April 29, 2009

Solar, Man of the Atom #11 [1992]

Ditko is credited with breakdowns for the 22-page story "Justifiable Homicides" in this early Valiant comic reviving the old 1960s Gold Key character. Ted Halsted does the finished pencils, and Golzalo Mayo inks, so you can imagine with that many hands in the art not a huge amount of the Ditko comes through, but there are a few spots where it does, and the overall storytelling is clear.

The story is all in the middle of some longer tale, so it isn't really that clear to someone not reading the whole series.  You have Solar, who apparently got turned into living energy in an accident, being attacked by a bunch of not very interesting young kids with names like Fort, Jolt, Sponge and Rock, who have been misled by someone named Harada into thinking Solar is a menace.  He's defended by someone named Gilad (the Eternal Warrior, I think), who has a history with Harada.  Most of the issue is taken up with that fight, which ends with a dramatic phone call, and then there's the set-up for some sort of crossover which took up the next two (non-Ditko) issues of the title.

Ditko was doing some decent work around this time, but Valiant really didn't seem to know what to do with him, and tended to bury his work with some lackluster inking, with a few exceptions. The stuff's worth checking out, but I'd probably recommend his issues of MAGNUS before this.


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