Review: MacGyver #1
Welcome to the long-awaited return of MacGyver – co-written by his creator! When an old friend calls for help, Mac becomes involved in a web of industrial espionage, murder and a white-knuckle pursuit across the globe with a million dollar hit on his head! Can he live long enough to save the world – or has his luck finally run out?
MacGyver was a TV show in the 80s, it became a verb, and then it was parodied poorly by SNL with the MacGruber sketches. It seems we have come full circle with MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet, a five issue series by Lee David Zlotoff and Tony Lee. You may recognize Lee David Zlotoff’s name, he created everyone’s favorite troubleshooter. Along with Zlotoff you have Tony Lee. You should know Lee for his fantastic work on the Doctor Who comics, which he recently stepped away from. Can the series creator and Tony Lee on his first big post-Who comic bring MacGyver to life in the comics medium?
The story is pretty straightforward; MacGyver gets an email from one of his old teachers asking for help. He’s in danger and he can only trust one man- his pain in the arse student MacGyver. His old teacher has created a revolutionary new type of seed and wants to give it away for free. You can imagine he runs into some problems with the free part. It quickly develops into a story of industrial espionage and secret agents. MacGyver finds himself smack-dab in the middle of it all. Zlotoff and Lee write a classic feeling MacGyver story while keeping it fresh and new. They go with a soft reboot, making the main character a little younger but basically the same. You have the scenes of MacGyver throwing together weapons and distractions based on what he finds, although it seems extremely conveniently placed items pepper his surroundings at times. One thing that slows the book down is the explanations of what he is doing. You have several scenes of long exposition and word bubbles crowding the page. This is necessary at times since it is a comic, whereas the show afforded other luxuries.
The art by Will Sliney is handled brilliantly. He handles panel layouts and framing as if it was indeed the television show. He has plenty of action to play with as well. The colors help elevate the art even higher, and Ciaran Lucas does a fantastic job.
Bottom Line: MacGyver is back with a bang. You have the classic feel of the show but slightly updated to keep it feeling too “80s.” The story is a little too straightforward, but it sets up what’s needed and seemingly ramps up the action for the remaining issues. As far as licensed books go, this is one of the better ones. I give it a 4.5/5