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Saturday, October 13, 2012 

What if the new MacGyver comic is more anti-2nd amendment than the original TV show?

The new comics series from Image based on MacGyver has premiered, with CBR writing about it, and if there's one thing I'm curious to know for now, it's just what its political slant could be like. They say:
Published by Image Comics with input from the original TV series creator, Lee David Zlotoff, the new comic resets the character to being a younger man living in modern times for a philanthropic organization who has a curious relationship with the ladies and hates guns but can come up with quick explosives. Something like that. There's a larger storyline about a mysterious third party who's put a hit out on MacGyver, who now needs to run from that while trying to save the world through best agriculture.
What can be bothersome about that is the revelation that the series apparently had more of an anti-gun stance than they'd be willing to admit in the past: as author Ben Shapiro's book "Primetime Propaganda" told a year ago, according to one of the co-producers, Vin diBona, it did have a liberal bent to it. I've seen all 139 episodes of the 1985-92 series plus 2 telefilms broadcast in 1994 and even an unsold pilot for a "Young MacGyver" series filmed in 2003, and reading about all that years after it concluded, I can't say I was particularly happy to learn that. It's something I hadn't thought about for many years, but thinking back, I know that there were 2 stories that really bothered me in retrospect: season 3's "Early Retirement", where the Phoenix Foundation is willing to do security business with the leader of a fictional mideastern country who may be sponsoring terrorist organizations, and Pete Thornton was willing to give him the benefit of doubt while the company's intel director had other ideas like interrogating him with lethal chemicals, and no sodium pentothal (so much for a chance to fully admire the interiors of Pete's own apartment!). That story was just plain embarrassing. The other episode, which ties in more to the series' stance on firearms, was season 6's "The Gun", which told about the search for a pistol that was used to assassinate a politician and then went on to be used in more crimes. One of the crooks who hoped to get a hold of this tool, curiously enough, was a mideastern arms dealer. But the anti-firearms stance here was much more blatant than anything I'd seen in other episodes and spoiled everything. There's definitely something wrong with a story where one of the leading crooks is the one to make the sensible argument that it's not guns but people who kill other people.

It's a shame they had to go out of their way to take that position, because as a series produced during the tail end of the Cold War, it did have stuff to appreciate. But now, 2 decades after the series ended and a comics series based on it is just beginning, one can only wonder if this new comic will end up furthering the anti-gun messages even more noticably than the TV show ever did? In the USA Today report, it tells that:
...at least the three core elements of the hero have made it into the series, Zlotoff says:

"Don't pick up a gun. Mainly avoid conflict."
Not even in self-defense, if it boils down to a question of "me or the foe" or even as a last resort if the hero's life is in serious danger and it's the only effective weapon around to stop a deadly villain with? Geez, I may have already answered my own question! Even superhero comics of decades past don't typically go the route that this looks ready to follow. Another problem here is that this looks to be far less family-friendly than the TV show if that panel with a neck-breaker says something. And according to Player Affinity's review, the artwork is a real letdown. This adaptation, unfortunately, does not look to be something that'll hold up well.

An interesting aside, while star Richard Dean Anderson may have once been fine with the original series' anti-gun stance, he pretty much turned around when he became the star of the Stargate series for nearly a decade and toted firearms with no problems. I wonder how the producers of MacGyver feel about that?

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Having recently reviewed it, I though the artwork was pretty good. My only complaint was MacGyver having a five-o-clock shadow. As for an "anti-gun" stance, there is a note that MacGyver hates guns but he still tries to bluff some otherwise well-meaning Interpol agents (after dealing with a fake one earlier) but that's pretty much it. That could just be establishing his character.

What future issues will do I really can't say. It depends on how blatant Zolkov and Tony Lee want to be.

It was pretty good

toronto magician

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