SOLO #1

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Written by Gerry Duggan and Geoffrey Thorne
Drawn by Paco Diaz
Published by Marvel Comics

With all of the pre-publicity for the new series MOSAIC, this little series, which is co-written by Geoff Thorne, and is debuting the same day as that series, has been a bit overlooked.

I’ll confess that I had never heard of this character before, and thereof knew virtually nothing about him before buying this issue (which I did solely on the strength of Thorne’s name), other than the fact that he has been previously attached to Deadpool in someway, whose increased popularity is what lead to this series.

The subtitle THE ONE MAN WAR ON TERROR gives the hint that this is an “action” book. What we learn throughout the course of this issue is that Solo’s real first name is James (and I think his last name is Humphrey, as he is referred to by both in this issue), and he’s a mercenary/soldier of fortune. He has an ex-girlfriend (who happens to be a Black woman) named Cat, who apparently used to be a fellow mercenary, but has since retired since she gave birth to her and Solo’s baby boy. Solo takes mercenary gigs partially to help support Cat and their son.

The issue begins with Solo in the middle of breaking into the high-tech lair of a classic Marvel supervillain, and coming across multiple armed guards during this event. It’s also soon clear that Solo is prone to mistakes. But he gets the job the done, albeit just barely. Afterwards, Solo is recruited by Dum Dum Dugan of S.H.I.E.L.D., who hires him for new top secret mission, in which he is to rescue a possibly compromised undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. But, unbeknownst to Solo, he has been chosen not so much for his skills, but rather for his expend-ability…

It’s a solid first issue, action-packed with well-written dialog which helps fill us in on just the right amount of information needed to follow the story. The back and forth between Solo and Cat (which takes place via phone while Solo is in the middle of his opening mission) helps establish their current love-hate relationship. Solo also happens to have a bit of a wiseguy sensibility, although not quite as jokey as Deadpool (or Spider-Man), but it’s clear that he loves what he does. And although no superheroes appear in this movie, there are a few Easter eggs which firmly establish that this series is set in the mainstream Marvel universe. Paco Diaz’ artwork and pacing are also pretty good, helping the story flow along.

If you like action comics, then you’ll probably like SOLO, it’s off to a good start. B+

SOLO #1

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