Thursday, June 4, 2009

Solo # 7: Michael Allred

Writers: Mike Allred, Lee Allred
Artist: Mike Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Publisher: DC
Published: December 2005

It's been a while since my last Comix 365 I thought I would kick start it with another spectacular stupendous stellar Solo issue from decadent DC! And which artist you may wonder is DC displaying? Well if you haven't read the title or looked at the cover image, then rejoice and hollar aloud: MIKE ALLRED!

If you don't know who Mike Allred is, then please take your head out of the muck and wake up (NOW). Mike Allred has worked on such hits as X-Statix, Deadgirl, and his own acclaimed Madman series. His style is sleek, poppy, dynamic, and with the Laura Allred coloring, his work is all the more awesome.

Anyway, enough Allred worship...this ain't no Perez Hilton-esque blog...

Solo # 7 has Allred focusing his whimsy on the DC universe. There are 7 chapters, with 5 complete stories. The first story 'An Hour with Hourman' has our hero battling a case of the highs and lows of being a superhero who derives his powers from a pill. The second story 'Doom Patrol vs. Teen Titans' involves a case of Doom Patrol having to deal with vitality of youth, which is even more pronounced when the youths in question are the Teen Titans! Thirdly, Batman A-Go-Go is a throwback to the swinging, care free 60s where Batman realizes that 'times are a changing'. Fourthly, 'Fourth World Wager' involves Mister Miracle taking up a wager of even he may not be able to escape from. Finally 'Comic Book Clubhouse' is a wordless, visual odyssey involving comic book heroes meeting the kids who draw them.

This was a great Solo issue, that was even more fun reading the second time around. Allred has an innocent playfulness with a sly nod to seriousness shining through his work. In my mind, the highlight tales were Fourth World Wager and Batman A-Go-Go. Mister Miracle taking up a challenge of escape, with Orion concocting the trap was probably one of the funniest moments in this issue. As for Batman I really dug the light, shiny optimism turned sour Lee Allred breathed into the Batman A-Go-Go tale. Mike and Laura's art was all the more exemplary as they turned Batman from the brooding hero of today back to the swinging, goody two shoes of the 60s.

As a side note, if you google this Solo issue and you see a cover of Batman, don't be fooled to look for an actual copy with that image. I looked for years at various comic shops for this cover, and not once did I find it. Turns out it was never printed...I guess due to legal likeness issues of Batman looking like Adam West they had to scrap it. Oh well, thank heavens to the internet preserving a digital copy...

Anyway, see you next time: Same Bat Time. Same Bat Blog!

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