Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Classics - Doctor Solar #7

For a brief time, Gold Key Comics actually had several comics based around heroes - or in this case, their only "real" super-hero - Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom.

This issue, cover dated March 1964, features two Solar adventures and a prescient science feature with Professor Harbinger.

All three features hold up pretty well to today's standards. The first Solar story begins with the ocean levels around the world dropping quickly. Solar's investigation takes him to the bottom of the sea, where he discovers aliens are stealing water by compressing it. Solar's solution to the problem is quite dramatic and surprisingly final, considering that most heroes at the time tried to avoid killing the bad guys. The story also doesn't show us the world-wide devastation that would follow the reversal of the alien's plans - but you can't have everything.

The second Solar story involves a comet being guided into colliding with the Earth. It's all part of a plot to destroy Solar - and it nearly succeeds. Our hero's solution is partly ingenious - and partly silly - but it's all in good fun.

The feature with Professor Harbinger is interesting because he predicts the problem of having to much space junk in orbit around the Earth. It's a problem that's come more into focus in recent years - they've had to move the International Space Station several times to avoid a possible collision - so it's interesting to see it discussed in the early days of the space program.

I enjoy these Solar stories. Their science can be shaky at times (and solid at other times), but they're loaded with imagination and they're visually striking. What's not to like?

Grade: B


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