The last issue was a pleasant surprise for someone who rarely likes Loeb’s writing. It was a little cliché sure, but it did a great job at introducing Sam (the new Nova). He’s a compelling character with plenty of potential as a young superhero.
This issue starts right where the last left off, with Sam in the hospital from a head injury. The first half of the comic has lots of fun with this, as everything could be interpreted as a hallucination by the reader if he/she prefers. This comic is amusing when it tries to be, and dramatic when it needs to be. It’s solid enough that being cliché doesn’t hold it back very much.
The art is very good. Almost every panel has some sort of lighting or reflection effect. Character expressions are great throughout, from Sam’s father’s regret in his holographic message to his mother’s concerned look as he’s discharged from the hospital earlier than expected. The backgrounds almost always have just as much detail as the characters in the foreground.
The only real complaint I have about this comic is that it’s a very short read. Most pages don’t have more than five panels, and most panels have fewer than ten words. It’s hard to justify the $4 price tag on such a short comic. This seems to be a common problem with Loeb’s recent work. If the writing were denser, then most of what was in this issue would have been in the first, and the plot would have started moving by now.
If you enjoy Marvel’s cosmic line or want to give it a chance, this is worth checking out. If you’re interested in Nova but don’t want to read through two introductory issues, wait until issue 3. Personally I didn’t enjoy it enough to justify the $4 price tag, so I won’t be picking up the next issue. I would have if it was $3 though.