Review: Solar: Man Of The Atom #1
“This all started with an accident…”AN ALL-NEW CORNER OF THE GOLD KEY UNIVERSE! Flooded with experimental radiation that grants him unbelievable powers, the brilliant-and-obsessive Dr. Phil Seleski seeks to unlock the secrets of the universe, begrudgingly becoming a “hero” along the way. But can a single man be trusted with near-limitless abilities? What will this mean to the ones he loves? And will his choices lead to utter chaos and destruction? Brilliant writer FRANK BARBIERE (Five Ghosts) and JOE BENNETT present the Man Of The Atom as you’ve NEVER imagined!
The next installment of Dynamite’s Gold Key relaunches hits this month with Solar: Man of the Atom #1. The story is written and lettered by Frank J. Barbiere with art by Joe Bennett. Lauren Affe rounds things out with colors. The other new series based on Gold Key characters have been a big hit, but how does Solar measure up?
Dr. Phil Seleski is the Man of the Atom. An accident has given him unimaginable power. He uses those powers for good, thankfully, but something strange has started happening. Phil can’t quite control his powers. His abilities allow him to ‘see the math’ and manipulate chemical equations and the like to bend the world to his will. The math isn’t working out now. Phil is quickly losing control of his powers, and that makes him incredibly dangerous. There’s not much he can do, and his lab assistant has an idea. It’s not a good idea though. It pulls someone into the picture that Phil would rather have left alone. What is happening to Phil? Why is this estranged individual brought back into his life right now? What happens to the Man of the Atom next?
Barbiere writes a great introductory story. The first few pages get things going with explanations peppered in here and there. Later on we find out the real story behind Phil, his powers, and how he came to possess them. There is a mysterious force out there that seems to have some interest in him as well. Barbiere sets up an incredibly intriguing story that has a few echoes of Dr. Manhattan and Watchmen. Bennett’s art is a perfect fit for the series. There is some incredibly trippy art here that has an old school Dr. Strange vibe. It works extremely well with Phil’s powers and makes for some beautiful pages. Those are elevated by Affe’s colors though. Affe helps sell the psychedelic pages with his mixture of brighter and more subdued colors. There’s an almost blacklight poster touch to a few panels.
Bottom Line: Solar: Man of the Atom hits the ground running. Barbiere and company have set up a story that pulls you in and guarantees you’ll come back for more. A big story with nice art makes this one to check out. 4.5/5
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