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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 227

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at one of the best issues of Solo, the one done by Paul Pope…

Enjoy!

The brainchild of Mark Chiarello, Solo was always one of those books that, right from the get go, it seemed too good to be true. A book where the greatest modern artists DC Comics had could just do whatever they wanted for a giant-sized issue? How cool is that?!? And it was extremely cool – it just did not sell particularly well. Enough to get 12 glorious issues (over two years, as it was bi-monthly). Sadly, DC has never collected any of the issues of Solo (outside of reprinting stories FROM issues of Solo in other collections that are appropriate, like Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale both had their Batman-related stories reprinted in Batman-related collections featuring work by Cooke and Sale, respectively).

So Paul Pope’s Solo…

It opens up with a striking re-telling of the story of the Minotaur in the style of John Gardiner’s Grendel, where your sympathies in the story fully lie with the Minotaur…

The next story is a re-telling of the first issue of OMAC, as a tribute to Jack Kirby. Paul Pope certainly does have the dynamic style worthy of riffing on Kirby…

Next we have an auto-biographical tale about the naivete of youth reading those ads in the back of comic books…

Pope continues the slice-of-life stuff with a look at a bar in New York City…

Finally, the comic ends with the story that won Pope an Eisner Award back in 2005, a look at Robin’s early days in “Teenage Sidekick.”

Besides Pope’s wonderfully energetic artwork, what I love about “Teenage Sidekick” is the way that it IS a re-envisioning of Robin’s early days, but it is not strictly one of those sneering type of stories where they mock the very idea of a superhero sidekick. Pope cleverly tosses that notion OUT there, but clearly demonstrates that Robin is much more than that. And wait until you see Pope’s take on the Joker! Go find this issue, people!

And please collect Solo, DC! Mark Chiarello keeps coming up with great ideas to do new, bold comic book ideas! Let’s let everyone actually SEE them!

4 Comments

A big Solo hardcover– it is needed.

Paul Pope’s faces can be ugly as heck, but his art is amazing.

Absolutely loved Solo, and as you said this was one of the very best issues.

I cherish each and every issue of SOLO I managed to track down.

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