After last week’s interesting cliffhanger, Bionic Man #22 offers a disappointing follow-up. It’s not completely useless, but a few major flaws make it, at times, just far too much. What that is, exactly, is hard to pin-point, but it’s not Bionic Man.
The official description from Dynamite:
When a foreign scientist wishes to defect to America, Steve must infiltrate a highly secure research facility to get him out. He’ll have the help of OSI’s newest (and strangest) employee… but all the help in the world won’t keep the Bionic Man alive if he’s discovered!
This issue is good… in areas. Whilst the idea and cliffhanger from the previous issue are certainly interesting concepts, they aren’t fleshed out very well. What does work the best is the new arc or story teased throughout the issue. Bionic Man #22 is very much swerving into the next arc, bluntly doing what it takes to set up the pieces. For good or bad, it at least keeps things moving by the end.
A lot of the faults can arguably be put down to the writing; some people will have problems with the dialogue. Whilst I praise the more subtle aspects of Aaron Gillespie’s script, such as the reference to the titular cyborg still using wired interfaces, the meta-references almost drown the reader The character of Floyd is far too much. If it’s not his appearance, it’s his meta-internet references… especially to ponies. I get it.. I do, but making fun of that is like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s not original, creative and definitely does not fit into the general atmosphere of Bionic Man.
As for the visuals, this is the usual offering from Bionic Man. Ray Villegas’s pencils offer great focus on personal details, which helps a lot in what is a very character-centric issue. Thiago Ribeiro also offers plenty of colors to keep this issue fresh and varied enough to make Bionic Man #22 better to look at then it is to read.
Honestly, I don’t hate Bionic Man #22. The main point still works, even if it is overplayed far, far too much. There is potential for the future issues but, as introductions go, there are better ways to reference real-word stuff than this.