Monday, December 22, 2014


Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive!
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster!

Charlton Comics published both a comic book & magazine for The Six Million Dollar Man!
Written by Joe Gill & Nicola (E-Man) Cuti and illustrated by Joe Staton, Demetrio Sánchez (House of Yang) Gómez, Jack Sparling & Pat (Peacemaker) Boyette. Covers were done by Joe (E-Man) Staton, Neal (Batman) Adams, Hector (Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves) Castellon, Jack (Pirana) Sparling, Fred (Valley of the Dinosaurs) Himes & Pat Boyette. The comic book was published concurrently with an illustrated magazine.
 When astronaut Steve Austin is severely injured in the crash of an experimental lifting body aircraft, he is "rebuilt" in an operation that costs six million dollars. His right arm, both legs and the left eye are replaced with "bionic" implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision far above human norms: he can run at speeds of 60 mph (97 km/h), and his eye has a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities, while his bionic limbs all have the equivalent power of a bulldozer. He uses his enhanced abilities to work for the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) as a secret agent.
Love this cover, not seen many painted Joe Staton covers!
Unfortunately this Dick Giordano cover was replaced with an E-Man cover by Joe Staton.
The Six Million Dollar Man #1
"The Beginning of the Six Million Dollar Man"
Steve Austin, badly injured in a plane crash, is made into a cyborg and becomes an agent for the OSI.
Loose adaptation of the origin story of the Six Million Dollar Man as depicted in the 1973 telefilm "The Six Million Dollar Man" & the original Martin Caidin novel, "Cyborg". The story differs from the origin story as featured in Charlton's Six Million Dollar Man magazine #1 and the Power Records story "Birth of the Bionic Man".
"The Secret Web" 
After disarming a bomb in Oscar's office (a test), Steve Austin is sent to China to derail a plan to develop a multiple warhead delivery system, but learns the Chinese also are developing a killer robot.
Austin's bionic eye is shown firing a laser beam, something never seen in the TV series or any other comic story, though it will be referenced and used a second time in the text story "No Way Out" later in this issue.
"The Charlton Bullseye"
Subscription ad for Charlton comics. Includes an image of and promo for the magazine Charlton Bullseye featuring cover artwork of The Six Million Dollar Man by Dick Giordano. 
The cover image of Charlton Bullseye #4 indicates a cover story on The Six Million Dollar Man. The actual #4 issue features E-Man on the cover and no story on The Six Million Dollar Man. The Dick Giordano artwork shown in this ad appears to be unique to this promotion as no other issue of Bullseye indexed at GCD features it on the cover. Located between p. 9 and 10 of "The Secret Web". It's a shame, I have not seen the Giordano cover reprinted. 

"No Way Out" 
After test-flying a new aircraft, Steve Austin uses his bionics to get himself some well-deserved R-n-R time.
Text story illustrations reprinted from the other stories in this issue. The story features a second reference to the laser beam feature of Steve's bionic eye, and makes reference to it having been added recently (a reference to the events in the previous story, "The Secret Web").

Love this Neal Adams cover!

The Six Million Dollar Man #2
"The Effigy"
A mad scientist develops a miniature effigy of Steve Austin which somehow takes control of the real Six Million Dollar Man.
This story is notable for incorporating the then-new Kenner action figure based upon the Six Million Dollar Man in a "guest starring role" as the effigy. The final panel of the comic story consists of Steve Austin breaking the "fourth wall" and promoting the Kenner action figure plus the Repair Station and Back Pack Radio accessories. 
"Win A Few"
Steve Austin returns to his home town for a high school reunion.
The location is not stated in which this text story is set, but is assumed to be Ojai (by this point established in the TV series) despite the lack of reference to Jaime (the Bionic Woman) Sommers. Although the panels are taken from interior art from issue #1, an image of Steve running has been altered, replacing the suit and pants worn in the original with a red jersey and jeans.  

The Six Million Dollar Man #3
"Second Chance"
While test-flying a new aircraft, Steve Austin breaks through the time barrier and finds himself several years in the past, with the opportunity to prevent himself from taking the fateful flight that turned him in a bionic man.
Includes a special editors' note thanking the U.S. Air Force for supplying reference photographs for aircraft depicted in the story. The story is rare for including an actual calendar date for when it begins: October 29, 1976. It also establishes Austin's accident as occurring in February 1973, more or less corresponding with the March 1973 broadcast date of the original TV movie. The story also establishes, within the comic book continuity, that both Oscar and Rudy were made aware, in advance, that Steve's accident was going to happen. 
"Forbidden Reef"
During a vacation in Florida, Steve Austin battles a great white shark.
Text story Staton illustrations reprinted from issue #1 stories. This is the third consecutive text story based around the theme of Austin going on vacation.  

Not seen many Jack Sparling painted covers as well! Great stuff!
As seen on TV commercials, Stretch Armstrong!
The Six Million Dollar Man #4
"A Lovely Assignment"
Steve Austin infiltrates a secret meeting of oil dealers to prevent them from aligning with anti-American interests, while meanwhile investigating the apparent kidnapping of a beautiful princess.

"The Ransom"
Austin, upset over being denied a vacation, rescues a kidnapped ambassador.
Text story with illustrations reprinted from #3 and #4 stories, with alterations. Refers to the OSI as Office of Strategic Information (on TV it's Office of Scientific Intelligence). This is the fourth text story in a row about Austin attempting to go on vacation.
"Meet Stretch Armstrong"
Back-page comic strip-style ad for the Kenner Stretch Armstrong action figure. Fun for me to see with a current TV commercial featuring Stretch Armstrong.  

One of my favorite Neal Adams covers! Dynamite!
The Six Million Dollar Man #5
"The Man Who Isn't There"
Steve battles a villain apparently capable of moving between dimensions and finds himself stuck between them himself.
"They're Going to be Collector's Editions"
Ad promoting back issues of Charlton's The Six Million Dollar Man magazine.
"Counter Punch"
Oscar enrolls Steve to compete in the Inter-Service Games, but tricks Austin by apparently reducing the power in his bionic limbs before the competition.  
Text story Staton illustrations reprinted from issue #2 story.

The Six Million Dollar Man #6
"Spy in the Sky"
When a sophisticated satellite is attacked in orbit, Steve Austin is sent into space to repair it and later investigates the group responsible.
Story title unusually does not appear until page 3. 
"Wall of Fire"
Steve Austin rescues victims from an automobile accident.
Text story illustrations reprinted from issue #2 story. One has been retouched. 

The Six Million Dollar Man #7
Steve Austin is assigned to be a bodyguard for an oil sheik and his daughter, and has to protect them after the three are kidnapped.
"The Deadly Image"
After a robot duplicate of Dr. Rudy Wells tries to kill Steve Austin, Austin has to track down the real doctor.
"The Escape"
Steve Austin is kidnapped while on vacation and has to escape an island fortress.
The text story illustrations have reprinted from a story in issue #6. One has been retouched.   

The Six Million Dollar Man #8
"The Final Test"
Steve Austin finds himself in the middle of industrial intrigue when he's assigned to test fly aircraft from two competing manufacturers.
"Crash Dive"
This is the third story of the comic book series in which Steve Austin has to fight (and kill) a shark. The text story includes one illustration of an explosion from an uncertain source (possibly a reprint from an earlier issue?)  

The Six Million Dollar Man #9 
"Match Up"
Steve Austin travels to Greece to rescue a kidnapped Dr. Wells, where he discovers he is no longer the world's only bionic man.
"They are Going to be Collector's Editions"
Advertisement for back issues of Charlton's Six Million Dollar Man magazine.
Text story. After a police officer friend of Steve's is attacked by thugs, Steve impersonates a policeman to catch the culprits.
Austin also impersonates a police officer in the TV story "The Bionic Badge".

The original novel, Cyborg, was written by Martin (Marooned) Caidin. The book is so good that you really believe they can & do, rebuild him! The printing I have here has the kick-ass Boris Vallejo cover! Caidin went on to write three other Cyborg novels: Operation Nuke, Night Crystal & Cyborg IV. These novels I highly recommend, he was an incredibly talented author.

Got the first season of The Six Million Dollar Man on DVD recently, giving me an itch to watch it now. 

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

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