GREATEST HITS: Meet Solicitor

At this year's New York Comic Con, Vertigo announced its first superhero team book since Grant Morrison's seminal "The Invisibles" ended in 2000. The six-issue miniseries "Greatest Hits" - written by David Tischman ("American Century," "Bite Club") with art by Glenn Fabry ("Hellblazer," "Preacher") - features The Mates, a British-bred league of justice who may bring to mind a certain other Fab Four.

"They are not The Beatles. But they hold a place in the zeitgeist that The Beatles had for us. There is no one else like The Beatles - and that's who The Mates are," Tischman told CBR News back in April.

With "Greatest Hits" #1 in stores today, CBR News kicks off a five-part weekly profile feature that will run through to the release of "Greatest Hits" #2 on Wednesday, October 15. Why do we need five parts to profile a team of four? Check out the series. Each week, David Tischman will join us to explore one of The Mates, starting today with Solicitor.

CBR: What is Solicitor's superpower?

David Tischman: No superpowers, which he's very proud of. A self-taught crime fighter, he's developed his own workout regimen that's given him the speed and agility of an Olympic-level gymnast and boxer. His hand-to-hand combat skills are honed to a fine edge. He beats the crap out of criminals the way Eric Clapton plays guitar.

What is Solicitor's secret origin or how did he acquire said superpower?

Solicitor grew up as the oldest son of a large family in Birmingham - five brothers and sisters. The family was poor, and they lived in government-subsidized housing. Solicitor's father was a truck driver. He was an honest and fair man, and he tried to unionize the drivers to get them better wages and working conditions. The Solicitor's family was threatened by the rich owners of the trucking company, who all wore expensive suits. But his father was no coward; he continued to work for the union. On his next trip, his father's truck exploded; the coroner's report said he'd been drinking, and fell asleep at the wheel. That incident forged Solicitor's sense of justice. The suit he wears as a costume is a reminder of the men who killed his father.

What Beatle does Solicitor most resemble? And why?

As we discussed, the Mates are not the Beatles, but each band and super team does seem to share similar traits among their members. For instance, in each boy band you have the Cute One, the Brooding One, the Smart One and the Funny One. And the same goes for the Fantastic Four. Solicitor definitely falls into the Batman/Punisher camp of psychologically-damaged goods; but if we had to draw a Beatles analogy, his personality is most in line with a "John" type.

What is Solicitor's super-vice?

Solicitor is a "square." He doesn't drink or do drugs. He likes a lot of milk in his tea, that's about it. As he travels the world, and as The Mates become more and more famous, he begins to see the cracks in the judicial process. This is the late '60s and the '70s. There was a lot of judicial reform going on, almost all of it in favor of the accused. It becomes harder and harder to put the bad guys in jail, and that's something Solicitor -- and Soul Sister -- cannot abide. Their views on crimefighting become more and more black-and-white, putting him in conflict with his teammates and the cops.

What do you love most about writing Solicitor?

He's no bullshit, and he doesn't care what people think. He knows he is right and he fights for what he believes in - every second of every day. Isn't that great?

What do you love most about how Glenn Fabry draws him?

The hair. And the goggles.

And finally, what's one thing you can tell us about Solicitor that will give us some insight into who we are dealing with?

His love for Soul Sister is absolute -- they are soul mates -- but he holds himself to an unrealistic level of perfection. When that perfection cannot be maintained, he judges himself the way he would judge others.

"Greatest Hits" #1, written by David Tischman; art and cover by Glenn Fabry; variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver, is on sale today from Vertigo.

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