Review: SOLO #1

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SOLO #1
Written by Gerry Duggan and Geoffrey Thorne
Art by Paco Diaz, Israel Silva
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 12, 2016

Love a merc with a heart of gold? Marvel is bringing you a Solo you may not know in this exciting new comic series!

Duggan and Thorne give me mixed feelings in this first issue. I wanted to like this. It has all the best components of a Retro B-Grade Action Flick. It’s about a loose canon underdog antihero that doesn’t play by the rules who kicks terrorist butt when he can, but gets most of his cash from mercenary gigs. He’s the wisecracking kind of smart idiot that everyone underestimates and should be dead by now if not for a ton of luck and actual skill people gloss over.

There are a lot of funny scenes that I really love. I love the usage of redactions. The job at the beginning was fun. There’s this one particular scene where a group of mercenaries believe Solo’s a dead man and told him to run far away. Solo teleports halfway through one of the mercenary’s sentences and the mercenary says “Or that. That works too”. I want to like it so much, and there is a fun atmosphere to it.

And yet, I cannot fully say I like it because there is something very dated to the comic. It bothers me that they use the cliché of a man in charge forgetting to say “her” and have the only woman in the room correct that person. It’s 2016. Do we really need to keep using that? If they remembered to have the woman correct Dum Dum, why can’t they just have Dum Dum say “her”? It bothers me that Solo continues to call Catita a name she is not okay with. She specifies that she does not like the nickname Cat, and it is implied that he keeps disrespecting her choice to not be called Cat, yet he keeps doing it, even when he’s talking about her. It bothers me that he acts as if she can’t very well kill any man who looks at her the wrong way since she is an ex-mercenary with actual skill as well. She can fight her own fights, and her story about Madrid proves that. It bothers me that no one in the mercenary bar is a woman. I get that Solo is an outsider in the bar, but that doesn’t mean women can’t be uber bulk weirdo mercenaries that think of Solo as part of gentrification. It bothers me that I can distinctly feel that I was not the audience these two were trying to write for even though I love idiot action heroes that nobody thinks can actually survive the job.

Diaz’s art is amazing. The action scenes are fantastically done. There’s a fluidity to Solo’s actions during those scenes which are great. Diaz’s skills in drawing muscles is very impressive, though, the way he shows ever single muscle on agents who work for S.H.I.E.L.D. make me think those outfits must be very uncomfortable, especially if you can see a person’s butt crack. I’m also slightly confused by the fact that the only freckles Solo has are in an area of his face covered by his mask, but I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt and say you can’t do much about that if that was already part of the character’s design.

I think my favorite piece of art from his work in this issue is definitely Baron Peepers, that dog’s so adorable, especially in his top hat. My favorite page was probably the splash that introduces the audience to Solo, the background is incredible and the colors done by Israel Silva make it even more beautiful. Silva’s coloring throughout the issue is wonderful.

This is the first issue, so I say try it out for yourself. I am going to read the next issue, so it’s not like I’ve been dissuaded from the series, don’t take this as me thinking this is not a comic you should take some time to read. I’m always an optimist, so I believe Solo can definitely become a fun comic with a lesser-known character that doesn’t make me feel like I don’t belong to the group that should be reading it. Because I do want to read a comic like this. I really do.

The Verdict: 8.0/10

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