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|First appearance||Hardcase #1 (as Nicholas Lone)
Solitaire #1 (as Solitaire)
|Created by||Gerard Jones
|Alter ego||Nicholas Lone|
|Abilities||Advanced healing factor|
Solitaire is a superhero comic book created by Gerard Jones and Jeff Johnson in 1993 for Malibu Comics. It was published consistently from November 1993 until September 1994, when the series was, with the eighth issue, turned into a mini-series to be cancelled at the twelfth issue.
The character appeared a few more times after the cancellation of his series: first, in the one-shot Ultraverse Double Feature #1, published in January 1995, second (in a warped Black September form) in Black September # Infinity, and finally in issues 6-8 of Prime vol. 2.
Solitaire is a crime-fighting superhero. He uses detective skills and a network of street-level informants to wage a one-man war on crime a la DC's Batman. He is not, however, without superpowers, as Batman is. Solitaire has a rapid healing ability (like Marvel's Wolverine) which allows him to recover from stab wounds, gougings, and even gunshots.
Solitaire was unique among superhero comic books of the early 1990s for its overt Oedipal themes and mainly realistic presentation of real-world atrocities, including: sexual-abuse, urban cults, gun-smuggling, corruption, insurance fraud, and drug use.
Of further interest, the covers of the first six issues act as panels in their own right; they bridge the narrative gap found between issues 5 and 6 of the series. After reading the last page of issue 5, the reader is advised to look at the covers of the issues published so far, then at the cover of issue six. Then they are prepared to read the first panel of issue six.
Fictional Character Biography
This was, in fact, the main driving force of the plot of the series, as Solitaire's superpowers were given to him by his father after Nicholas tried to kill himself by driving a sportscar off a California cliff side. This suicidal desire was fueled by the realization that his life had become an empty shell due to the secrets he kept, knowing his father's true nature. Antone Lone then had his son's body installed with nanomachines capable of rebuilding his body. Waking up and realizing he could not die, Nicholas Lone swore to use the wealth given to him by his father to end the atrocities his father caused.
As the series continued, Solitaire began to experience blackouts and memory lapses. It was finally revealed that as the nanites repaired his body from injuries, they were also brainwashing him to follow his father's orders. To escape becoming his father's puppet, Nicolas had the Cabal, the scientists that had originally placed the nanobots in him, remove them. Completely free from his father, Solitaire then had the Cabal make him a costume laced with similar nanites which would heal him, but at a slightly slower rate.
Facing his father's bodyguard, Jinn, Solitaire battled him to a standstill in unarmed combat. Arriving on the scene, Antone Lone realizes that Solitaire is his son, and in a rage, kills Jinn. Antone Lone stabs Solitaire and drags him to the roof. He commands one of his employees, a flame-based Ultra, to kill the hero. Pulling out the knife, Solitaire dodged the ultra's attacks. Continuing its attacks under Antone Lone's orders, the ultra fires a massive blast at Solitaire, who had placed himself between the ultra and his father. Solitaire dodged out of the way one last time, which caught Antone Lone in the blast, vaporizing him. Solitaire then watched as the ultra flew off into the night. Solitaire, leaping off the building, renewed his quest to protect those in need.
After the Black September Event, which changed the Ultraverse's reality, Solitaire guest-starred in a three-part story in Prime #6-8 vol. 2. On leave from Los Angeles and for now, fighting his renewed battle against crime in Washington D.C., he aids Prime against the makers of a drug which causes massive cellular degeneration in its users while at the same time granting ultra-like abilities (such as super-strength). The two defeat the organization responsible. As a sidenote, it would seem that Solitaire is one of the few (along with Zip-Zap of The Strangers and the original Night Man, though the latter was trapped in the Marvel Universe) to remain unscathed as a result of Black September, though the mystery of what inspired him to begin his quest in becoming a hero is now shrouded in mystery (as the battle he'd witnessed between Hardcase and Headknocker Pre-Black September most likely didn't happen since Hardcase wasn't supposed to exist in the Post-Black September Ultraverse).