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, Man of the Atom #10
Solar, Man of the Atom #10
Published in June 1992
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by D. David Perlin
Inked by Stan Drake and John Dixon with Paul Autio
Colored by Mike Cavallaro
A young boy named Geoffry McHenry is taken from outside of his school by his great Uncle Buck. He mysteriously reappears a year later, but he’s able to hear things talk. Four years later, he’s being tormented by the earth calling out for help. His parents take him to a psychologist, but the episodes continue.
Meanwhile, Gilad arrives at the Harbinger foundation to meet with Harada about Solar. Gilad also sees a list of potential Harbingers and recognizes a name, McHenry, which is the name of an old friend of his, Buck McHenry. Gilad goes to release Geoffry from the psychiatric institution that he’s been in for a year. Geoff finds one of his gauntlets in the car, and it tells him all about Gilad. Gilad tells Geoff that he is now a Geomancer, with a gift passed on to him from his Uncle Buck.
They part ways and Geoff heads off following the trails towards Solar, who he believes is the sun demon that has come to destroy the earth. Geoff finds Solar at the same time that Harada’s Eggbreakers are tracking him down. Geoff calls Gilad, but then realizes that Solar is not the evil being that he thought he was. Gilad is beginning to realize that Solar may not be as bad as Harada said he was, just as Harada’s trap is set and the Eggbreakers come rolling in.
This issue also saw the end of the ten part “origins” insert, Alpha and Omega, and it did not disappoint! Dr Pierce and Dr. Dobson use Gayle as bait and wage an all-out attack on Solar. He’s left so weak that he goes to the reactor and busts it open to reenergize, but he’s still not thinking clearly after all that has happened, so he goes into space and opens a wormhole to get to a star, which he absorbs the energy from until it is dead. He returns to earth and to Gayle, and they plan to flee together, but his rampant radiation tears Gayle to shreds in what is probably the grizzliest scene in Valiant thus far. At this point, he loses it, unleashes his powers, and destroys everything.
During this issue, Phil begins to tell Gayle of this prior existence before he is interrupted by Geoff. We still don’t know what brought him back in time to before the reactor malfunctioned, but we now know what he was trying to prevent from happening again. This issue does a fantastic job introducing Gilad the Eternal Warrior and Geoffrey the Geomancer, along with a glimpse of his predecessor, Buck. It’s extra cool to get to this since the current VEI Geomancer is Kay McHenry, tying her into Valiant’s history. Harada’s goons are preparing for a final showdown against Solar, but Geoff’s realization that Solar is not the “sun demon” that he’s been on the lookout for leads me to believe that this battle will not take place, particularly since Unity is right around the corner. The only thing left to ponder is what Gilad will do as the Eggbreakers attack?
Originally from ValiantCentral.com