Comic Books #58: The Six Million Dollar Man

The Six Million Dollar Man, vol.3 no.9, June 1978
Script: Joe Gill
Art: Fred Himes and Pat Boyette
I thought it might be fun to take a walk through a relatively random comic from the seventies.  The Six Million Dollar Man (T6MDM) comics were released by Charlton and ended when the TV series ended.  There was a magazine version which was B&W and a bit more "adult" (with contributions by Neal Adams and Howard Chaykin), but this is the standard color comic. There's nothing particularly extraordinary about it, but it's still a lot of fun.  Let's dive in!

So, Steve is nearly knocked out of his Speedo by Michele Marcoux.  I'm not sure how he wound up on his ass in the middle of the Aegean Sea, but all that swimming must have dulled his reflexes.  That roundhouse kick to the chops came without a fight.

How did Steve Austin get to be such a degraded embarrassing mess? Let's go back in time...

Yes, something IS wrong with Oscar Goldman's fair haired boy (God that sounds homoerotic).  Spike, Steve's expert instructor, is making him his little bitch.

If you remember the TV series, Rudy Wells was the bionics expert/doctor who worked with both Steve Austin and Jamie Sommers. I'd like to have a seen a T6MDM spinoff "Spike & Rudy" : one's a hard-boiled tough-guy, the other's an eccentric academic - can they work together?

Well, it's a moot point.  Rudy Wells is missing!

It's after midnight but Oscar is still in his suit and tie? And yellow is probably not a good color to use to demonstrate it's midnight. But then, yellow is apparently the default background color in T6MDM.

So, the original O.G., Oscar Goldman, tells Steve he could've told him in the morning.  He seems pretty put out about it, too.

Wait, what?  Rudy's been missing for 62 days, and Oscar was going to tell him in the morning? Jeez.  The man's been gone for two months!

Time for a brief commercial interruption.  Stay tuned. T6MDM will return in a moment.

Gotta pay the bills.  Sea Monkeys keep the lights on, if you know what I mean.

So, Steve scouts around (something the O.S.I. should've done 60 days ago).  As it turns out, Rudy was last seen in the back of a man's car.  I guess our pencil-thin mustached villain slipped Rudy a ruffy.  God only knows what took place later that evening on the private jet.

Please, if I go missing, don't wait sixty two freaking days to start looking.  Anyway, I'll take a deep breath and move on from this point.  So, the private jet belonged to criminal mastermind Stavros Kopodouris.  Apparently, he's in league with the two deadliest criminals in all Europe - Michele Marcouz and Nikki Pareche.

Good Lord.  With these names, this comic is getting harder to read than a Tolstoy novel.

And here he is: Mr. Kopodouris himself.  Sort a cross between Dr. Evil and Dr. Detroit.

After Kopodouris' lair was attacked, his henchmen, Nikki and Michele were injured.  However, they had the recently raped Rudy Wells make them bionic! Way to go, Rudy.  Why don't you just give them the location of the Rebel Base on Hoth while you're at it.

I find this panel hilarious.  Steve Austin, our hero, emerges from the sea, sees a beautiful woman in a bikini, and completely spazzes out. Get a hold of yourself, Steve!

Back to where our story began - with The Bionic Man being getting his Speedo clad ass handed to him.

So, our hero is taken to Kopodouris' secret torture dungeon, where he runs into his old pal Rudy.

No, dammit.  Not that Rudy, this Rudy....

Poor Rudy's been traumatized; a shell of his former self.  Even so much as hearing the words "Bring out the Gimp" sends him into sobbing convulsions.  Sixty two days is a long time to be Kopodouris' play toy.

I've often heard that The Most Dangerous Game is the most repeated plot in film.  I'm not sure if it's true, but here it is.  Once I learned that it's such a common archetype, it seems like I'm seeing it everywhere, from Get Smart to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale.

The Six Million Dollar Man will be right back after this brief commercial interruption.

We now return to Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man.

Michele pretends to befriend Steve and set him free.  Little does he know that that oh-so-common archetype is about to get real.  There's nothing in this world Kopodouris would love more than to hunt some beefcake through though woods.

At least Michele gave him some clothes.  The thought of a sweaty Kopodouris pursuing Steve running around in his Speedo might be a tad much.

Meanwhile, Kopodouris saunters down for a little one-on-one with Rudy, but Rudy will have none of it.  He's had enough of being this fat ass' man slave.  He puts the beat down on Kopo and escapes. Evidently, Rudy is a lot more badass in the comic than on the show.  They've even drawn him to resemble Viggo Mortensen.

So, two bionic henchmen versus one ex-bionic hero - who will win?

Rudy Wells to the rescue.  Somehow, in the midst of this battle, he has a chance to reset Steve's fuses.  I guess Nikkie and Michele more or less just stood around and watched their foe's powers restored.  A tactical mistake.

And just like that, it's over.  No explanation, no nothing.  In one panel, Steve Austin throws Michele on top of Nikki, and the next panel everyone's arrested.  WTF?

I thought they should have said Rudy installed Nikki and Michele's bionics with an expiration date; thus giving out in the midst of this battle.  Something to explain the ease with which Steve took them out of commission..... and Kopdouris was taken out by Rudy Wells for chrissake.

These are the worst freaking villains in the history of comics - and yes I'm including Mxyzptlk in that calculation.

But why were Steve's fuses blown in the first place? Turns out this was all the master plan of Oscar Goldman.  He knew that if he made Steve's bionics go bye-bye, Steve would go in search of Rudy to restore them.

In other words, Oscar assumed that Steve wouldn't give a flying f**k if Rudy was missing for 62 days, unless he gave him a selfish reason to go find him.  Wow!


back cover


  1. More plot holes than a piece of Swiss Cheese!

    Now how's about showing us that allegedly racy B&W magazine version?


  2. AnonymousJuly 11, 2013

    Y'know, there are guys who pay good money to get their asses kicked by a hot girl in a bikini...

    1. That is how I paid my way through college.

  3. Wow! 50 brand new towels! What kid could resist?

    1. I know, right? And a steal at only $1.45! I want to know more about the $5.95 Gas Attack too!

    2. So who would you sue if you were in a gas attack and found the mask did not work?

  4. Hmmmm... Seems like maybe they just chose the writing from some Six Million Dollar Man fan and tossed it together. I, too, would like to see what makes the B&W version racier!

  5. Kopodouris looks like Clint Howard when startled.

    1. Don't forget the earlier appearance of George Hamiltan driving the van with as Rudy Wells kidnapped in the back.

  6. Hey, what happened to Michele's nose in panel 11?

    1. I guess her bionic nose had fallen off. But evidently it was quickly restored.

    2. Maybe that's why Steve shouts "WHA?" A noseless woman would be pretty startling.

  7. Thanks for sharing this comic. Great as this comic is the best part is the back cover - A Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys fan club? If I had known about it at the time I would have joined in a heartbeat.