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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Doctor Solar Key Comic Issues

We are starting this Doctor Solar key comic issues series with the original Gold Key version of the character that was published during the Silver Age of comics. What I find perplexing and a bit disturbing is that the Valiant comic series is more sought out than the Gold Key comic series currently.

I'm more than sure that the Silver Age comics of this character are a lot more rare and harder to find in the current market than the Valiant issues. Don't believe me? Look up the CGC Census for both series.

Over-looked? Definitely! Worth checking out? Another definitely.

Anyways, as requested, here's more Gold Key key issue goodness for those who are looking for 'em.

1st appearance & Origin of Solar
1st appearance Gail Sanders
1st appearance Nuro
1st appearance Dr. Clarkson
1st Dr. Rasp & Dr. Bently

The Gold Key and original version of Solar or Doctor Solar is Dr. Raymond Solar and is the first original Gold Key character. His first appearance in Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #1 also had his origin and hosted the first appearances of much of the character's supporting cast.

While trying to assist Dr. Bently in stopping a meltdown of the nuclear power plant where they worked in Atom Valley, Doctor Solar would absorb a massive amount of radiation in the heroic attempt. Bently would die and it was discovered that Dr. Rasp had sabotaged the plant and was an agent for the evil Nuro.

Nuro would be the original Doctor Solar's main nemesis throughout the Gold Key series. Dr. Clarkson would also be a main supporting character, and Gail Sanders, of course, is the main character's love interest and fellow colleague in the series as well.

The massive amount of radiation absorbed would turn Raymond Solar's body into pure energy. Somehow his consciousness is in tact and he is basically a living nuclear battery. Made up of energy, he can release and direct it into almost any form he chooses and manipulate matter at atomic and sub-atomic levels.

Like a battery, he needs radiation to recharge himself. When his energy levels are extremely high, the dude can even travel through time.

None of the supporting Gold Key characters for the original Doctor Solar crosses over into the Valiant Universe. CGC total submissions are low for this issue and the highest is only one 9.6 NM+.

This Silver Age key issue comic and first appearance of Doctor Solar was published October, 1962.

1st appearance of Professor Harbinger
2ns appearance of Solar & Gail Sanders
2nd appearance of Tanek Nuro
2nd Dr. Clarkson

Another major supporting character for Doctor Solar is introduced in issue #2 of the Gold Key series. This issue has the first appearance of Professor Harbinger, the paranoid science spouting guy who explains simple principles of science and how they can go wrong.

Pretty cool, at least the readers then were learning a bit about science. Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #2 also has the 2nd appearance of Solar, Gail Sanders, Dr. Clarkson, and Nuro.

This 2nd issue of Doctor Solar was published December, 1962.

2nd appearance of Professor Harbinger
3rd appearance of Solar & Gail Sanders
3rd appearance of Nuro
3rd appearance of Dr. Clarkson

Doctor Solar Man of the Atom issue #3 sees mostly a bunch of third appearances. This issue holds the 3rd appearance of Doctor Solar of course, and much of his supporting cast such as Gail Sanders and Dr. Clarkson.

Also, Tanek Nuro gets his third appearance in this comic as well. No first appearances, but issue #3 also has the 2nd appearance of Professor Harbinger. The publishing date for this comic is March, 1963.

1st time in costume

In all the issue prior to this one, Doctor Solar chases after Nuro without a costume. Issue #5 is an extremely important Solar key issue as it is the first appearance of Doctor Solar in his iconic costume.

This costume is lined with cadmium and lead to protect others from radiation poisoning along with a visor to shield his eyes. The visor also helps to conceal his identity.

Even with this costume, used more to protect others than himself, Solar is so radioactive that he can only come into contact with others for only a few minutes. His belt is like a utility best and carries radioisotope pills or capsules.  Solar takes them in order to boost his energy levels in an emergency.

Definitely an important key issue for Doctor Solar. If you're a fan of the comics or the character, you know what to do. Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #5 is the one, and it was published September, 1963.

1st appearance of Orun

Definitely another important key issue on the villains' side of things. That Nuro just making Solar's life miserable.

Apparently, Nuro is some kind of mad genius and creates this robot double of himself called, Orun. Of course, Orun would also appear frequently in the series to wreak havoc for our hero and his merry band of supporting characters.

The first appearance of Orun in Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #6 was published November, 1963.

1st appearance of Aral Uzbek

Every villain or nemesis needs some kind of henchman in order to even somewhat of a chance of global conquest, right? Well, it looks Tanek Nuro does.

Enter Aral Uzbek, Nuro's right hand man and fellow villain for Doctor Solar and crew. Doctor Solar Man of Atom #9 holds the first appearance of Aral Uzbek, and this Silver Age key issue was published October, 1964.

1st appearance of Primo

I think Primo only has one appearance in this Gold Key comic series, but not sure about that. Well, Primo is volcanic beast made of molten matter.

Just to show that Nuro has mad smarts, Primo was created by Nuro's evil genius. Pretty minor character though, but like most of the Doctor Solar covers, this one is impressive.

Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #17 was published September, 1966.

1st appearance Hamilton Mansfield Lamont

Nephew of Gail Sanders and it seems that brains runs in the family, Hamilton Mansfield Lamont is a student at Mass. Institute Of Technology (M.I.T.) and becomes a regular supporting character late in the Doctor Solar Gold Key comic series.

He would show up in stories until the last issue or cancellation of the series. This comic was published July, 1967.

1st appearance of King Cybernoid
Origin of King Cybernoid
Nuro does some freaky things in this issue, and it's a key for certain to take notice of. In the 22nd issue of Doctor Solar Man of the Atom, we see Nuro transfer his mind into his robot duplicate, Orun.

Becoming a bad ass android or robot, he then christens himself King Cybernoid. This new baddie would be the main villain from this issue onward.

Interesting Gold Key Silver Age key issue and a good one to add to your vault if you're a fan of Solar or Gold Key comics. January, 1968 is the publishing date for this comic.

In truth, Doctor Solar Man of Atom was cancelled during the Silver Age with issue #28. In 1981 and 1982, Whitman published issues #29 through #31. Issue #29 has a Magnus Robot Fighter story in its pages.

As we all know, Valiant would be next to license the character and start publishing a revamped version of the comic character during the 90s. 

Solar was created by Paul S. Newman and Matt Murphy. Like Dell Comics, Gold Key were able to publish comics without the Comics Code seal of approval. None of these comics have them which is cool in its own right.

In truth, I like Solar, Magnus, and Turok simply because I the have the chance to talk about some Gold Key comics.

Part 2 of this series will detail the Valiant comic series for Solar, so just click that PART 2 link to continue onward. So, as usual, see you soon.

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