Solarman Signing at Jim Hanley’s Universe (NYC)

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Last week a momentous event occurred in the history of comic books.  Perhaps it was overlooked by most, but for me it was an occasion to celebrate. In all of the 35 plus years I’ve been reading comic books, not once have I ever read a superhero story set in my old home town of East New York in Brooklyn, New York–and if anyone knows of any others please let me know.

Then, yesterday, to keep the party going, Joseph Phillip Illidge and N. Steven Harris were on site, at Jim Hanley’s Universe (32nd Street, New York City location), to sign and promote their premiere issue of Solarman from Scout Comics.

I asked Illidge why East New York for our new hero’s home. His reply: (1) It has never been done before and should have; and (2) It’s the last holdout neighborhood in Brooklyn that has not been gentrified (I can testify to that if necessary, but with time that can change fast).

This latest iteration of Solarman is a far cry from the original (the character was created by David Oliphant and Deborah A. Kalman, and published by Marvel Comics as a two-issue series written in 1989 by Stan Lee with art by Mike Zeck). The Ben Tucker of today is a much more relatable character (a street-mart Black superhero hacker versus the historically dweebish artist), who can navigate the tough streets of East New York with aplomb, even if he has to take a beating every now and then. Plus, for the first time ever, the alien incursion begins in E.N.Y.

Get yourself a copy, you won’t regret it. The writing is solid, and the graphics are superb; and if your local comic book shop is out, then order it directly from Scout Comics.

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