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Doctor Solar is a comic book superhero originally published by Gold Key Comics starting in 1962. A physicist whose name was actually "Solar", Philip Solar was trapped in a nuclear reactor by saboteurs. He survived and found that he gained enormous power and could turn into and produce energy. He was created by Paul S. Newman and Matt Murphy.
Solar held his own title from October, 1962 to April, 1969. For a total of 27 issues. The series was revived in the early 1980s, continuing the original numbering. Four issues appeared between April, 1981 and March, 1982. He had guest appearances in the Doctor Spektor series. But was the extend of his use by the original publisher.
In the 1990s, Solar, followed by Magnus, Robot Fighter and later Turok, was licensed by Valiant Comics. Under Jim Shooter, Solar became the central superhero of the Valiant universe. Doctor Philip Seleski had read the Gold Key comic books as a child and his thoughts affected the reactor to copy the comic book character's origin. He wielded godlike power, re-created the universe during his origin, and was responsible for several Crisis Crossovers.
In 2010, Shooter restarted this title, as well as Turok and Magnus, Robot Fighter, for Dark Horse Comics, who licensed the characters directly from Gold Key using stories based on Gold Key elements (for instance, he's named Phil Solar again).
Solar has examples of:
- A God Am I: A recurring theme in the series.
- Butt Monkey: Erica Pierce.
- Crossover Ship: He had a fling with Void from Wild CATS once. It didn't end so well.
- Expy: Of Captain Atom, who debuted two years before Solar. Captain Atom, in turn, influenced Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen and, in some ways, Solar is like an Expy of him.
- I Am Not Shazam: A variant. When the original Doctor first started wearing a costume to protect his identity, he couldn't go by Doctor Solar, since that was his real name. His superheroic name was "The Man of the Atom". (Later incarnations handled things differently.)
- I Love Nuclear Power
- Literal Split Personality: For a while, during the Valiant Comics origin.
- Meaningful Name: In the original and Dark Horse versions, his surname is actually Solar.
- Not Wearing Tights: For his first couple of appearances, he did not wear a costume and did not have a codename (he just did his heroics surreptitiously).
- Phlebotinum Du Jour: Shooter's series overview invokes black holes, magnetic monopoles, strange matter, transhumanism and nanotechnology.
- Power Incontinence: In his early appearances, Doc emitted low-level radiation all the time, and thus owned a lot of lead-lined clothes, spent most of his time in his lead-lined lab, and had to break up with his girl.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: It's a good thing he didn't get, say, ice powers.
- Superpower Lottery
- Something later lampshaded in the Valiant reboot as Seleski comments on how ridiculously bad the writing was to have a man with absolute control over energy being dangerously radioactive.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Subverted in the Dark Horse era; Shooter has written that power doesn't corrupt, power magnifies and a good man with power would have more opportunity to do good.