The father/daughter duo from Solar: Man of the Atom might be my favorite team in all of comics.
Can the latest issue continue to impress? Is it good?
Solar: Man of the Atom #7 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Last issue, which was only 2 weeks ago, the female Solar AKA Erica ran into some hampster aliens who are taller and way smarter than our measly pet versions. They were making art of Erica and she found them lovable, so it really sucked when she found out their sun was going to explode and kill them all. In an attempt to save them she recharges their sun, but draws attention to herself from a culture of aliens her dad kinda pissed off years back. This issue opens with Erica snooping around on their ship and figuring out what to do.
The joy of this series is twofold – the first is writer Frank J. Barbiere’s ability to keep things always moving and changing. The man must have a million ideas because the plot always thickens and changes fast enough to keep the reader on their toes. The second is the father/daughter relationship which reads in a very genuine way and allows for plenty of humor and drama. I was a bit worried last issue when Erica makes her dad disappear, but thankfully he joins her again in this issue. The plot however slows down which leaves this issue dwindling a bit.
The issue opens with a flashback to when Erica’s father took out the aliens she’s currently wandering around. These aliens want revenge and Erica may have to atone for her father’s sins. The meat of this issue is between Erica and a robot that seems to think she is his mother. It’s cute and serves as a way for Erica to have some idea of where to go and what to do, but it drags the story down. There’s no action and her father isn’t around enough to give us that customary humorous moment. The robot, in all his Jack Kirby looking awesomeness, does give the issue a resounding character moment for Erica which will undoubtedly prove important for her moving forward. That said, it reads too much like setup than an enjoyable read for this issue.
The artwork is by Ere, and it looks pretty darn good to say the least. I do love how they draw the special effects emanating from Erica when she uses the Solar powers and the layouts help convey the nature of each scene very well. Need a panel showing characters strolling and talking in a relaxed manner? This comic has it. Need a two page spread to convey the threat of the enemy blowing up? Got that too. There’s one beautiful page that has Erica’s dad floating in his ghostly form on the top left hand side and Erica standing on the right, with their dialogue and panels in between. This is mise en scene if I ever saw it, as there’s still a divide between them despite the nature of the conversation. Great stuff.
Is It Good?
Another good issue that doesn’t live up to the fun of previous issues, but sets up what could be a really awesome conclusion for Erica as she tries to make her way back to Earth.