly less-amusable Emma Peel. It’s a great dynamic, one that I hope this series will continue after this initial arc.
If you’re sleeping on this series, now is a good time to pick up the first two issues. They’re a seamless adventure story and the last page of this month sets up an even crazier set piece for next issue!