Review: Solar: Man Of The Atom #3
A BOLD NEW STEP FOR THE GOLD KEY UNIVERSE! Solar is reborn! But who bears the mantle and what will become of the original Doctor Solar? Can this new player stop the extraterrestrial threat that looms over earth, and not destroy herself in the process? Cosmic-fueled chaos comes from FRANK BARBIERE (Five Ghosts) and JOE BENNETT (Iron Man)!
Solar: Man of the Atom becomes Solar: Woman of the Atom this month with the release of the third issue of Dynamite’s relaunched series. The story is written and lettered by Frank J. Barbiere and has a team of artists including Joe Bennett, Richard Case, Roger Robinson, Matther Marks, and Sandy Jarrell. Mauricio Wallace and Luigi Anderson double team the colors. Solar has had an interesting start, but is the third time the real charm?
Erica recently reconnected with her estranged father only to find out that he is the mega-powerful Solar. While that’s bad enough, her dad Phil blew up and somehow transferred his powers to Erica. While recovering in the hospital, Erica was attacked by aliens and quickly discovered she had no control over her powers and now Phil is a ghost-like apparition floating around her and offering advice. With nowhere to turn, Erica has to find Phil’s old lab assistant Preston in the hopes of getting something resembling answers to her current predicament. There really is no rest for the wicked considering there are more aliens coming for Erica. What really happened to her? Why are aliens after her anyway?
Barbiere writes a solid issue this month. We start to get into what makes this Solar different from the past and Erica starts trying to come to terms with what happened to her. While we only get hints at answers, things are starting to come together and make a tighter story this time around. The army of artists severely hurts the book though. Each one has a nice style that would serve an entire issue well, but when added together for a 23-page stint, it comes off feeling inconsistent and jarring. You go from more detailed art to a more open and cartoony style with a turn of a page. There isn’t any narrative reason for the changing tones and styles either. It ends up hurting the story and makes some characters unrecognizable. Wallace and Anderson give the story some sense of continuance with the colors. The colors look almost creamy in a sense and the bright hues gives the book a really unique, trippy look when Erica ends up using some of her powers.
Bottom Line: Solar: Man of the Atom is a better story that is undone by inconsistent art. While each artist turns in good work, the constantly changing styles feel too jarring and distracts from what’s happening in the story. 2.5/5
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