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Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom Archives Volume 3 (v. 3) Hardcover – December 27, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Here's a real cold-war comic. Doctor Solar is a scientist working at an atomic laboratory when an accident in an atomic pile converts his body to atomic energy. But instead of dying, he becomes the Man of the Atom, endowed with incredible powers of flight, speed, and more, even though it prevents him from ever leading a normal life with Gail, his object of affection. Originally published by Gold Key in 1966-1968, issues 15-22 find our hero traveling through time to prevent a doomsday bomb, fighting microbe invaders from outer space, and battling archvillain Nuro and his cybernoid henchman Orun. Also complicating matters is the arrival of Gail's nephew Hamilton, who suspects Doctor Solar's secret identity. --David Horiuchi

From Publishers Weekly

While Marvel Comics' stable of neurotic and dysfunctional superheroes dominated the newsstands of the 1960s, the Gold Key imprint's somewhat more genteel spandex jockeys offered an intriguing alternative to their more successful contemporaries. This volume collects the long out-of-print adventures of cult favorite Doctor Solar, whose vast array of atom-spawned powers is formidable to a sublime degree. It's a fascinating look back at a Cold War über-mensch and the naïve optimism regarding the potential benefits of atomic science. Solar's abilities are constantly put to the test while battling a giant volcanic monster, thwarting James Bondian megalomaniacal masterminds, and robot spies, repelling an invasion of extraterrestrial microbes—prompting the hero to spontaneously shrink and replicate like his minuscule foes—and even jumping forward in time to witness the end of the world and then traveling backwards to prevent mankind's doom. These exploits are all presented in a manner so quaint and straightforward that today's reader is quickly swept up in its rather stodgy retro appeal. Recommended for historians and students of mid-1960s pop culture. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • Series: Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593073747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593073749
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,167,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I never read Gold Key Comics as a kid. I didn't know who Doctor Solar was until he was resurrected by Valiant Comics in the early 90's. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this Archive Edition published by Dark Horse Comics. This hardcover edition reprints issues 15 - 22 of the original, Gold Key Doctor Solar series from the 1960's and presents readers with a fascinating character. In his introduction, Mike Baron refers to the art of Frank Bolle as scratchy, but if you compare Bolle's art to a lot of the stuff from Marvel and DC of the same period and I think it holds up quite well. It's certainly superior to say Don Heck and some other Silver Age artists.

One thing that stands out in these tales written by Paul S. Newman is his knowledge of science, specifically physics and nuclear physics. Newman isn't Stan Lee inventing contraptions like the Ultimate Nullifier. Clearly he either had more than a working knowledge of nuclear science or at least did his homework. He may have take his plots to the fantastic, but he seemed to have built them on a solid foundation of actual science. I don't know that I've ever read comic stories from the Silver Age that had a better grasp of scientific principles. Of course, I suppose this could have worked against the book if readers found the material to be a bit over their heads, though. Throughout most of the stories in this volume Solar is plagued by his arch-nemesis Dr. Nuro, who bares more than a slight resemblance in both looks and character to Lex Luthor.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the third archive volume of Gold Key Comics' strange atomic superhero.

Gold Key (an imprint of Western Publications, thru its subsidiary "K.K. Publications) was an overall strange comic book company. Most of its products were licensed titles (tv shows, Disney, Walter Lantz, Tarzan, etc). It did do some original stuff (Magnus, Brothers of the Spear, Dr Spektor, Tragg, Dagar), including Doctor Solar. But, as usually, they did them different. All the adventure titles had full painted covers. They really didn't do any straight superheroes. Doctor Solar was probably the closest, but even then he was different. First off, Solar is his real name, "Man of the Atom" is his superhero name.

With all of these stories, his true foe is the mysterious Nuro. His main henchman is Uzbek, but in this volume, Nuro has a new favorite: the android Orun (who seems to be a copy in some respects to an android seen in the first volume). Orun soon supplants Uzbek, to the point that Uzbek betrays Nuro and his killed for his troubles. Nuro is an interesting, James Bond-style villian. Is he working for some world power (doesn't appear so)? In #16, his men are decked out in interesting uniforms, but we no longer see these uniforms in subsequent issues.

An interesting cliffhanger issue is the last story in the volume, where surrounded by various nations out to stop him, Nuro transfers his mind into Orun, and becomes "King Cybernoid". What is bizarre is that Nuro is almost a 'passenger' in Orun, as Orun still has his personality.

Another new character is also added toward the end of this volume: Gail's nephew, a student at MIT, whom Solar needs to distract from learning his dual identity.
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