A Look Back at The Solution #6

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As this is retro comic book review of another Ultraverse comic book written by the late James Hudnall, I encourage you to take time to check out his background and other works via Comic Book Resource’s report of his death on April 2019.

In memory of James Hudnall, here are his words published near the end of The Solution #7:

The Solution is a dream team for me. I’ve been wanting to mix the genres of fantasy and cyberpunk science fiction with the super-hero genre for some time. Add my love of Japanese animation and Hong Kong cinema and you can see where I’m coming from here. This series is designed to show us some of the more bizarre and dark sectors of the Ultraverse without, hopefully, falling into the trap many similar books do where they lay it on too thick. The Ultraverse is a complex and multi-faceted universe and our books explore different sides. Here I want to delve deep into the criminal and espionage arenas as well as the magic sub-cultures that exist.

The characters themselves have a rich and interesting history that I plan to slowly unveil as the series progresses. When you first meet someone, you usually don’t know that much about the person. The characters are rather deep, as we will discover, and their personalities and more complex than you’re probably used to seeing in comics.

Now we can start this look back at The Solution #6, the Ultraverse comic book published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by James Hudnall and illustrated by John Statema (with ink work by Dennis Jensen and Mark Stegbauer).

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Lela Cho (Tech) alone paying respect to her father at his grave. She tearfully recalls what happened right after he died.

The narrative then shifts to 1993, specifically the day her father was about to get buried with many guests involved. Even though she is mourning, a man with blonde hair approaches her. His name is Kyle Sanders and he tells her she wants to talk to her about the corporation called Hypersonic. After receiving his business card, Lela feels a strange sense of dread creeping up on her.

A few days later, Lela attends a Board of Directors meeting at the headquarters of Hypersonic. She reminds them that she inherited all of her father’s shares in the company that makes her a majority stockholder and it was written in his will that she will assume his post as Chairman of the Board. Even though she already earned her Master’s Degree in Business at Harvard, the BOD members rejected her on the grounds that she’s too young and has no previous practical experience. They expressed that it would be better for her to work within the company and climb her way up.

Even though she got rejected and found herself alone, she decided not to give up and move forward by visiting NuWare, a corporation in San Francisco, California, that specializes on bio-tech implants (Wetware) that can make a person an Ultra…

Quality

20
Lela Cho/Tech in action!

This is a very compelling, character-driven comic book, one of the best of the Ultraverse I read as of this writing. Clearly the late Hudnall achieved his goal of not only developing Lela Cho/Tech, but also defining her as a living part within the Ultraverse. Speaking of the Ultraverse, there is this nice and subtle connection with certain people regarding The Strangers.

Back to Lela Cho, her personality was very deeply defined by Hudnall. By the time you reach the end of this comic book, you should at least be caring about her even though her status as a super-rich lady trying to make her way up in business (while protecting herself) puts her on a different class. Ultimately her transformation into an Ultra is special to read and examine, even worthy of a cinematic adaptation.

Regarding the visuals, John Statema pulled of a great job. I love how the facial expressions he illustrated brought out the ranging emotions of the characters, specifically with Lela. When she’s mad, she really looks mad. When she is sad, you will see the sadness. Regarding action, Statema’s effort was decent.

Conclusion

11
Really nice art and good choice with the colors for the light effect.

I really liked The Solution #6. From start to finish, it kept me engaged and ultimately it made me understand Lela Cho/Tech much better, which also made me go back to re-reading the first issue.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of The Solution #6, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4.

Overall, The Solution #6 is highly recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at The Solution #1

Back in the 1990s, there was a flood of superhero comic books that introduced brand new heroes, teams and even anti-heroes. A strong contributor to this was the market presence of Image Comics, Valiant Comics, Malibu Comics and other smaller publishers that tried their best to gain shares in what was back then the highly lucrative superhero comic book market which was long dominated by Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

With Malibu Comics, their Ultraverse franchise of superhero comics was a blast and I had a lot of fun reading comic books of The Strangers, Prime, Hardcase, UltraForce, Mantra, etc.

For this review, here is my look back at the Ultraverse team comic book The Solution #1 (September 1993).

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The front cover.

Written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by Darick Robertson (inked by John Lowe), the story begins when Russian personnel get killed by a team of deadly people whose purpose is to raid the nuclear storage buildings.

As a result, several nuclear warheads were taken away without a trace. A KGB agent discusses the tragedy with an Aladdin agent and seeks help. In response, the Aladdin agent recommends to him The Solution.

“We’d like to (help) but our agency can’t give you any direct assistance. You know how it is. However these people might be what you need. Just remember…I never told you about them,” the Aladdin agent said.

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Meet The Solution.

In Hong Kong, a member of the triad instructs his hired assassins to distribute a shipment of illegal substances without getting any interference from The Solution. Predictably, the said team happens to be with them in their secret venue which starts a wave of martial arts, shooting and use of magic.

Enough with the plot. The Solution is a team of super-human mercenaries composed of Lela Cho/Tech (the leader), Eara/Shadowmage, Vurk/Outrage and Dropkick. Quite literally, whenever a major problem happens someone will call The Solution (the answer) to solve it for a fee.

In terms of character design, The Solution has a rather visceral look which was clearly emphasized on the cover art. Outrage, for example, looks very monstrous and one could easily mistake him for an evil figure.

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Obvious antagonists.

Illustrator Darick Robertson’s art is nice to look at and when the action happens, he sure delivers the goods making the hard action moves look intense. Even showing characters firing their guns look intense. The violence in this comic book is quite bloody and the opening scenes really show that.

Even with the non-action, talking scenes, Robertson’s art makes the members of The Solution look believably human. Facial expressions are good and they quite match the dialogue written. The team shot on page 21, which shows Lela Cho in the foreground talking to her teammates in the background, really looks nice.

In terms of writing, I found this comic book to be a bit bloated in terms of details and plot. Most notably, the pace of the story moves very fast and while it does its job establishing The Solution (and part of its purpose as a team-for-hire), the circumstances and the team’s place within the Ultraverse, the story felt really crammed even though there were 28 pages of story and art. I noticed that while the comic book is about The Solution, it ended up showing a total of three different teams (including the hired assassins).

In terms of character development, there was clear focus on Lela Cho which is not a surprise since she is the team leader. It turns out Lela has lots of vested interests in the corporate world and instead of being in a fancy office, she goes out in the field to get things done. She has a very direct, personal access to information online by means of wetware embedded in her skull. She also has a touch of business in her approach with leading The Solution.

“Our potential client has a problem with some Ultras. They want us to take care of it,” Lela Cho said on page 23.

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You got a problem? Call The Solution!

While it may not look as prominent as The Strangers or UltraForce as far as Ultraverse superhero teams go, The Solution stands out nicely for it is unique and its team-for-hire concept is very interesting. When I first read this comic book long ago, I was convinced to pursue the succeeding issues. Even by today’s standards, this old comic book remains fun and engaging.

The Solution #1 is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com