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Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of the Ultraverse! It’s time yet again to examine the origin story of The Solution. Issue #6 was about the past of Lela Cho/Tech while issue #7 saw her getting involved with Troy Wilde/Dropkick for the first time.
Now in Europe for their continuing mission, what could be next for Tech and Dropkick apart from danger? How will they get involved with the other Solution members, Shadowmage and Outrage? We can all find out in The Solution #8, published by Malibu Comics in 1994 with a story written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by John Statema.
The story begins with Lela Cho accompanied by Troy Wilde standing in front of her father’s grave. From a distance are men currently spying on them and a sniper has his rifle aimed directly at Lela’s head.
The narrative then shifts to England where Lela and Troy encountered Casino who trailed them and proved to be a very deadly opponent to fight with. During the heat of battle, Casino blinded Troy. A lady with pale-white skin appears and froze Casino in place using magic. The lady turns out to be an Aerwan (Aera/Shadowmage) and she formally introduces herself to Lela. Impressed already, Lela tells Aera she has a business proposition for her and states she needs help with a major problem…
As expected, this is another very solidly written origin story crafted by James Hudnall. Judging from the high-quality writing, it is clear that Hudnall organized the concept of The Solution’s origin story before writing it all down. It should be stated that he successfully had each of The Solution’s members come into place in a timely and very believable fashion. Along the way, there is sufficient spectacle to enjoy left and right without descending into brainless territory. As the storytelling shifts into action and back, the whole story still makes sense.
It should be noted that Hudnall took time to have the comic book explore more of the hostile corporate rivals of Lela Cho. They are not just board of directors of the corporation Lela was supposed to inherit, they are also players in the questionable industries of pornography, illegal drugs and murdering. Behind closed doors, they talk about Casino, the one assassin they hired to eliminate Leland Cho.
As with the previous issue, the in-the-past introductions of Shadowmage and Outrage were carefully done, and I must state that the two being inhabitants from different worlds added well to the fantasy elements of The Solution as a franchise and made their place within the Ultraverse distinct.
The Solution #8 (1994) is a very good read and it is another example of how good James Hudnall and John Statema make as a creative team. Combined with issues #6 and #7, this comic book makes a strong conclusion on the dramatization on how The Solution came to be. Along the way, mixing elements of fantasy with crime, espionage and superhero turned out to be good.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Solution #8 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $8.
Overall, The Solution #8 (1994) is highly recommended.
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