One of the lesser-known comic book characters I like is Doctor Solar, the Man of the Atom. I was introduced to the character when he was integrated into the Valiant Comics universe in the early 1990s. Originally, his adventures were published by Gold Key Comics back in the Silver Age, but I didn’t find out about that until much later. (And after reading those old Solar comics, I’ve decided not really a fan of that stuff.)
Anyway, I didn’t collect Solar back in Valiant’s heyday, as the early stuff was very hard to come buy, and my budget was strained as it was. Still, I managed to read friends’ copies, and liked what I saw. I didn’t get a chance to read the entire Solar run until a few years ago; I even checked out the Acclaim Comics revamp, which I must admit I actually liked.
As you probably know, Valiant/Acclaim fell apart shortly thereafter, and the rights to Solar reverted back to their original owners. Dark Horse Comics then acquired the license (along with a few other properties) and published a new Solar miniseries a few years ago.
This is all well and good, but outside of two trade paperback collections, the Valiant series has never been reprinted. Those were some great comics, and many of the early ones in particular still hold down a decent value. That means getting all sixty-plus issues (if you include the Acclaim specials) can cost quite a pretty penny, not to mention taking up a lot of space.
So why aren’t we seeing new hardcovers or trade paperbacks collecting Solar? After all, Valiant has made their triumphant return, and they’re releasing new collections of their classic series. The problem is…Dark Horse still has the rights to Solar. You can see the catch-22 here. There may even be some legal issues with the original owners that we’re unaware of.
In any case, it makes for a confusing yet frustrating situation. Get that shit settled, so we can get some reprints of those classic Valiant Solar issues!
And a new series would be nice, too…