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 #13

Solar, Man of the Atom #13

Published in September 1992
Story by Jim Shooter and Don Perlin
Written by Jim Shooter
Penciled by Don Perlin
Inked by Stan Drake
Colored by Mike Cavallaro with Knob Row
Lettered by Jade and Joe Albelo
Edited by Bob Layton


All the threads of the story are coming together. Pete helps Solar free himself. Erica initiates the reactor. Albert takes Rai’s sword to make an attempt on Erica’s life. Aric rejoins the group, giving them the power they need to have a chance. What really gives them a chance, though, is what happens after the rehashed parts of the story. Albert uses Rai’s sword to try to kill Erica to no avail. However, it distracts her enough that Solar is able to slip in through her defenses.

As they begin to fight, Erica continues to build in power and it appears that Solar may be nearing his end. As things are looking their bleakest, Solar realizes that he needs to overcome his guilt and unleash his power on Erica. He tries one more time to reason with her, then goes on the attack. After knocking Erica out, he creates an opening into the wormhole in which he was trapped and slides Erica in. As he begins to try to figure out how to stop the reactor, we get a glimpse of the cyclical nightmare that Erica is now trapped in.


After sixteen issues of Unity, we finally get to the epic battle between Erica and Solar that we almost saw at the beginning. This issue did a fantastic job of tying everything together and unifying the story going into the final chapter. Don Perlin’s art was fantastic and Mike Cavallaro’s colors made this issue as beautiful and otherworldly as possible. The change in art style for the final page, Erica’s nightmare, draws us right out of the events of Unity and into Pierce’s soul. Now that she’s been defeated, it’s possible for us to feel sorrow for the abused little girl that has grown into this monster.

Next up is the final chapter of Unity, Unity #1. There are still a lot of loose ends to be tied, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

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

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