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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Comic Review - Nova Vol. 5 #1-5

Title/Storyline
Nova v5 #1-5
Publish Date/Year
2013
Creative Team
Jeph Loeb
Ed McGuiness
Publisher
MarvelStory 
The last we saw of the original/1st Nova (Richard Rider), he was with Star-Lord sacrificing themselves fighting Thanos (hmmm, where have we seen this guys before?) and trapping themselves to keep Thanos in a parallel universe called the Cancerverse.

Then Marvel decided to publish this new version of Nova. I had my apprehension when I first came across this title. This is because I grew up with the 1st & original Nova (Richard Rider) who first appeared in the 70’s. In fact, some of the very first few comics I ever read in my life were Nova comics (see My Path To Geekdom). Moreover, despite Thanos & Star Lord both having returned to the Marvel Universe, there is no updates as to what happened to Nova (Richard Rider).
We all know Thanos had to be brought back because of the movies (he was the secret mastermind villain in the post credit scene of Avengers and will also appear in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie out later this year. The very same movie is also the reason for Star Lord’s return to the Marvel Universe.)

I found myself pleasantly surprised by this new character - 15 year old Sam Alexander. I found his innocence and naivety which were quite endearing. I guess this was Marvel’s success ‘formula’ – a teenager, oft misunderstood and facing the angst and growing pains of self discovery & personal growth. Add the twist of some kind of super powers and the responsibility that comes with it, voila – formula for comic success.
Sam holds much disdain for his father, who is constantly missing from his life and can’t seem to hold on to his job as a school janitor as he’s always missing from work but tells seemingly fantastic tales of space adventuring to him and his younger sister. One day, after waking up to Rocket Raccoon & Gamora (of the Guardiansof the Galaxy) at a local hospital after an accident, Sam, not able to accept the possibility that his dad’s stories could be real, runs home and finds his dad’s Nova helmet and because of his bloodline, activates the powers and before he knows what was happening, he was on the Moon standing before the Watcher Uatu.
His powers combined with that Uatu knows was coming allows the Watcher to show him the impending invasion from the Chitauri (hmmm, another familiar name. Avengers Movie goers should recognize it as it was the alien invasion force.) with their very own Ultimate Nullifier (the only weapon in the universe that even the fearsome Galactus must give pause.)!
Overconfident with his new-found powers, he rushes into the fray only to find out that the leader of the Chitauri is none other than his dad’s once trusted elite black novas partner turned traitor – Titus (the talking Tiger. I’m serious!) but he finds that he’s out-gunned and out-classed. He runs back to Earth with his tail between his legs, but not before seizing the Ultimate Nullifier from Titus. Titus pursues him. Sam makes his final stand against Titus. He triggers the Ultimate Nullifier, ending the Chitauri threat by seemingly sending them into another dimension. At least for the moment the threat has been neutralized.Artwork
I remember Ed McGuiness was a winner from an art contest held by Wizard Magazine (Anyone remember Wizard? I LOVED this mag. Really miss it…) in the early 2000s. In terms of actual comic book work, I first came across his work when I was reading DC’s Our Worlds at War (OWAW) & Superman/Batman books.

I didn’t like his work too much as his style was a little too cartoony and his proportions on the human physique were too exaggerated. However, over the years, his style has evolved and it’s become more aesthetically pleasing visually & I do like his clean and uncluttered style.Overall
I thought this was a great start to what looks to be a potentially great series as we can see Marvel is pulling out all the stops to go cosmic, and of course, for Marvel, cosmic equals characters like Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel & Quasar!

This is a pretty smart move by Marvel to allow newer/younger readers a great starting point to jump onto instead of potentially alienating them with the original Nova who has quite a bit of history behind him.

I’m gonna stick with this book for a while. What about you?

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