Nova is not a character, nor an identity, that I have much knowledge of. I’ve never read any of his solo adventures before, nor have I read Guardians of the Galaxy. So it was nice to find out that this series is about a new Nova. It was very easy to understand what was going on, but that alone doesn’t make a good comic.
Thankfully, this comic is actually pretty good. I wasn’t expecting much after having read Jeph Loeb’s Sabertooth Reborn storyline, and what I’ve heard of Ultimatum didn’t help either. So it was a pleasant surprise to find a great introduction to a compelling character, Sam, and his home situation. His father was once a member of the Nova corps, and has hit on hard times since returning to Earth. The flashbacks through Sam’s father’s storytelling are great for introducing the Nova corps, without saying too much about what they actually do. The focus on Sam and his family is the center focus for this comic, and it works very well.
The rest of the comic isn’t quite as good, but it’s still at least decent. Some of the characters in Sam’s school aren’t all that interesting. The bully is little more than a stereotypical bully, and the hall monitor doesn’t fare much better; he looks like Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future, yet they do nothing to homage or even reference the character. This pseudo cameo feels completely pointless. How come the bully didn’t also get in trouble for the fight in the hall, especially considering he struck the final blow? At the least, we don’t see him getting in trouble. Considering these characters probably won’t show up too often in this series though, these flaws can easily be ignored.
The art is fairly good. Each scene is well established, from the poorly maintained school building, to Sam’s father’s room, which is filled with star charts and ship models. Facial expressions are well-handled, especially with Sam’s father’s. The only real problem is that Gamora looks a bit too girly in her poses and expressions, especially when she poses with a smile – in the middle of a fight scene.
While the comic isn’t flawless, it’s a great start to what could end up being a great series. The main character is likable, and there’s a sense of discovery in the way the story is told. This was a pleasant surprise, and it’s worth checking out. I’m not sure that I’ll stick with this series though; I’m already reading a lot of Marvel Now books and I have to stop somewhere.