It’s Friday, and today we’re doing a double dose of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! Today, I’ll be discussing Solar #6.

Solar, Man of the Atom #6

Published in February 1992
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by D. David Perlin
Inked by Stan Drake
Colored by Knob Row


Solar is in space near Saturn investigating the fleet of spider aliens. They send out a troop to combat Solar and, after Solar smacks it around a little, the aliens pull their troop back in, but Solar follows. He views the high-energy spectra to get a better idea of what’s going on and he discovers a human who is hiding from the spider aliens. Solar defends her from some of the aliens then has her lead him to the rest of the humans on the ship. He leads them away from their holding cell, trying to figure out what to do. Along the way, he lays waste to a few more spider aliens, before discovering a lush jungle in the middle of the ship.

There’s no threat from the aliens while they are in the sanctuary. The people bathe, eat, and regain hope. Solar formulates a plan and they are willing to follow his orders now that their hope is restored. They leave the sanctuary and take over sections of the ship, overwhelming the spider aliens and taking their weapons. Solar leaves the rest of the humans in control of the engine room command center and heads to the bridge. There, he finds some of the spider aliens that look human. They tell him their disgust at the humans violating their sacred plants, burning their trees and eating the flesh of the fruit and not only the blood. They reveal that there are many humans held hostage on each of the space ships that will be destroyed instantly if Solar takes any action against them. Then they take action in response to the offense that the humans have wrought against them.

A few buttons are pushed and the engine room is opened to the outside. The humans are sucked out into space and explode. While Solar stands in shock, the spider aliens command him to head back to Earth and find leaders to speak for all humans in dealing with the aliens. To the shock of the aliens, Solar removes his mask, revealing his fury, and unleashes his power to destroy the ship.


This is the first issue that I’ve read that really hit me with a “holy crap” moment.  I’ve gotten used to the current Valiant Universe having lasting consequences after actions and events.  The recent Armor Hunters event had several, including Mexico City being blown up and a giant robot destroying L.A.  The spider aliens murdering all of the innocent people that had been saved by Solar was a huge shock.  Seeing a small child being pulled away from her mother by the vacuum of space as they are flung out of the space ship to their death is horrifying.  I still didn’t expect what came next.

Solar’s decision, and his fierceness as he acted it out, slapped me upside the face while I was still shocked by the innocent deaths.  Before this, his character still seemed quite listless, chasing after what piqued his interest but without even knowing how much it mattered to him in his new state of being.  Now he’s made a firm moral decision, one that will cost many other innocent lives, to fight the evil of the spider aliens the way Wyatt Earp went after the cowboys, killing with extreme prejudice.  This comic was all around fantastic, well written and full of fantastic art, but the ending made it great.  I see why Martin couldn’t wait for me to get to this book, and I can’t wait to come across the next “holy crap” moment in the Valiant Universe.

Kickin’ It Old School: Solar: Man of the Atom #1

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