Rating: 3.5/5 – Solo Just Doesn’t Feel Original.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a comic that stars Marvel’s Solo, or at least I just can’t remember the last time I read one. Solo made his first appearance in an issue of Web of Spider-Man back in the late 1980s and has infrequently jumped around the Marvel Universe, both literally in actual guest appearances and also with his powers. Solo is a mercenary who has the powers of teleportation which allow him to jump from location to location which contributes to him being pretty good at what he does. In addition as explained in this first issue, terrorists were responsible for killing the love of his life, so he’s motivated by his personal feelings of revenge as well.
Since it’s been so long since I’ve read about Solo, he was almost a brand new to character to me and I’m sure he’ll be new to plenty of other readers as well. Unfortunately in this first issue he just didn’t connect with me and that may be because I was expecting something else. This first issue of Solo is a bit heavy on the humor, much of it lost on me. After opening with a scene that has Dum Dum Dugan telling two agents to “Get me…Solo” (hence the wording on the cover), we cut away to Solo on a mission where we find out he’s not as great as he says he is through the use of his internal narrative that occurs throughout this issue. We also find out some personal stuff about Solo which I actually enjoyed, but seems as though this aspect of the story will take a back seat to the action.
I love the fact that writers Gerry Duggan and Geoffrey Thorne have taken a more obscure Marvel character and tried to build a series around him, but after reading this issue, he doesn’t seem all that different from plenty of other characters. He feels like a Marvel hero, or more specifically, closer to a Marvel movie hero. He’s got the tragedy, he’s got a funny sense of humor, and he’s portrayed as the hero you don’t have 100% confidence in. I’d compare him to a cross between Marvel’s cinematic Star-Lord and Ant-Man. For someone who’s a mercenary and continues to fight a war on terrorists, who also just happened to kill his wife, you’d expect a much harder edge or someone who doesn’t feel so…Marvel. In this issue we have him saving a dog wearing a top hat for example…again, just not what I was expecting with a character like this.
The art by Paco Diaz fits the tone of the story and is a great editorial choice for this book. He’s got a clean line and is able to clearly render the action. His design of Solo is really well done considering the all green and somewhat simple suit. The colors are nice and bright, contributing to a great overall look.
At the end of the day though, Solo just isn’t for me and I understand that my expectations wanted and were expecting something else. To me, Solo doesn’t feel original. He feels like a character I’ve read plenty of times before, with a different origin and a bit of different window dressing.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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