Review: Nova #6
Five issues in, and we have a creative change for Nova. This usually puts a slight worry in my mind, but when the new writer is Zeb Wells, I never have to worry. Wells fits into Loeb’s writing shoes well, and it looks like Nova is going to be in good hands.
Wells starts the issue off by recapping what has happened since #5. Wells works in past cameos by Same, such as running from the Phoenix force and being invited to the Avengers by Thor. The latter seems to have left a big impact on the young hero. Wells sharp wit pokes it’s head out here, which helps the book. I like Sam, but he was a tad too serious at points in Loeb’s few issues. Wells humor isn’t quite as home as it was in Avenging Spider-Man, where Wells showed he has one of the best grasps on Spider-Man’s sense of humor. The interactions between Sam and his mother are easily the highlight of the book. She feels like a well adjusted individual, and stands out amongst super hero parents. She isn’t grounding her son, she’s talking to him. She’s trying to understand his side of the situation before making a judgment. This keeps the entire family from becoming the clichéd super hero family.
Part of the problem with switching writers so quickly in a series is the settling down period for the writer. The new writer needs to figure out how he’s going to write the character. While Wells’ interpretation of Sam Alexander doesn’t differ drastically from Loeb’s version, he still has to get through the general interactions of every character. Sam’s love interest doesn’t fare any better with Wells writing her. She seems shoe horned into the entire story instead of coming up naturally. She likes Sam because she’s supposed to like Sam, and that’s her only purpose. So far, she is the biggest weakness of this series. Sam’s recklessness reminds me of Richard Rider a lot, which I’m guessing is what Wells was going for. The ending is odd, as why would Sam go all the way to New York City to be a super hero when I’m sure there are plenty of crimes going on in a nearby city. The cover for the next issue has the Superior Spider-Man on it, so this is Wells bringing Sam into the larger universe in his own series.
Paco Medina’s artwork is stronger than it has been in the past few years. Character’s expressions are more lifelike instead of the exaggerated we saw in his stints on Deadpool and Ultimate Comics X-Men. The action looks very much like Ed McGuiness’ artwork, which is a plus for people who like the pencilers on a series to have the same look and feel. The big splash page depicting what has happened to Sam up to this point was a highlight of the issue. Medina crams a lot into the page, but doesn’t leave anything out. Juan Vlasco mirrors Dexter Vines’ inking style perfectly. David Curiel’s colors are a mixture of grounded and bright. Nova stands out amongst the dreary suburb, even with the new colors of the Nova costume. The big splash page I mentioned before is brimming with great colors.
Creative changes can bring a series down sometimes, but this doesn’t seem to be one of the cases. Nova is in good hands.
Nova #6 gets 4/5.