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Welcome back superhero fans, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Ultraverse fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the Ultraverse through the monthly series of The Solution.
In my previous retro review, The Solution took a major risk by going all the way to a secret place in Taiwan. Their purpose was to infiltrate the place and find out any details they could find from a planned secret meeting between heads of multiple gangs. For Tech/Lela Cho, she sees an opportunity to get her company back from the Dragon Fang gang. Dropkick expresses his concern that the whole meeting could be a trap as the Dragon Fang gang knows that Tech can hack their computers and extract information.
With those details laid down, here is a look back The Solution #16, published by Malibu Comics in 1995 with a story written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by Daerick Gross.
The story begins with The Solution members apart from each other and each one has been trapped by deadly enemies. Outbreak is being fired upon by armed personnel. Shadowmage is down on the floor having been shot by one of the assassins. Dropkick finds himself attacked by another assassin. Tech is out cold and the deadly assassin Casino has her cornered.
Instead of going for the kill, Casino just talks to Tech and then calls Kwan Lun. In another part of the facility, the Communist Incoming aims his gun at the head of Shadowmage who suddenly moves and avoids the shot fired. As she finds a place to hide, she casts a spell to heal herself…
If you want action with The Solution, this comic book has lots of it as it is the continuation of the conflict between the titular team and the evil forces. Quite consistently, the creative team made each team member look vulnerable, especially with Tech who is helpless even though Casino (note: their previous encounter was in issue #7) is ironically not even fighting. While Outrage and Dropkick are on the verge of being eliminated, Shadowmage was also portrayed to be vulnerable in a gritty manner. Adding further depth to the engagement of the story is suspense.
Visually, artist Daerick Gross did a good job and judging from the way the action and sequencing were done, he seems to have researched the previous issues. His artistic takes on The Solution team members plus Casino and the assassins are nice to look at as well as recognizable.
The Solution #16 (1995) is entertaining enough for me and it also succeeded in keeping me interested for the next issue which also happens to be the final issue. As this is the 2nd-to-the-last issue of The Solution series, James Hudnall knew what defined the characters and what kind of stories would keep the fans engaged. That being said, he seemed to have set something up for the next issue as this comic book ended in a cliffhanger.
Overall, The Solution #16 (1995) is recommended.
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