Comic Publishers

February 27, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: Dr. Solar, Man of the Atom #5

Dr. Solar, Man of the Atom #5
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Jim Shooter
Art: Roger Robinson and Agustin Alessio

Dr. Solar, Man of the Atom hit stands this past week from Dark Horse with issue #5, which presents us with two stories, “Revelation Part One: That Day of Wrath” and “Solar Rise Part One: Saboteur.”

In our first story “Revelation Part One: That Day of Wrath,” we meet someone far more evil than the god sprung from the mind’s eye that Solar has been tangling with so far; we meet Tanex Curo, CEO and corporate businessman. He is not a god, he is more frightening: he is a human who wishes he has the power and wealth of a god. To blow off steam he buys people from third world countries and uses them as human punching bags until he punches them to death. He is a creation of a free market system gone wrong. After being hooked up to an experimental avatar-machine, Curo somehow accidentally keeps receiving all the experimental data, and not only can he now create explosive black holes, he now possesses computers beyond computers worth of data, including the knowledge that Dr. Solar is really the red-suited superhero. This couldn’t have come at a worse time, for Dr. Solar is just trying to get back into the groove of the real world. It’s bad enough everyone at his research facility is bothered he’s alive and looks 20 years younger and they want to run tests, but when his world collides with the newly powered Curo….

In the second tale “Solar Rise Part One: Saboteur,” we get the origin tale of Dr. Solar and how his pursuit of playing with energy and black holes led him to eventually be reborn as the man of the atom. The tale lays out and explains the experiment and its dangers in detail, on which Solar’s team embarks. The whole twist is when Dr. Bently seems to purposely enter the experiment chamber and Solar chases after him, all while Curo behind the scenes takes interest in all this (bringing Solar’s origin full circle with this new villain introduced in the first story).

Normally I wouldn’t be a fan of a double arc starting, one with his origin explaining the events before the previous issues, and one with what happens after the previous, however being that the tales are so tied together with the new villain, it works perfectly and it makes sense why Shooter has decided to go this direction. Anyone who had fears of how Shooter wold live up to the coolness of Shooter’s first Dr. Solar story arc can find them put to rest. His double-barrel past and present story concept works with a hip-charm, and the villain Curo is truly a demented, starkly dark character, hitting an emotional note with readers for the mere fact that while a god is still pure fantasy, a corrupt CEO on a power trip is fully real, and these types of people who long for power walk among us in everyday life. Shooter shines in this issue. The art on the first tale by Robinson is great to look at and his layouts are an enjoyable counterpart to Shooter’s writing. I was really taken with Alessio’s art on the second tale. The art is honestly hauntingly beautiful. Alessio has brought the grim memories of Solar’s past to the sci-fi/horror level a transformation like his would really be. The scenes as him and Bently are slowly pulled apart inside the reactor were these dark visuals that you couldn’t take your eyes off of that will stick in your mind, almost like watching Akira for the first time. I look forward to seeing more comics with art by Alessio.

Dr. Solar, Man of the Atom #5 has hit stands, and honestly I’m more taken by the series now than I was with its first four wonderful issues. Somehow the team at Dark Horse is just making this title better with every great issue. Pick it up now.

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Drew McCabe
drew@comicattack.net

E/N: A copy of this comic was provided by the publisher for review.

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2 Comments


  1. Billy

    I’m a big fan of issues doing things like this (two stories, one is an origin). I think I actually like it more than the traditional “first issue origin”.


  2. Eli

    I’m glad we’re getting away from literary creations that come to life. This current arc looks to be very interesting.



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