Friday, June 10, 2011

Solar, Man of the Atom

I've been featuring some more modern characters recently and thought I would continue that for the nonce. This character began life during the Silver Age in the early 1960s as Dr. Solar, the Man of the Atom. Originally published by Gold Key, some of the later books have the "Whitman" or Western Publishing Company imprint. When he started his career his name was Dr. Raymond Solar, who was exposed to a massive amount of radiation while trying to rescue a colleague as they were trying to avert a reactor meltdown. The colleague died but Solar gained fantastic powers including the ability to transform himself into any form of energy. In his regular identity he was Dr. Solar, while in his transformed state he was known as the Man of the Atom, hence the title. He appeared in 27 issues of his magazine between 1962 and 69, then was briefly revived in the early 1980s for another four issues. Then in the 1990s he was licensed to Valiant Comics (the art behind the figure is from issue #3 from that series), where he became Phil Seleski, who again was irradiated during an accident and becomes Solar, dropping the doctor altogether. He had quite a run with Valiant, then a shorter one with Acclaim Comics, and then with Dark Horse. I don't know much about those incarnations. At any rate, I always thought he was a pretty colorful character. In his Gold Key incarnation his face even turned green as the Man of the Atom, but I chose to do the Valiant version. The action figure was made using a Toy Biz Cyclops figure, which mostly required me to Dreml off his boots and gloves details and paint him appropriately. Let me say, it's rather difficult painting circles on uneven surfaces and getting that damn civil defense symbol lined up right.

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