Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Joe Bennett
Colors: Lauren Affe
Covers: Juan Doe, Bob Layton, Garry Brown, Stephen Mooney, and Ken Haeser
Review by Scott Keys
In the past, I’ve mentioned my love of the Gold Key characters, and Solar is one of those characters that I’ll follow to whatever publisher has the license. Over the years, Solar’s tales have been hit or miss (more miss in recent history), but I’m pleased to say that Barbiere and Bennett have a HUGE HIT on their hands!
Solar has always been a science-based hero, I mean, his moniker is “Man of the Atom” after all. But I have to say that Barbiere’s take on Solar is by far my favorite take! It’s no secret, I’m a geek. A science geek and a comic book geek. I’m not ashamed, in fact, I’m rather proud of both. And as a fan of both comics and science, I was ecstatic to see Barbiere embracing the science aspect of Solar and in the depiction of how he uses his powers.
Instead of the traditional thought bubbles telling us how our hero is using his powers, we are treated with the math and science behind them. I know, some people won’t “get it,” per se, but the fact that Barbiere integrated it into the being of the character and his outlook on super-heroics fascinates me! Sorry, must be the geek in me. Another bold move is having Solar already established and basically “killing” him in his first story. I know this will pay off, and Barbiere has yet to write a bad book, in my opinion!
I couldn’t think of a better artistic fit for Barbiere’s take on Solar than Bennett! His classic style and crisp lines are perfect for our scientist turned hero. Bennett’s style lends itself well to this world that straddles the mundane and the fantastic. They way he portrays Solar’s powers are as fantastic as the nice character moments! And the colors by Affe are another great fit, adding that extra depth of field and emotion necessary for this story. Solar’s aura is a brilliant touch, and the explosive ending was superb!
In my opinion, Dynamite is 3 for 3 with the Gold Key relaunches, and Solar: Man of the Atom #1 sets the bar even HIGHER for future releases! Barbiere, Bennett, and Affe’s take on Solar is one of the most entertaining takes on the character I’ve ever read!
Story: 5 / 5
Art: 4.5 / 5
Overall: 4.5 / 5
Scott Keys is a father, Butler University grad, pharmacist, and full-time comic nerd. You can follow his adventures around the spinner-rack and his Incoherent Comic Book Ramblings on:
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