Review: Solar: Man Of The Atom #2
In the stunning wake of Issue One’s shocking climax…where is SOLAR? What will massive doses of unstable radiation do to his family? And even if they survive, what horrors are lurking in the stars? It’s cosmic-fueled fantasy from the hit team of FRANK BARBIERE (Five Ghosts) and JOE BENNETT (Iron Man)!
Dynamite continues their Golden Key relaunch this month with the release of Solar: Man of the Atom #2. The story is written by Frank J. Barbiere with art by Joe Bennett. Kelly Fitzpatrick handles colors and Mauricio Wallace contributes lettering. The first issue really got things going in style, but was that just a one hit wonder?
Erica reconnected with her father, Phil, but it was short lived because he exploded. Eric found out that her father was the mega-powerful being known as Solar. When Phil convinced his daughter to come to his lab and talk to him, he ended up going critical and blowing the entire area sky high. Eric survived the explosion and the radiation with absolutely no negative effects. She wakes up in a hospital after being in a coma for 24-hours. Things were strange before, but when she awakes it gets even stranger. What are those voices in her head? Why did her father need her? What did he need her for anyway?
Barbiere writes a transition issue. We were introduced to Solar, his powers, and his family in the first issue, but now we’re learning more about Erica. We get glimpses into her childhood and learn more about her life and what makes her tick. We can pretty well figure out what is happening to her in the present, but it seems that’s being held back until the very end. Barbiere writes Erica as a quirky and foul-mouthed lady. Language doesn’t really detract from a comic, but the constant proliferation of the ‘#!&’ is a little much at times. Erica walks, and occasionally crosses, the fine line between quirky and just plain annoying and the aforementioned problem doesn’t help her any. Bennett’s art is the real standout of the issue though. There’s a real 80s/90s vibe to the visuals that really works to the book’s benefit in the last section of the story. Bennett presents interesting characters, a very snazzy Solar, and some impressive (maybe) robots. Bennett’s art is elevated by Fitzpatrick’s far-out colors. Things get really psychedelic when powers start getting used. It takes some already great art and turns it up to 11.
Bottom Line: Solar: Man of the Atom has an amazing opening, but it settles back in to a standard issue after that. Barbiere has an interesting take on Solar, so it will be worth sticking around for a while just to see where things are going. 3/5
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