Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man's Sinister Six

True, the Sinister Six are some of the Amazing Spider-Man's most devious villains...but they also had an effect on the rest of the mighty Marvel Universe!

The Sinister Six premiered in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (January, 1964) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and included 6 of Spidey's biggest, baddest foes (at the time...all also created by Lee and Ditko!).

This was the original gathering of this bunch, and certainly a tough task for Peter Parker to face...

Let's break the six down, one by one...

One of Six: Electro

Max Dillon was an electrical lineman who, due to a freak accident gained electrical powers and set about on a life of crime, starting with Amazing Spider-Man #9 (February, 1964).

Electro quickly branched out as well, fighting Daredevil (even founding his own group of villains, the Emissaries of Evil with Leap-Frog, the Stilt-Man, the Matador and the Gladiator) and he later joined the Frightful Four (a group of villains that gathered together to fight the Fantastic Four including the Wizard and Trapster, as well as some later on this list) as well as battling against Captain America's partner, the high-flying Falcon!

Two of Six: Vulture

Adrian Toomes was an electronics engineer who was cheated out of a fortune by his business partner, and then took his own flying harness to become the Vulture (in Amazing Spider-Man #2, May, 1963)  and avenge the wrongs felt done to him.

The Vulture was a more elderly villain, set in his ways, and stayed in New York to face Spider-Man mostly, though occasionally he fought others like Daredevil and the Punisher, and even facing off against the Beyonder in Secret Wars II and Rusty Collins of the New Mutants!

Three of Six: Mysterio

Quentin Black was a master of misdirection, he worked with special effects and was a stuntman on the side, and started his individual battles with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #13 (June, 1964).

Mysterio worked as an unnamed assistant to the Tinkerer (a foe Spidey first fought in Amazing Spider-Man #2), but continued to bedevil Spider-Man over the years using tricks like a fog that nullified Spider-Man's Spider-Sense and other tricks to make Peter Parker doubt himself.  Like most Spider-Man villains, he also ended up facing Daredevil...and the one and only X-Man as well!

Four of Six: Sandman

Flint Marko was his name and he was a thug...or just a good little mama's boy named William Baker, until, while trying to escape the police, he came into contact with sand irradiated from a local nuclear plant, and left his normal problems on the beach (with Amazing Spider-Man #4, September, 1963).

Sandman started his career menacing Spider-Man, but soon branched out, facing the Human Torch alone in Strange Tales, joining the Sinister Six, then being a founder of the Frightful Four (along with the Wizard, Trapster and Medusa).  Sandman even battled the Hulk, and then became friends with the Thing...trying to turn good for a time (even ending up as a provisional member of the Avengers) before going back to crime.

Five of Six: Kraven the Hunter

Sergei Kravinoff was a big game hunter and member of a family of Russian aristocrats who had to flee the country after the Communists took it over, and crossed paths with the amazing arachnid in Amazing Spider-Man #15 (August, 1964).

Kraven the Hunter fought Spider-Man with mucho gusto, and also battled with Iron Man, jungle lord Ka-Zar, Daredevil and the Black Widow, Spider-Man's foe the Man-Wolf, Tigra the were-woman and more, considering most heroes as big game, and it was later revealed Kraven was a member of a 1950s version of the Avengers!  Kraven even took on a nobility in facing Spider-Man in Fearful Symmetry: Kraven's Last Hunt by J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck.

Six of Six: Dr. Octopus 

Otto Octavius was a young kid, bullied by those around him, including his father, so turned his attention to science, becoming a respected nuclear physicist, engineer and researcher... ....and while using a creation of his own (mechanical tentacles) to control a reaction, it went wrong in Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July, 1963).

Dr. Octopus became one of Spider-Man deadliest villains, founding the Sinister Six to defeat Spider-Man.  For the most part, the doctor faced Spider-Man, but occasionally fought against other members of the Marvel Universe, like Daredevil (in a pre-Elektra story with plot and art by Frank Miller), Captain America (to get his shield and improve his tentacles) and Mr. Fantastic (of the Fantastic Four, for the life of Sue's baby).  Doc Ock even got recruited for the bad guys team for the original Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars, working with Dr. Doom, the Wrecking Crew, Absorbing Man, the Enchantress, Klaw, Ultron and more!   Dr. Octopus reformed the Sinister Six (having Hobgoblin replace Kraven, who had committed suicide...Chameleon has also been a replacement as well...). 

Doc Ock continues to menace Spider-Man to this very day, having replaced Peter Parker's mind in Spider-Man's body, and lives on as the Superior Spider-Man.

Still, all these villains will come back and face Spidey again, but they have proved their reach expands through the entire Marvel Universe and beyond!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Comic Heroes Are Unappreciated

It might be hard to believe, with all the fans they have, but not everyone likes a hero.

Sure, the life of a superhero looks easy, but it really isn't....

Take for example Superman and Spider-Man (one from DC and one from Marvel, both working in the news industry, both the biggest heroes in their world, or at least the most popular...).

Neither of them have had an easy life....

To Save A Superman

With Superman #240 (July, 1971, with a cover by Neal Adams, and interior story by writer Denny O'Neil, artist Curt Swan and inker Dick Giordano), we learn how people react when Superman fails!

Not cool, as the cover shows....but it wasn't really Superman's fault....

...he just wasn't up to full power!  Starting with Superman #233 (January, 1971, by O'Neil, Swan and inker Murphy Anderson), Superman was being slowly weakened by the extra-dimensional being Quarrmer) who came to our world when a lab accident destroyed all Kryptonite on Earth, and this creature formed as a "sand Superman", a parasite (though not THE Parasite, a different Superman villain..), slowly taking away Superman's powers over time! 

Superman had to deal with this problem all the way until Superman #242 (September, 1971) and did it with a little help from Wonder Woman (who, at the time, was also without her powers!).  Superman recovered, and Quarrmer even came back to be the Superman villain in the Superman vs. Shazam battle of All-New Collector's Edition #C-58...and the entire collection of O'Neil & Swan's sand Superman saga was collected in the DC Comics Classics Library: Superman: Kryptonite Nevermore in January, 2009!

Spider-Man No More!

Peter Parker was a photographer/freelancer working barely surviving working for J. Jonah Jameson, fearing for the health of his elderly Aunt May, and pushed into giving up being Spider-Man....and this all came about in Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July, 1967, with a cover and interior pencils by John Romita and story by Stan Lee and inked by Mike Esposito). 

It's amazing that Peter did eventually come back to his webheaded alter-ego after the unknowning encouragement of his friends...and he did it just in time to face the crimelord of New York, the Kingpin! 

Winston Fisk made his first appearance within this story, and continued to menace Spider-Man, as well as other New York heroes like Captain America, Punisher and especially Daredevil (started during Frank Miller's run...which was adapted into the Daredevil movie...more or less). 

Over the years, the Kingpin caused plenty of heartache...but deep down, it's Spidey that the Kingpin hates most of all!  You can find that original Spider-Man/Kingpin confrontation in the Marvel Masterworks #22: Amazing Spider-Man, along with issues #41-50 and the third Amazing Spider-Man Annual (which has Spidey facing the Hulk at the behest of the Avengers), or all that and more (like battles against the Green Goblin, Rhino, Lizard, Electro, Kraven, Dr. Octopus and others in Amazing Spider Man #39-67, Annuals #3-5 and more in the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus #2 of April, 2012).


Lessons Learned

It seems that heroes who come in and do the work, week after week are not always appreciated, but they still do what they can to help others...and it is by continuing on against adversity that help to make these rare people into heroes as they do what they can!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Batman Retro Action Figures Series 3

More of the Mego goodness from the folks at Figures Toy Company!

Batman Retro Series 3

These action figures are exact reproductions of the original ones that were produced by Mego. Series three will include Batman (with removable cowl), Robin (with removable cowl), Batgirl & Alfred.  Future series will include many more characters that Mego released over the years. Available in 8 inch only.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hail Hydra Comics

"Hail, HYDRA! Immortal HYDRA! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master—as the world shall soon serve us! Hail HYDRA!" was the oath taken by Hydra agents in Strange Tales #135 (August, 1965) as the villainous organization was established as the foes of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which stood for the Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division, at least at the time) and it's new director, Col. Nick Fury, himself a decorated veteran of World War II where he served as Sgt. Nick Sgt. Fury (then later Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos, which followed his WW II adventures....)  

S.H.I.E.L.D. also appeared first in this issue, which was written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby...but Hydra has a history both before that issue (in a stand alone tale in Atlas Comics' Menace #10 (March, 1954) where it was only a reference to an organization by a scientist in the tale "Half Man, Half...?" with art by Robert Q. Sale...but it was only a mention, and Stan and Jack created the green and yellow uniforms and the philosophy of the group...

...still, you can see the reach of Hydra extends even past its own beginnings!

Hydra vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hydra was the main foe of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury for their entire run as half the feature of Strange Tales (from issue #135 to #168) as Nick and his team shared the book with the master of mystic arts, Doctor Strange.

The team then went to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. for 18 issues from June, 1968 to March, 1971.

All these tales can be found in Marvel Masterworks:Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 has Strange Tales #135-153 (and Tales of Suspense #78 and Fantastic Four #21 which relate, and Tales of Suspense features stories on A.I.M. as well, which is a branch of Hydra at the time and Nick fighting them with Captain America, and the Fantastic Four story is a pre-S.H.I.E.L.D. appearance which brought Nick Fury from World War II to "modern times" and they faced the Hate-Monger).    
Marvel Masterworks:Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 has tales from Strange Tales #154-168 and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-3 with story and art by Jim Steranko (and dialogue in early issues by Roy Thomas) and has battles against A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics); the Yellow Claw; as well as revealing the Supreme Hydra (who has ties to Nick's time in WW II as Sgt. Fury) and Nick's first fight with Scorpio!  
Marvel Masterworks:Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 has the stories from Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4-15, Avengers #72 and Marvel Spotlight #31 (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #16-18 were reprints of Hydra battles from Strange Tales) and finishes Nick's battle against Scorpio as well as another battle with the Hate-Monger.

Still, this didn't end the Marvel Universe's battles with the forces of Hydra, as their coda implied...they came back else where many times.  A few of their other more important appearances include...

Hydra vs. Captain America

Hydra faced Captain America in a famous storyline by Stan Lee and Jim Steranko in Captain America #110, 111, and 113 (February-May, 1969).  These stories also feature a battle between Captain America and the Hulk, Hulk's young helper, Rick Jones taking on the identity of Bucky for a time (something hinted at all the way back when Cap was found in Avengers #4), and the introduction of Madame Hydra (who later became the Viper and worked with the Silver Samurai) and established Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra as supporting characters for future Captain America stories (as Nick's own book was cancelled a little while after these stories came out...).

These stories can also be found in the Captain America Omnibus #1 and in Marvel Visionaries: Jim Steranko which also has some of the better Strange Tales issues....and you can get just the Jim Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. tales in S.H.I.E.L.D. By Steranko: The Complete Collection which has all Jim's work on S.H.I.E.L.D. from Strange Tales and the Nick Fury well as some later work from other reprints!

Hydra vs. the Hulk

Hydra faced the Hulk in the Incredible Hulk #132 (October, 1970) in a story by Roy Thomas with art by Herb Trimpe and John Severin, wherein the evil organization convinced Hulk's helper, Jim Wilson, into trying to capture the Hulk.

It didn't work out so well for Hydra (and they tried to attack him again in Incredible Hulk #154, August, 1972 by Archie Goodwin and Herb Trimpe, with the help of Spider-Man foe, the Chameleon, shrinking the Hulk, who got some help himself from Hank Pym....the Ant-Man!).  Oddly, Hulk usually spent more time fighting the army (with General Thunderbolt Ross and Major Glenn Talbot) or S.H.I.E.L.D. itself than Hydra...

Hydra vs. Captain America II

Hydra faced Captain America, his new partner the Falcon (Sam Wilson, who changed from his orange and green costume to a red and white one in the first issue of this run), and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new Femme Force (a group of female agents including Agent 13/Sharon Carter and Nick Fury's lady love, the Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, who had first appeared back in Strange Tales) with a run in Captain America #144-148 (December, 1971 to April, 1972).

The stories by Gary Friedrich and art by John Romita, Gil Kane and Sal Buscema also reenforced the idea of Hydra as factions, with a few Spider-Man villains (they had ties to organized crime...) being revealed as agents of Hydra (and tying a major Captain America foe as Supreme Hydra as well....a scene one kept waiting for in the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie...).

Hydra vs. the monsters

Hydra faced off against the Cat (Greer Grant Nelson), and severely injured the young much so that her mentor, Dr. Joanne Tumulo, revealed her own history as a member of the ancient race of cat people and changed Greer into the were-woman Tigra.

As Tigra, Greer helped defeat this group of Hydra with the help of the Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell in Giant-Size Creatures #1 (July, 1974, by Tony Isabella and Don Perlin).  Tigra had a brief solo feature in Marvel Chillers #3-7, and worked with Spider-Man, the Thing and the rest of the Fantastic Four here and there, and eventually joined the Avengers (briefly on the east coast, and was a founder of the West Coast Avengers offshoot).

Hydra vs. Daredevil and Black Widow

From Daredevil #120-123 (April-July, 1975) by Tony Isabella and Bob Brown, Hydra worked on the west coast, facing off against Daredevil (who had stopped Hydra from crashing the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl in Fantastic Four Annual #3) and the Black Widow (as well as the Contessa Val, Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan of S.H.I.E.L.D....who were also going to recruit Daredevil's friend, Foggy Nelson as an agent!).

Another Supreme Hydra is revealed (...yet another Spider-Man crimelord, different from the previous one mentioned earlier), as well as a few other villains (Daredevil foes like  el Jaguar and Blackwing, and Spider-Man/Cat foe the Man-Killer from the Cat's last appearance in Marvel Team-Up #8 were revealed to be Hydra agents, connecting a few disconnected storylines....).

Hydra vs. the Thing and Shang-Chi

Hydra's hordes attacked martial artist (and son of Fu Manchu) Shang-Chi and the Thing in England in Marvel Two-In-One #29 (July, 1977 by Marv Wolfman and Ron Wilson) as the two attempted to rescue scientist Dr. Kort.  This was part of a larger story from Marvel-Two-In-One #26-34, which started with the Thing helping Nick Fury against super powered Hydra agents Mentallo and the Fixer (who premiered back in Strange Tales), led to them pulling cyborg Deathlok from the future (and the Hydra agents taking control of his mind to have him kill the President), a quick detour with the Sub-Mariner, the work with Shang-Chi the Master of Kung Fu, a meeting with Spider-Woman (who was recently rescued from Hydra by Nick Fury) and battles against a mystery menace and help from the rest of the Fantastic Four, mostly the Invisible Girl, and a past mystic named Modred...all to help free Deathlok.  Deathlok, traitorous agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., plots against the United States and Hydra...sound familiar?

Hydra vs. the Invaders

Hydra had a history that reached all the way back to World War II.

In a group led by Baron Strucker (a Nazi foe of Sgt. Fury's who first appeared in Sgt. Fury #5 in January, 1964) in Marvel Universe #1-3 (June-August 1998 by Roger Stern and Steve Epting), Hydra faced the World War II superheroes the Invaders (Captain America, the android Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Whizzer) as well as detailing a little of Hydra and the baron's past (like his battle with Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders in Captain Savage #2-4, March-July, 1968).

Hydra did indeed have a history stretching back to World War II!

Hydra vs Sub-Mariner

Why didn't the Sub-Mariner remember Hydra...well, he had lost his memory sometime in the 1950s, and had become a homeless man wandering New York, and before Johnny Storm (the Fantastic Four's Human Torch) found him, Namor encountered the hordes of Hydra and the Fixer (Paul Norbert Ebersol) Thunderbolts -1 (July, 1997) by Kurt Busiek and Steve Epting.  The Fixer joins Hydra at this time (before his first appearance back in Strange Tales #141), and a little of the history of Baron Zemo is detailed as well, and sets up all the villainy that Hydra and its agents start.  It IS all connected!  Hydra has appeared in many more places in the Marvel Universe, and one never knows when they will show up again!

Hope you enjoyed Hydra's greatest hits, and the how the heroes of the Marvel Universe hit them back!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Batman Retro Action Figures Series 2

More Mego!

Batman Retro Series 2

These action figures are exact reproductions of the original ones that were produced by Mego, with cloth costumes and hair! Series two will include Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, The Penguin & Catwoman. Future series will include many more characters that Mego released over the years. Available in 8 inch only.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Captain America: Winter Soldier Reads

With any luck, you've gone and seen Captain America: Winter Soldier at your local movie house.

But, now that you have, you might be wondering...hey, what comics should I read dealing with Captain America that would help me appreciate that movie and find out about the man behind the mask.

Well, here's a few collections for you to check out to help you appreciate the movie!

Captain America's Tales of Suspense

Captain America returned from World War II into modern times with Avengers #4 (March, 1964), but his solo tales in the present started with Tales of Suspense #59 (November, 1964, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby...and Captain America was also in the previous issue, but that was in a battle with Iron Man in Iron Man's feature).

All of Cap's solo Tales of Suspense issues (#59-99)  are gathered in the first Captain America Omnibus, along with Captain America #100-113.

These stories are all written by Stan Lee, with art in most issues by Jack Kirby (Captain America #110-113 were drawn by Jim Steranko).

These tales include basic retellings of Cap's origin (as well as the origin of the Red Skull), as well as the first appearances of Batroc (Cap's savate fighting foe), Agent 13 (Sharon Carter), the Sleepers (robotic agents of the Red Skull working in the here and now), some flashback tales to World War II with Cap's partner, Bucky and the evil Baron Zemo (who created the rocket that sent Cap into the ice and Bucky plunging to his apparent death), working in the here and now with Nick Fury and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and even facing Madame Hydra (who would later be known as the Viper) and her Hydra agents (and quite a bit more not mentioned here!)...this takes us almost to the introduction of Captain America's friend...the Falcon!

Captain America's High Flying Friend...the Falcon!

Sam Wilson first met Steve Rogers while he was in exile, and fighting the Red Skull, but Steve and Sam became fast friends (starting with the tale in Captain America #117, September, 1969 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan).

Sam even got a costume out of the deal (though a rather nasty green and orange one)...becoming the Falcon (who, along with his bird, Redwing) joined Captain America for many adventures (and even sharing cover billing starting with Captain America #134 through Captain America #222, getting his more familiar red and white costume in Captain America #144, December, 1971).

Falcon even had a few solo adventures, and if you want to read those (his first solo, from Marvel Premiere #49 (August, 1979 by Mark Evanier and Sal Buscema) as well as his first mini-series, Falcon #1-4 (1983-1984), where Sam faces a Sentinel from X-Men and Electro, who is Spider-Man's foe...being a one man Marvel melting pot...tying together plots from Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past...well, if those franchises were part of the connected Marvel movie universe....)....then you would want the Avengers: Falcon book (which also tells a little of Cap's history with Falcon, and stories from Captain America #117-119, #220 and #276-278).

Captain America's Spy Support....the Black Widow

Natasha Romanova started her career as a spy for the KGB, and faced Iron Man (starting with Tales of Suspense #52, April, 1964 by Stan Lee and Don Heck) and even recruited new hero Hawkeye to help her against the armored one...

Hey, what does this have to do with Captain America?

Well, from Avengers #43-44 (August-September 1967, by Roy Thomas and John Buscema), Black Widow (along with Captain America, Hawkeye and a few other Avengers like Goliath, Wasp, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) have to deal with that past and the Red Guardian (a Russian version of Captain America).

You can find these tales in Marvel Masterworks: Avengers Volume #5...where Hercules joins the Avengers (and you find a little history of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, which will help you get ready for the next Avengers movie, Avengers: the Age of Ultron as well as many Avengers villains you haven't seen on screen yet!).

Black Widow didn't spend much time in Captain America titles in the 1960 or 1970s, instead pairing with Daredevil after a short run of 8 issues in Amazing Adventures didn't work out...(and sporting her more familiar jumpsuit gotten in Amazing Spider-Man #86, July, 1970 , and she finally joined the Avengers at this time with Avengers #111, May, 1973, while battling Magneto!).  Find her first appearance, the Amazing Spider-Man issue, all 8 of her Amazing Adventures issues and Daredevil #81 in Black Widow: The Sting of the Widow as well (but Cap is not to be seen there...)

Captain America At His Best

A great run of Captain America stories by writer Roger Stern and artist John Byrne is gathered in Captain America: War and Remembrance.

Collecting the stories from Captain America #247-255 (July, 1980 to March, 1981), these stories fix a few problems that have cropped up over Cap's (and Marvel's) long history.

Many things happen...
having Captain America in an adventure with Dum Dum Dugan (an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as a former Howling Commando) against the Machinesmith (and old Daredevil foe, as well as Magneto and Baron Strucker?), a fight with Batroc (and another old Cap, Daredevil and Thor foe...Mr. Hyde), a little work in England against Nazi vampire Baron Blood and helping Union Jack (a friend of Cap's from his days in the Invaders....a group of World War II heroes, that included the Sub-Mariner, Bucky and the original android Human Torch), as well as one of the more comprehensive retellings of Cap's origin (and even a possible run for president for Steve Rogers?).

About the only thing missing was the Red Skull (but his presence was felt...oh, and one more thing was missing....).

Captain America: Winter Soldier

All these issues...and still nothing about the Winter Soldier?

Well, they do tell that tale...kind of.  But, you need to read the two volumes of Captain America: Winter Soldier, collecting Captain America #1-14 from January, 2005 to April, 2006) by writer Ed Brubaker and artists Steve Epting and (Michael Lark and Alex Schomburg for flashbacks).  These stories tie a good deal of what has gone before together...while also introducing the Winter Soldier (and who he is rocks the very Marvel Universe to its very core, taking an event that people thought was...and making it into something more!).

Reading all those previous stories give you a better understanding of current events (and why who the Winter Soldier was was such a shock to poor Steve, in the comics, it had been quite some time before he had to deal with that issue!).

Still, there are many more tales around (times when Steve wasn't Captain America...

...being instead the Nomad or the Captain), his fight against Deathlok, his battles against Hydra, the Secret Empire, the Serpent Society, adventures with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury, dealing with the legacy of others who took over as Captain America, and oh so many fights with the Red Skull...but, hopefully, after reading these tales you'll want to search the others they are all connected and winter is here and Captain America soldiers on!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Batman Retro Action Figures Series 1

From Figures Toy Company, reproductions of Batman Mego action figures!  

Batman Retro Series 1

These action figures are an exact reproduction of the originals produced by Mego.  Features 16 points of articulation, cloth outfit, & plastic utility belts.  Comes in a resealable plastic clam shell.  Figures in this series include Batman, Robin, the Joker and the Riddler.  Available in 8 inch only.  First of many lines!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Six Million Dollar Man Bionic Comics

"Gentleman, we can rebuild him.  We have the technology.  We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man....Better than he was before.  Better.  Stronger.  Faster."

If you were a child of the 1970s, that coda lead you into an hour of adventure (regular episodes from 1974 to 1978) with Colonel Steve Austin...the Six Million Dollar Man.  Steve was a cyborg, who had a bionic arm, eye and two legs, and was assigned missions for the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence, a branch of the United States government) by Oscar Goldman (his friend and boss, and the reader of that statement opening the episodes).  On the television of the time, the Six Million Dollar Man was the closest there was to a super hero (the Incredible Hulk show didn't start until 1977, though episodes were written of that show by Kenneth Johnson, who also wrote for the Six Million Dollar Man; and we were nowhere near the current explosion of live action comic book super shows like the Spider-Man, Flash, Human Target, Birds of Prey, Painkiller Jane, Smallville, Arrow, Constantine, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Flash again!). 

Col. Austin even went the opposite way...and headed into the world of comics!

Six Million Dollar Man Comics

At Charlton, there were 9 issues of the Six Million Dollar Man comic books from June 1976 to June 1978.  Issues were written by Joe Gill - #1, 4-9 and Nicola Cuti - #2, drawn by Joe Staton - #1-6, Demetrio Sanchez Gomez - #5-7, Pat Boyette -  #7 and Fred Himes #8-9, and had covers by Joe Staton - #1, Neal Adams - #2, Hector Castellon - #3, Jack Sparling -  #4-6, and Fred Himes #7-9. 

During these issues, Steve faced spies, robots, sharks, dimension hopping villains and even a mad scientist using his Kenner action figure against him! 

Sadly, reoccurring series foes like the Bigfoot or Mars Rover did not make the transition into the comic books...but in the days pre-DVD, this was the only way to relive adventures of your favorite hero!

Six Million Dollar Man Magazines

Due to the Comic Code Authority, and a desire to expand into the magazine market (and these were the days before the internet, so information behind the scenes on TV shows was limited), Charlton also published the Six Million Dollar Man magazine, which had 7 issues from July 1976 to November 1977, and though the covers were in color, the stories inside were in black & white (and had a slightly more adult feel to them...).

Issues were written by Joe Gill, - #1-4, 7 Nicola Cuti - #1-3, 5, 6, Mike Pellowski - #1-7, and George Wildman - #6, drawn by Continuity Associates (Neal Adams, Steve Austin, Terry Austin, Joe Barney, Joe Brozowski, Rick Bryant, Karin Daugherty, Dick Giordano, Klaus Janson, Bruce Patterson, Carl Potts, Mark Rice and Josef Rubinstein)  - #1-3 and Jack Sparling - #3-5, #6 and 7 by the Jack Sparling Studio and had covers by Neal Adams - #1 and #2, Jack Sparling - #3, and Earl Norem - #4-7 as well as features on Lindsay "Jamie Sommers" Wagner and Richard "Oscar Goldman" Anderson in #1 and behind the scenes features (necessary in the pre-internet days, mostly on series star, Lee Majors)!

The magazine even had articles of the Bionic Woman...Jaime Sommers!

Bionic Woman Comics

Charlton kept up with the Bionic universe by adding a Bionic Woman comic, starring Jaime Sommers!  It lasted 5 issues from October 1977 to June 1978, with art in all issues by Jack Sparling...but no writing credits to be found!

Mostly ordinary adventures here...but never with Steve and Jaime teaming up (which they did on the shows, mostly to face the Fembots and the aliens behind Bigfoot).

Return of the Bionic Man (and Woman) to Comics

Steve Austin returned to comics as the Bionic Man for Dynamite Comics in August, 2011, with comics based on the original series written by Kevin Smith & Phil Hester, with art by Jonathan Lau (one cover by Alex Ross based on the magazine's first cover), based on an idea for a Six Million Dollar Man movie by Kevin Smith.

This series included Steve, Jaime, Oscar, Dr. Rudy Wells..even Bigfoot!

It also spun off a Bionic Woman comic, lasting ten issues from April 2012 to July 2013, and a mini-series, The Bionic Man vs. The Bionic Woman, of five issues from January to May, 2013.

These weren't quite the classic Lee Majors' Six Million Dollar Man....but at least it gave the fans what they were looking for, more adventures of the whole bionic family!

And then...

Six Million Dollar Man Season Six

Dynamite picks up where the TV series ended, and starts Season 6...with the Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 comic!  Issue #1 is written by Jim Kuhoic and art by Juan Antonio Ramirez, with covers by Alex Ross and Ken Haeser!

This story also introduces the Kenner toy-line character of Maskatron to the TV version of Col. Steve well as an alien menace!

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin is back...Better, Stronger, Faster!