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Welcome back superhero fans, the enthusiasts of 1990s arts and culture, and comic book collectors! There is no doubt in my mind that The Solution #11 (1994) is a great read as the comic book creators really outdid themselves in raising the level of engagement really high just as The Solution continued the desperate search and rescue of their teammate Aera/Shadowmage only to find themselves caught in the middle of a massive battle between the Darkur and Aerwan armies. While that comic book was a wild, fun-filled read, it was not even the conclusion of the storyline about the captured Shadowmage and her teammates’ struggle for her.
Issue #11 ended with The Solution no longer present in the Darkur-Aerwan battle but in a place that they are about to realize is another very dangerous place to be in. They are moving close to Shadowmage as well as the tremendously powerful aliens called the Vyr.
With those details laid down, here is a look back The Solution #12, published by Malibu Comics in 1994 with a story written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by John Statema.
The story begins with Tech, Dropkick, Vurk and Harmonica who find themselves in a totally new place as a result of using the Vorlexx to get quickly move away from the Darkur-Aerwan battle. Just as Harmonica stated that their situation is not good, Vurk recognizes the place, realizes they are all in trouble and blames Tech for being responsible on bring them there.
It turns out, they are inside the lair of the powerful and dangerous Vyr who surround them. Very daringly, Tech tells the Vyr they have come for their friend Aera and expressed that they want her to be released to them….
Going straight to the point, the story here is highlighted by tension, suspense, revelations and characterization which makes it a worthy contrast to the spectacle-heavy issue #11. While it is very clear that The Solution and Harmonica are totally in a disadvantage when facing with the Vyr directly, the said aliens are not exactly bloodthirsty beings who could simply kill them all in just a few quick strokes while their teammate remains captive.
In fact, the Vyr are portrayed to be more intelligent than just being totally destructive and Harmonica knows some things about them a lot more than even Vurk (who encountered the Vyr during his youth). This resulted in some key moments of character development for Tech (whose leadership value has been less significant) and Vurk, as well as notable revelations in the dialogue between the three team members and Harmonica.
As the conclusion of the storyline that started in issue #9, I can say that this comic book is surprisingly satisfying which is quite clever on the part of Hudnall as it was emphasized already that the Vyr are not just overly powerful but are also immortals. How this storyline ended, I won’t reveal. It’s best for you readers to find out.
While the previous issue was one wild ride that greatly showed the boundaries of the Ultraverse with a touch of science fiction and a lot of action, The Solution #12 (1994) is a worthy conclusion and it successfully paid-off what it quickly built within its pages (note: issue #11 itself was the big pay-off to the two issues that preceded it). Anyone who loves seeing The Solution as a complete team will have something to enjoy here. When it comes to revelations, the character Harmonica really came in handy without ever looking too obvious as an exposition dump-type of character. In many ways, The Solution learned something new and helpful from Harmonica which added a nice layer of depth into their character development. Along the way, the spectacle in this comic book is much less in terms of content and style which is understandable as issue #11 was epic and bombastic.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Solution #12 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $16.
Overall, The Solution #12 (1994) is recommended!
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