Solan was a Yellow Martian who guarded a control room beneath the palace of Salensus Oll, Jeddak of Okar. From this room he operated the mechanisms of the great electromagnet known as the Guardian of the North as well as the sun ray tanks that provide the capital city of Kadabra with heat. Despite being a little old man and described by John Carter as an "ancient bag of bones", Solan was nonetheless a deadly swordsman. When the navies of Helium and Ptarth invaded Kadabra the airships were in danger of being destroyed by the magnet, so Carter was forced to engage Solan in swordplay before he could turn off the current. Carter soon discovered that his seemingly frail opponent fought with a skill and agility unmatched by any of his previous foes, but Carter eventually killed him and was able to save the fleet.
Solan was also a greedy miser with an extreme love of money. He allowed Thurid to bribe him into turning off the magnet long enough to allow the Black Martian to escape Okar in a flier with the captive Dejah Thoris, though Solan intended to betray him before this could be accomplished.