Another week, another Marvel NOW! release. This time around, we get my favorite cosmic hero: Nova. Yes, the old Nova might be gone, but Sam Alexander seems like the could be the Miles Morales for Nova.
Jeph Loeb does the smart thing and backs things up before Avengers vs X-Men. We learn quite a bit about Sam before this issue ends. We have a firm grasp on who he is and every character he will be interacting with. The major complaint for this issue is how slow the plot goes along. The reader understands that Sam’s dad has some reliability problems, so don’t go nuts with shoving it down our throats. The flashback sequences could have been trimmed down as well. But none the less, it is a fun issue. As far as origin stories go, this is a by the books origin. But as long as it works, readers should be happy. It is nice to see Loeb turn Sam into a modern Richard Rider. Rider had similar problems before he became Nova. When Sam’s dad was explaining his work with the Nova Corps, Loeb might have wanted to reword some of the dialogue. It makes it seem like Sam doesn’t believe in most of the stuff his dad is telling him, when he could flip on the news and see the Avengers battling. I assume Loeb meant for Sam to not believe that his dad did those things.
There is an energy in Jeph Loeb’s writing that I haven’t seen in years. His past writing assignments at Marvel have left something to be desired, and I was quite worried for this titleHe loves the character of Nova, as well as the history. Sam’s adventures will take him into space soon enough, but he feels grounded. He’s relatable, and the reader can root for him. His previous appearances didn’t offer much in characterization, so good on Loeb for bringing a lot of it fast. As long as I have been reading comics, I have been a fan of Nova. It pained me to see the last volume end, but this issue makes me very hopeful for this volume. I compared Sam to Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man, and that seems to be the tone for this volume. Loeb seems to have built a character in the vein of the original hero, while opening up a lot of new doors story wise.
As with any new Jeph Loeb book, Ed McGuinness is on pencils. His pencils feel right at home in Nova. His facial work seems to have improved over the past few months. Each character looks a little different now, compared to Avengers: X-Sanction. The big space battles are a sight to behold, and I can’t wait to see McGuinness pencil more scenes like this. The quieter scenes are full of emotion, with subtle nuances in each character. Much like Loeb, McGuinness seems reinvigorated on Nova. His work hasn’t been this good since he started his run on Hulk. If McGuinness can keep up with the shipping schedule, we will have one hell of a book. Long time collaborator Dexter Vines does his usual great job on inks. He nails the absolute blackness of space. Marte Gracia continues to be a fabulous colorist, whose work on All-New X-Men has been astounding.
If you are a Nova fan, and were worried about this book, don’t be. While it is only one issue, I can at least rejoice to see one of my favorite characters back on the stands.
Nova #1 gets 4/5
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