Following the recent launch of Magnus: Robot Fighter, Solar sees Dynamite follow suit with another former Gold Key character. This issue introduces us to Solar (aka Man of the Atom), a character that has, since the demise of Gold Key, moved from company to company with the last being a brief stint at Dark Horse several years back.
The first thing worth mentioning in regards to the writing in this issue is that it is paced very well, at times coming across as cinematic. The dramatic moments such as Solar’s initial reveal hit just about the right spots. Bennet’s artwork does a fantastic job of updating the world of Solar, inserting the largely unchanged character into modern setting, which seems like the best medium when compared with A) Setting the book in the past or B) giving Solar a modern look (i.e lots of lines and body armour).
My main criticism here is that the themes dealt with in this issue have been touched upon before by other atomic-god-type heroes, There are shades of say Doctor Manhattan within it, in my opinion… from the lab accident to the way in which the characters detach from humanity. Granted they lifted most of this from the origin but the themes may not be as relevant today as it was back then. After all, Solar could be argued to be a reaction to the Cold War when there were genuine fears about atomic energy. But not that time has moved on, I want a multi-layered character not just another A-Bomb with a god complex. Is this the latter of the former? Well, it’s too early to say just yet.
In spite of that, this issue serves as a strong opening. Evidently this isn’t an origin book and quite rightly too because that can be easily pieced together or dealt with later as I am sure it will. And rather than bogging us down with the origin, it moves us straight into the story. A wise choice, in my mind.
The writer of this piece was:
Gary Kane aka (GK)
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GK tweets from @Kanoclassic