Review: Solar Man of the Atom #10

Written by Frank J. Barbiere
Art by Jonathan Lau
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

In physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be converted into various forms. In the world of Dynamite Entertainment, their treatment of energy is no different from the laws of physics, particularly when it comes to Solar power.

The power of Solar, Man of the Atom, has been manipulated by multiple publishers dating back to the 1960’s. He was first seen, as Doctor Solar, in October 1962 to be exact, under the Gold Key Comics emblem, and his title lasted until 1969. Four more issues were published with the Whitman logo between 1981 and 1982. He was rediscovered in the 90’s during the first incarnation of Valiant, followed by Acclaim Comics, and picked up again by Dark Horse not too long ago.

I know what you’re saying. If Solar is such a great character, then why has he been juggled by so many publishers? My answer: having energy is one thing, but knowing how to use it is another. In the 1960’s, comic book readers enjoyed other energy based characters such as Charlton Comics’ Alien Adam, who would eventually become Captain Atom and subsequently integrated into DC Comics. Also during that era, there was another energy-based character that went by the name of Nukla, from Dell Comics (if you don’t know who the heck Dell Comics is, or was, they were the comic book powerhouse during the 1950’s). Let’s not forget another character, Dr. Manhattan, of Watchmen, who was partly based on DC’s Captain Atom. These were all great characters at point or another, but throughout their existence, Solar has survived beside them.

Now, Dynamite Entertainment wields the power of Solar, Man of the Atom and they have converted it into a force that’s much more efficient and relevant for modern times. This book is not just about the “Man” of the Atom, in case you haven’t been keeping up; it’s also about his daughter, Erica. She received a portion of Dr. Phil Seleski’s (Solar) power after he failed to contain his near limitless powers.

Image from Solar, Man of the Atom #1

Remember what I said about energy being destroyed? It can’t happen. The same is true for Dr. Phil Seleski. He didn’t perish. He changed into something different, and so did Erica. While they were getting accustomed to these changes, their relationship also began to change. Erica wasn’t too fond of her father to begin with, but throughout the series, we see them slowly come together as a family and functioning as one unit.

In issue #10, Erica meets a powerful magician, Dr. Spektor, and he brings news about what her powers really mean, informing her of the cosmic doors that were left open by Dr. Phil Seleski’s research. To make things more interesting, Erica and Phil are joined by Colin, Phil’s son and Erica’s brother. He too possesses a portion of Solar’s might. The best is saved for last in this issue when we see the return of Solar’s nemesis…

In closing, this was a fine issue and it has been a fun series to read overall. Frank J. Barberie is doing excellent work on Solar. He has brought us an enjoyable humanized cosmic adventure that’ll make this series quite memorable indeed. If you’re looking for a good use of your reading energy, then Solar is the book for you!

Until next time!

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