Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Frank J. Barbiere
Illustrated by Jonathan Lau
Coloured by Anthony Marques
I have no idea why more people aren’t talking about this series. Frank has been telling one of the best legacy books on the market period. Not only that but Erica embodies everything a strong female lead character should be and yet it seems she’s largely passed over in women in comics discussions and that needs to change. She has made this revival what it is today and that’s one of the most interesting books available. Frank and Jonathan have made Erica my favorite heroine with her indominate will, moments of wavering faith and unbridled determination not to mention the most realistic depiction of a woman in a suit.
This issue starts off with a young Erica wanting her mommy to help her go to speak but instead has her dad and you see the relationship they have. A father and daughter’s bond is a special thing but it doesn’t always stay that way. As she grew he was gone more and more and wrapped up in not only his work but his alter ego as Solar Man of the Atom and now we see them at odds with one another as Erica struggles to figure out how to stop a cadre of nuclear missiles from destroying the world. What an utterly fantastic transition as these two very headstrong individuals find common ground and reignite that former bond.
Meanwhile Spektor and Colin find themselves in something of a situation themselves. Turns out Dave, Erica’s husband has some seriously bad juju with him and he’s there not for answers but to wreck havoc. Colin of course knows his opponent as Nuroi but we see him take on a very different visage one that looks like Erica’s outfit only all black. While i’m not entirely thrilled that this all looks like the Shazam family it does make telling the players apart incredibly easy.
He does serve another purpose though and it seems that either of his children could inherit the power of the atom it was only Erica at that time since she was there. Still the way Frank is able to tell this story and Spektor’s help with temporarily defeating Dark man of the Atom is done in such a way that you see there will a huge story reveal that will take time to uncover. We’re getting bits and pieces yes and his desire to claim all the power Erica possess for himself and why will hopefully not be done too quickly because it gives us a better chance of not only learning about him but about how her powers work as well.
The fight between them is kind of epic and is a huge learning curve for her and it really does become evident she needs to learn to fight more and should she focus on that she could end up being one of the most feared opponents ever. The final page reveal well that’s going to have some repercussions and I look forward to seeing how that plays out.
I’ve rarely seen a book with this much unlimited potential in not only it’s characters and their development but power wise as well. The power is as much unexplored as is Erica’s character and the endless possibilities here are so exciting and fresh that as a reader I hunger for more information and look forward each month to seeing what’s going to happen.
Jonathan is an unheralded master of his craft. What he can do here on paper really is so spectacular with the look and feel of the characters and the emotions they exude to the use backgrounds and page layouts and panel progression it all just synch’s the story to the words so expertly.
People need to remember when it comes to superheroes the so called big two aren’t the only ones out there because Dynamite has struck gold with this series!