Dark Horse Goes Classic

Recently during Comic Con, Dark Horse president, Mike Richardson called a surprise guest to announce Dark Horse’s plans to develop new comics and graphic novels for the Gold Key Comics’ superheroes. Fans were shocked to see Jim Shooter enter the room; the man recently named the “Steve Jobs of Comics” by Comic Book Bin.

Shooter is perhaps best known for his nine year tenure at Marvel Comics, beginning in 1982, with highlights including Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on the Uncanny X-Men, and Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil. Also under Shooter’s editorial reign, Walt Simonsen revamped The Mighty Thor and made it again a bestseller. Following his successful run at Marvel, Shooter launched the well-received Valiant comics imprint in the early 90s, bringing many of Marvel’s creators with him.

Now, Jim Shooter comes to Dark Horse as head writer for the re-launch of the Gold Key Comics characters: Turok, Son of Stone®, Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, Magnus, Robot Fighter, and Mighty Samson, with further characters and new comic writers to be announced shortly.

I just reviewed Doctor Solar man of the Atom the first in the Editions of the re-launch of the Gold Key Comics characters. I liked because it had the same mystic as the original release of the character back in 1962 but in the flavor of the readers of the 21st century. Very modern in the understanding of Sci-fi in todays readers. The recreation stays true to the roots of the Man of the Atom but in a new fresh perspective of a super human that has near infinite powers with the frailties of being human.

Doctor Solar 1965

One of Gold Key Comics’ most popular titles in the 1960s, the original nuclear-powered superhero reached legendary status by the 1990s in new comics from Valiant. The original classic comics now appear in hardcover anthologies published by Dark Horse Comics. In the new series Michael Komarck provides out standing cover art for the extraordinary comic. While he is new to comics he is not new to illustrations. He has created stunning illustrations for Bantam, Dell, and other publishers. His digitally painted work is stunning and is very good. Check it out at komarck.com and see what I mean.

Dennis Calero does a great job with the inside art. Noted for his work on X-Men Noir books from 2008 and 2009. Also he did Legion of Super-Heroes for DC. Dennis is noted for a superb use of light and shadow and a photo-realistic illustration. He can be found at denniscalero.com.

The writer is Jim Shooter and looks like a good start of a very talented story teller. Like any good first issue, Solar meets his first nemesis, and, in a roundabout way, this part of the comic points back to an analysis of the concept of Doctor Solar. The enemy is Leviathan, a purple-suited, perpetually hungry man with enormous muscles, who rampages through the city stealing food. His fights with Solar, however, are not as interesting as the way he came into existence. When Solar first acquired his powers, he used them to rewrite just a tiny little eight-second period of time that had caused him some embarrassment. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize you don’t play God without understanding, so he doesn’t know it’s an awful idea to go messing around with time. This alteration shot a reality-altering wave through the universe, and it happened to hit a writer of science fiction and fantasy, causing some of his characters to come to life. Leviathan is one of them. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, and, even better, it is good to see the comic setting itself up as one with real consequences for its characters’ actions.

Doctor Solar 2010

Magnus the Robot Fighter will be released in August. The recreation of these wonderful heroes will be great to watch for a new generation of readers. I hope it brings back the feeling of awe that I felt when I first read these Gold Key stories in my childhood. Let me know what you think. See you at the comic shop. Stay tuned comic faithful for More. 🙂 Walt