Review: Solar Flare #1

Where were you when the world went dark? The world has been plunged into darkness and society as we know it has launched into chaos. Jake Clifford was just a regular guy, a man trying to achieve greatness in his career and a father doing his best to be the man his daughter deserved. That is, until a solar flare makes contact with earth, wiping out all electricity and modern technology with one fatal blow. Now Jake must adapt to this new world, hoping to one day be reunited with his daughter who was states away when the lights went out.

Apocalypse stories are a dime a dozen at this point, so to stand out you either need to present it in a new way or do something really solid with the material. Writer James Haick III doesn’t necessarily give us something new, but what he does do is present it in a way that the story feels fresh and interesting.

The first issue of Solar Flare is a slow build to the collapse. The various players on the board are introduced and situations set up enough that we care about who they are and how they’re connected. But, beyond the relationships, Haick focuses on building tension. I knew the basic idea before reading this, but even with that I could feel the intensity build until that final page when things hit. This is the 15 minutes of the disaster film before the disaster hits, but instead of just setting up the situations the various characters will need to overcome there’s also a focus on setting and vibe.

That’s the thing I really enjoyed with this first issue. We know electricity and electronics are about to go bye-bye, but there’s a subtle focus on what that means without being in our face about it. And through pages dedicated to a countdown of sorts those two combined really builds the setting and situation.

Branko Jovanovic’s art adds to it all. There’s a nice focus on technology without things being over the top and we get to see how much of it is in the various characters’ lives. Haick and Jovanovic form like Voltron to emphasize what’s about to happen without beating us over the head with it. The characters all look different as well. There’s no cheats here, each person is unique in their own way and distinguishable.

Solar Flare #1 is a fantastic start of a disaster comic whose focus on tension and the build pays off by the end of the issue. I can’t wait to see if that continues throughout the series, but no matter, this is a great issue to start things with.

Story: James Haick III Art: Branko Jovanovic Cover: Song Ye
Story: 8.50 Art: 7.95 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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