Journey Into Comics: Magnus, Solar to Return at Dark Horse
by Michael San Giacomo
Date: 30 July 2008 Time: 08:02 AM ET
JiC: Magnus, Solar to Return
Think you’ve heard all the news from San Diego?HAH! Here’s something everyone else missed. Magnus, Doctor Solar, Doctor Spektor and other Gold Key characters will return in new stories from Dark Horse comics. Dark Horse President Mike Richardson confirmed, okay, was coerced into confirming, that the hard-fighting heroes who were once part of the Valiant universe will return, along with other 1960s Gold Key characters that Valiant never used. "We've been republishing collections of the Gold Key Magnus and Solar, Man of the Atom, books for a reason," he said, backstage in the Dark Horse booth at the San Diego Comic Con. "When those are done, we'll be coming out with new adventures." He was not ready to announce the creative teams on the new books, or what other Gold Key books were in the mix. For those of you with bad memories, Magnus was born in a future where humans had become reliant on robots to do everything. As robots sometimes do, some revolted and Magnus was there to karate chop them into submission. Doctor Solar's origin sounds a great deal like DC's Dr. Manhattan, though Solar was decades earlier. A scientist is trapped in a nuclear thingee and becomes an energy creature. The lesser known Doctor Spektor was an investigator of the occult. His adventures ran toward vampires, werewolves and the like and lasted through the early 1980s. Doctor Solar guest-starred in a couple issues as did another Gold Key superhero, The Owl. Magnus and Solar were two of the main reasons for the success of the early Valiant comics, that coupled with the writing of Jim Shooter. After the powers-that-were at Valiant dumped Shooter, the books went into the toilet. Hey, wouldn't it be amazing if Dark Horse could get Shooter back to write the books? I never thought I'd see Shooter back on DC's Legion of Super-Heroes and there he is, so anything is possible. Join with me now: WE WANT SHOOTER. Speaking of the San Diego Comic-Con, since I'm giving my last word on the subject, two of the most exciting announcements involved returns of lost heroes. DC Comics hired J. Michael Straczynski to bring back the old Archie superheroes like The Fly, The Shield, the Black Hood and eventually The Mighty Crusaders. The new series starts early next year in the Brave and the Bold comics.If JMS can do as much for the Archie heroes as he did for “The Twelve“ (and you know he will) this should be the revival of the year. DC is also bringing back the former Milestone Comics characters into the DC universe under the steady hand of Milestone founder (and JLA writer) Dwayne McDuffie. Milestone, published by DC in the early 1990s, featured black and minority characters like Blood Syndicate, Icon, Hardware and Static. Static will join the Teen Titans. Hardware will appear in the Justice League series and other characters will show up in various parts of other DC Comics. Since everything about San Diego has been said, let me step in here with some sage words of wisdom. If you’re planning to go next year, get tickets early, like before the end of this year. At $75 a pop, they are not that expensive. If you don’t use ‘em, you can always sell them. There were people outside the hall who would have paid a fortune for a ticket. On a practical, level, it’s nice to stay in a downtown hotel and be near the action. But if you can’t afford $200 a night (or more) consider the southern suburbs. I found a very nice hotel just off Route 5 in Chula Vista for $79 a night, with a pool. If you can split it with someone, even better. I always rent a car for the con, but this year the car was just in the way. Parking has become insane. I spent 90 minutes sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic within blocks of the convention center on Thursday morning. Thursday I couldn’t move. I couldn’t park because all the nearby lots were full. Finally, I reached a lot about 1.5 miles away and parked for $15. The next day I was smart and took the trolley from Chula Vista downtown, $5 roundtrip. Likewise, it costs half as much to eat out in the boonies as it does downtown and you avoid the lines. Eat before you get to the con unless you don’t mind paying $3 for a soda and $4 for a really terrible soft pretzel. And lastly, wear comfortable shoes because you‘ll be doing nothing but walking. All week I was hearing rumors that the con might move to Vegas or LA. I doubt it, the con is too much a part of San Diego for the city to let it go without a fight.