You might think the title of this comic is sexist since it has “man” in the title, but you’d be dead wrong, because the real hero is his daughter Erica who just gained the powers of Solar on the last page of the last issue. The title then is a bit tongue-in-cheek, which is perfect for an intelligent reading audience. The first two issues blew me away. How’s issue #3? Is it good?
Solar: Man of the Atom #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
The issue opens with narration of Solar and Erica bickering. Solar wants Erica to fly; all she needs to do is listen to his equations, but she refuses. At the same time we see a giant alien ship and its alien pilot destroyed by a very scary metallic creature. The issue then catches us up with Erica and Solar as they attempt to get the suit for Erica so she can contain her powers. Oh, and Solar is some kind of spirit now. The key to this sequence is that only Erica can hear Solar, which adds a layer of humor and commentary to each scene. A stubborn daughter constantly being badgered by her father all the while fighting a very scary Kirby esque alien….it’s a clever set up and I don’t think there’s anything on the shelves right now quite like it.
Writer Frank Barbiere adds levity to each scene with this dynamic which keeps things light and relatable. Who doesn’t have a parent who corrects them from time to time? Now imagine being told to watch your language just after the Solar suit is strapped onto your body like some kind of liquid goo. Yipes. The plot thickens elsewhere in the story; it’s not all about Erica and Solar bickering, as the bad guys move closer to trying to own the Solar technology. At the same time Erica gets to fight an honest-to-goodness alien monster for her first fight, which is fun and exciting.
”Shut up I’m doing it!”
The art by Joe Bennett continues to tell the story with good pace and interesting layouts. The work looks a tad rushed here—a lot less detailed at times than it has been in the past—but the money shots always look fantastic. The most important aspect of this issue, the bickering father and daughter, is strengthened by excellent facial expressions and body language. You read their frustration in the words, but see it all on the page too.
This can’t be good.
Is It Good?
This is another strong issue in the Solar revamp. The character is made even stronger with his outspoken and cocky daughter and the corporate angle seems to be cooking something up that might offer some surprises.