Review: Solar Flare #1

Taking a leaf from the idea of an outside influence changing the world, this new book from Scout Comics trawls some familiar seas.  As the issue opens we are treated to a world of darkness, where only a select view have the ability to work the night and therefore possess some level of power.  From there it’s flashback (should that be flare-back?) time as we play catch up to the present.

Writer James Haick is plotting for the long haul.  This is refreshing to see, showing that he has confidence in his story and the publisher’s aim to get the whole story out there. Generally, fans of this type of story fall into to two camps; the ones who want to understand what has happed to cause the disaster and the ones who just want to see the human interaction.  Books like The Walking Dead clearly fall into the latter, where shows like Heroes meandered through the human condition and started dabbling in the origins of the powers.  It was at this point viewers started to leave.  Haick will have to be careful that the same doesn’t happen here.  From the title and the interspaced flares it seems obvious what has happened.  So obvious that Haick has to focus the first issue on the character of his crisis-drama.  The cast is fleshed out with the usual stereotypes but is done with enough style that if feels well meaning rather than cliché.

The art by Branko Jovanovic is stylised to a fault.  It reminds me a lot of Michael Gaydos’ work on Dark Circle’s Black Hood book.  Flicking through the pages, there is enough hints that the art has a photo referenced feel, with the faces feeling familiar if not immediately placed.  Still, the figure work  and camera angles go someway to add drive to a comic which is essentially a talking heads book.  Colorist Song Ye does a fine job, giving the world a heavy, dark and used feel, even before the lights go out!

With the number of disaster books out there, it is increasingly hard to come up with something unique.  It is possibly due to the sheer dearth of these types of books, that makes the loss of technology seem a tad original.  After all, at least it’s not zombie’s!  Still, Haick and Co will need to be on top form to build on the solid foundations, laid by this first issue.

Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars

(W) James Haick Iii (A) Branko Jovanovic (CA) Song Ye
Publisher: Scout Comics


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