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Kickin’ It Old School Review: Solar, Man of the Atom #5

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It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! This week, I’ll be discussing Solar #5.

Solar, Man of the Atom #5

Published in January 1992
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by Ernie Colón
Inked by Ian Akin
Colored by Knob Row

Synopsis

Now that all three aspects of Solar are back in one person, he is trying to figure out how to balance being Phil Seleski with being Solar. After the event that transpired, the research center where he works is being overlooked to ensure avoiding another disaster. Doctor Rusk of the NRC will be taking that roll, but there’s something funny about him, particularly when Solar looks beneath the surface and discovers that his physical structure isn’t human. Solar talks to his therapist friend, Big John, to gain perspective and plays the hero, helping to rescue some children from a house fire. Big John helps him decide to trust his instinct and he departs to investigate Dr. Rusk.

Solar finds Rusk in an office building filled with other similar creatures. When he confronts him, a huge fight ensues. Things finally settle down and Solar is able to ask some questions. When he realizes he’s just being lied to, he catches a ride thought the phone line to discover who the creatures on the room are communicating with. He pops out of the other end to discover spider-like aliens, who almost succeed in destroying him.
Solar takes his last opportunity to split and get back to the research facility to get the nuclear energy necessary to recover. He’s attacked by Rusk, but is able to recover and get the advantage, but Rusk slips away. Solar goes to talk it out with Big John, then heads into space to confront the fleet of space ships that the aliens were communicating with.

The Alpha and Omega insert (part 5) touches on Phil Seleski trying to reconcile the power he’s just been given while being contained and controlled by the doctors from the research facility who have to make sure he isn’t a danger to anyone.

Review

I’m already excited for this first story of Valiant’s Solar. I felt like the first arc was Valiant drawing in Gold Key fans, paying homage to the past, and transitioning the character into what they wanted to work with. Solar is now that character and things can get much more interesting.  These spider aliens have already been established as sneaky and very dangerous, so this is looking to be quite the fight.

One thing I found interesting about this issue is that the cover is taken directly from a panel in the comic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. It’s a great image and sets the tone of introspection that represents Solar’s psyche at the moment. The cover is drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith while the rest of the book is drawn by Ernie Colon. The internal panel has very minute differences.

Kickin’ It Old School: Solar, Man of the Atom #4

Originally from ValiantCentral.com

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