Solo #1 review
Shortly after the events of ‘A New Hope’ rogue smuggler Han Solo agrees to help Princess Leia by winning a space race, But the race is actually a cover for a rebel mission in its efforts to defeat the empire… Wait ?! … Wrong Marvel ‘Solo’ book you say! …
Writter:Gerry Duggan + Geoffery Thorne
Artist: Paco Diaz
Colors: Israel Silva
Editor: Jordan D.White + Darren Shan
Mercenary James “Solo” Bourne is down on his luck. Taking low rent jobs like saving pets from the Mad Thinker’s Lab to make ends meet. He is approached by Shield Commander Dum Dum Duggan to assist SHIELD in some trouble spots. Why is Shield approaching Solo? He is expendable.
James Bourne, not joking that’s his name, or Solo as he is more commonly called is one of Marvel’s D listers being called up to centre stage. First appearing in Spider-man book Web of Spider-man 19# and going on to be a somewhat reoccurring character in the early 90’s Spider-man title for a few issues he soon dropped out of public awareness. While he has had cameos and appearances since then, he has returned more frequently in the current Deadpool title as one of the “Mercs 4 Money” (Heroes for hire was copyrighted).
Mercs 4 money was spun off into its own book, which was a great way to capitalize on the current success of Deadpool. Solo even received his first bit of merchandise as a Funko Pop Vinyl for this Mercs line. Marvel is now spinning off the spin offs though with Solo, Foolkiller and Slapstick titles all hitting stands. Now if you did need to spin off one character Solo is the one. He has been the main guy of the group so it makes sense why he was chosen (sorry stingray fans). I do ponder however “was it needed?”
Upon reading this issue my answer is no. At least with the book in the state it is in now. Solo was one of the most clichéd comics I had read in a long time. The worst sin wasn’t that it was horrible but that it all around dull. I normally try to read a book twice for a review. I had to with this because my mind went walkabout on my first attempt to get through it and I had to force myself through it a second time paying attention the whole way through. There is a lot of Word balloons in this book but very little substance or character is within them. Some are also just confusing. Solo is having a three-way conversation with two people who are not visualized on the panel at one stage. It is very difficult to tell whom he is actually talking to at any point. Dum Dum makes a confusing mention about Hitler and his friends are the only ones to call him Dum Dum. It is meant to be a threat about people who called him that being dead but it is just weird to have a veteran comparing his friends to Hitler on any level.
So there is little story here despite all the word balloons. We get a clichéd first issue merc mission that turns out to be retrieval of something personal rather than a weapon or Hostage (in this case a dog named Baron Peppers). Before we get a classic recruitment in bar than back of car talk. Solo is a bit of a blank slate sure and cliché are such for a reason but nothing here will grab you to continue this journey. Not interesting supporting cast, no villain (in this issue at all ! ) , no plot twist, no implications of effecting larger marvel u or even the Deadpool family books.
I like Gerry Duggan as a writer but I fell like marvel slapped his name on the book, or he pitched a base story. Not unlike Bendis on Secret Warriors.
Here is the one plus side I will give this book. The pencil like work was serviceable but nothing great. Some anatomy was not proportioned right though on many panels. The Colourist Israel Silva was top notch on the work here. Some subtle computer effects and great shading went a long way.
All in All
I mentioned the Han Solo book jokingly at the beginning. If you want a solo book than seriously though go read that. I can’t in good faith recommend this book to anyone, even hard-core Solo fans (both of them). Out of all the Mercs books I had hope for this one and if you have read my other reviews you know I tend to lean more to the positive side, so know I don’t take this stance lightly. No one sets out to make a bad comic. Someone has committed time and effort in to creating this book. The final product however does not work. It leaves me in an interesting place. I do not want to read the next issue. Not having anything remotely to do with Spider-man or even Silver Sable I can’t see much reason to keep this around on the front page of Crawlspace. If however you feel it does let me know and if enough people want it I’ll keep reviewing it but for now I’m going to leave it at this one issue folks… and that should say it all