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Nova #1 Review

Comic Books

Nova #1 Review

Nova’s world is about to get a whole lot more complicated…and that’s on top of going to high school already! Add in Rich Rider’s return to the Marvel Universe and you have yourself a new complexity to this series we haven’t seen in a while. We check it out and answer the question, is it good?

Nova #1 (Marvel Comics)

Nova #1 Review

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So what’s it about? Read the preview with pages!

Why does this book matter?

After the last issue and the reveal of the “Church of Nova” (as I like to call it), you know Marvel is building the Nova Corps in a big way. Add in the classic Nova coming back from what may be death and you have some interesting elements coming together.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Nova #1 Review
Gotta love how that water blows out.

Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez write this issue and open it with some brooding horror. There’s an undercurrent of death in this issue, which helps balance the fun and peppy nature of Sam’s Nova. The colors by Ian Herring serve well for both — whether it’s making the darkness markedly disturbed looking, or the Sam scenes feel fun and alive. It’s this darkness that makes the cliffhanger all the more interesting and it will assuredly test Sam in new ways.

Speaking of Sam, if you like high school hijinks in your comics you’ll really dig this issue. Not only does Sam get caught with his pants down (or gone in this issue), but he has to deal with girl troubles. Once again we’re reminded being a superhero isn’t as hard as talking to girls. The dialogue in these scenes is good and genuine for someone as young as Sam. There’s some clever captioning going on in these panels too, at one point using no spaces to show Sam’s head racing. It was also clever to use a bit of a vision to show how Sam can’t keep his focus.

Perez gets to draw some wicked space scenes in this issue. Using a lot of color and interesting effects, Perez makes every blast of energy exciting. He also uses some digital imagery (I think) and some nice textures to give the cosmic backgrounds a look you’ve never seen before. It’s not all space though, with one great full page used to introduce Sam’s mom and sister, which not only shows Nova’s speed and high energy but his sister’s ability to eat quick and fast.

It can’t be perfect can it?

This issue feels incredibly short. It might be due to the bigger plot moving at a snail’s pace, or maybe the fact that much of the action has nothing to do with Rich Rider, but I was shocked when I got to the end. Part of the reason this issue had this effect on me was because the school scenes weren’t all that interesting. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen a teenager trying to fit in and be normal when they’re nervous before (or maybe I’m too old to really care), but I found these scenes boring. They also take up a good 5 pages of the book (minus the fun daydream) that run on too long.

Nova #1 Review
So he wasn’t the brightest character then…

Is It Good?

Nova #1 offers a few new tricks in a gorgeous visual package. Sam Alexander’s life in high school is going to get a whole lot more complicated soon as this issue sets that up well; it does however, run on too long with the high school stuff making the overall package feel short.

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