Review: Solar: Man of the Atom #5

Phil Seleski still can’t break out of the spectral form, so he’s acting as guide to his daughter, Erica.  She’s been infused with the Power of the Atom.  After encountering a hostile alien threat, the two abscond to an ally planet where the Quinlons may hold the key to recharging Erica.  Things run afoul, and the duo find themselves on the outs once again. Solar05-Cov-DoeThis is a solidly okay issue.  Not good, and far from great, the story progresses along in the typical clichéd ‘hero without his/her power’ motif.  Since no rules have been levied upon the Atom power prior to this, the loss of energy feels more like a plot convenience than a calculated weakness.  Green Lantern always had to charge his battery, either every twenty-four hours or so.  That and the weakness to the color yellow came and went; however, the limitation had been defined.  If Solar started in issue one or two with definitive rules governing power usage, I would be buying this story no problem.  Since it doesn’t, I’m somewhat let down by the whole deal.

Nevertheless, the comic has been rather entertaining to read.  Despite Erica’s poor dialogue, she has been a decent fish-out-of-water type.  We need a little something more to endear her to readers, but she has been a strong individual adapting to a radical change in her life.  As a duo, her and her father make a way cool team.  The comic would benefit from more awkward father/daughter moments, though.

Continuity note: Gold Key and Dynamite shit the bed when they changed Erica’s costume in this issue—well after the costumed heroine made an appearance in Doctor Spektor #3 last month.  Somebody needs a better editor.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Frank J. Barbiere Artist: Jonathan Lau Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/17/14 Format: Ongoing; Digital/Print