Bionic Man #26, at first, appears to be one of those issues that kicks story arcs off, but it actually makes an effort to deliver a decent read along the way.
The official description from Dynamite:
She has recruited others who are sympathetic to her cause. She has risen to a position of power that will allow her to acquire everything she needs. She has waited patiently as all the pieces have fallen into place. And now the time has come for Margaret Carlisle to set her deadly plans in motion. When she’s finished, there will be nothing left of O.S.I. or the Bionic Man. Issue 24 kicks off an epic grudge match you won’t want to miss!
This issue, in a lot of ways, represents a return to form. It has a core focus on the elements that make Bionic Man good – a small cast, personal back-story and a focus on the technological elements at play throughout the series. Forget your robots and big-foots, this keeps the series grounded whilst still offering plenty to read within.
Aaron Gillespie shows some decent writing here. It’s not ground breaking, but it gets into the story and doesn’t over do the ‘edgy’ aspects. It doesn’t go over the top yet it gives a sense of importance and grandeur – well.. there’s still Floyd but I’ve said all I can about him….
As for the art, this issue has a focus on faces and people, which goes well with Ray Villegas pencils – he has a knack for getting faces into the right expressions. There is a rather macho fight scene in the middle, but it really isn’t down to the art. In fact, the detail makes it quite pleasant to look at. It also goes well with the colors of Thiago Riberio who offers deep and detailed colors. If there’s one thing Bionic Man usually offers, it’s decent visuals. There’s no sloppy cell-shading or plain flat colors here. Visually, it’s the right approach for the title – realistic, but with cinematic depth and color to make it pop.
In short – I’m happy with this issue. It gets so many things right that the few flaws are easily forgivable. Not an issue for Steve Austin fans, however, he’s not in this issue for more than a handful of panels.