By Dustin Cabeal
Solar Flare has several things working in its favor. The familiar concept is one that it always ripe for new interruptions and the art, while overshadowed, is detailed and strong enough to support the plot. That isn’t to say that Solar Flare is perfect or without faults, but with any comic you want the strengths to be more noticeable than the weaknesses.
The story is pretty straightforward, but it’s presented in an interesting way. We start in the future and work our way backward. This isn’t to say that the ending of the comic meets back up with the opening either, not it’s more like backward moving segments that coordinate to give the reader a snapshot of the world. It both works and doesn’t, while it does give some intrigue into what’s happening in the future of the story, there’s just not enough context at the moment to appreciate anything presented.
Once the story starts moving backward it become more interesting. The main character is a strange bird. The rest of the story focuses on showing what a great guy he is to everyone in his life. He’s a great friend and trustworthy investment banker, he’s a dedicated dad, and a thoughtful AA sponsor. It’s weird because clearly, his life wasn’t all together at one point, but he still comes across as the perfect man. He’s even considerate of his super rich Vegan friend that doesn’t have his own plane. What type of super rich guy are you! The story goes a bit too far to show you just how damn good this guy is, but at least they show it as much as they tell it.
The art, again, is overshadowed. Given the plot and the name, it’s forgivable, but it does end up making the issue look dark. I read it on a table and turned up the brightness just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. The art is detailed, photorealistic and an overall great fit for the story. The coloring is a bit muted and could do with some more vibrancy, which would help the darkness factor as well.
Usually, I don’t go in for “they’ve cut the power” future stories, but the way this one is being presented is just different enough that I’m going to stick with it. I’m curious how the main character will continue on his path or if he’ll be more humanized as the story goes on. Time will tell, but at the very least Scout Comics has managed to grab my attention yet again.
Solar Flare #1
Writer: James Haick
Artist: Branko Jovanovic
Colorist: Song Ye
Publisher: Scout Comics