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Solar: Man of the Atom #2

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By Frank J. Barbiere, Joe Bennett, Kelly Fitzpatrick & Mauricio Wallace

A better title for this book might be Solar: Family of the Atom. Character and plot development is the main drive of this issue. The tensions and problems inherent when one’s father is a science revolutionary is the focus. Dr. Phil Seleski’s daughter, Erica, and son, Colin, are confronted with different challenges as a result of the ending of the first issue. Dynamite Entertainment made a good choice giving Barbiere and Bennett the reins to this Gold Key title.

In the wake of last issue, the Seleski siblings are faced with unique challenges. Erica finds herself confused and anxious. Her brother, Colin, is confronted with a financial crisis. Colin’s story thread has the potential to affect the course of the book, however, the father-daughter relationship appears to be the book’s main thread.  Barbiere makes a bold move using Erica as the centerpiece of  the second issue of Solar: Man of the Atom. Making Erica as a vehicle for most of the issue’s narration is an excellent tool to help readers comprehend the situation. Barbiere’s setting the foundation, both in plot and characterization, for future issues. There are scenes that appear to be setting up for conflict in future issues. There is an attack at the end of the issue by what appears to be the story arc’s antagonist, however, the motivation is unclear. The part of the book that does pay off is Erica attempting to make sense of her situation and her eventual discovery at the issue’s end.

Erica’s adventure is made exciting by Joe Bennett’s expressive art work. The facial expressions and body language that Bennett gives Erica enhance the emotional impact of the script. Bennett’s art is as versatile as the script. The action and transitional sequences are given depth thanks to Bennett’s realistic and detailed art. Kelly Fitzpatrick and Mauricio Wallace colors provide a sense of urgency and excitement when required by the script. Bennett, Fitzpatrick and Wallace make accommodations in the art style to compliment the script. Flashback sequences have a distinct tone and shading while a board room scene is portrayed in cold dark colors and sharper lines.

While the first issue of Solar: Man of the Atom focused on Dr. Seleski’s cosmic equations, this issue shifts to a father-daughter equation. Not many books on the market are tapping into the  tensions and issues in the family dynamic. The foundations laid this issue gives the title promise of what might be a unique and interest read. The decision to take the book in this direction pays off and makes it an interesting and unique read.

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