When you have two title’s very closely related, a cross over is inevitable. This is the case with Bionic Man vs Bionic Woman #1 from Dynamite which, as the name clearly suggests, is a cross over between Bionic Man and Bionic Woman.
The official description from Dynamite:
Steve Austin joins forces with the FBI to track down a mysterious, seemingly-bionic, serial killer. But when the Bionic Man disappears, only Jamie Sommers has a chance to find him. But if their paths cross, will it be as friends, lovers…or mortal enemies. Welcome to ARTIFICIAL (part 1 of 6). Nothing will ever be the same!
First of all, this series takes place before Bionic Woman; the little notes on the inside cover explain all of this, although not everyone reads those. Regardless, this story focuses on the titular characters of Steve Austin and Jamie Sommers. As with any cross over, there’s a general plot that takes some time to develop. This, unfortunately, makes Bionic Man vs Bionic Woman #1 a little underwhelming at times.
To put it simply, Austin and Sommers don’t even meet, yet alone come to blows, in this issue. As such, there are two separate plots that feel like standard issues for each respective series, more or less.
Steve Austin’s tale is set when he worked for OSI, so its a little different to the current character in Bionic Man. That said, its not very different. He’s investigating a giant monster that takes away parts of people; not too dissimilar from the bigfoot arc that’s just closed in Bionic Man #15. Obviously, this is plot exposition and the writer’s setting up the narrative. Its a little obvious, but seeing Austin back when he was in command is certainly interesting for long-time readers.
As for Sommers, her side of the story isn’t shaping up that well in this issue. Many of the complaints I could make here are the same regarding Bionic Woman #1 and the earlier issues; Sommers is easily introduced as a sex symbol, before being shown as capable or intelligent. Throw in a generic plot regarding generic villains and you have a weak introduction that still serves the character little justice.
This is unfortunate, because this crossover has a lot of potential, since it basically fills in any blanks of the shared universe the titles share. Considering the characters have a history that’s already been shown, and not least of all in the original TV shows both titles are based off, the future of this short cross-over is certainly interesting.