Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NB of the Week

Nova #1
Written by Jeph Loeb
Drawn by Ed McGuinness

First point: Nova was not the best comic I read this week. The regular batch of greats like Thor, Wonder Woman, Saga and Avengers were all up there as well as others. Nova was not the best. I shall explain...
Seven years ago, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (known as DnA) wrote the Annihilation: Nova mini and they brought in a spark to a character that really needed it. Keith Giffen then further made him badass in the Annihilation mini. After that, DnA brought him into his own series and I was hooked for good. Well, for five years until they "killed" him, sacrificing himself along side Star-Lord to make sure Thanos never came back. Which he and Star-Lord now have...
Jeph Loeb has done some amazing stories over the last two decades. He's also written some pretty awful ones in the last five or so years. He has fallen off the horse and I have liked very, very little of his latest books (let's not get started in Hush....).

When Marvel brought back Nova in AvX, it wasn't the much loved Richard Rider, it was the often loathed (I've heard from many) Sam Alexander from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, of which Loeb is an executive producer. When Marvel crams something they really cram it.
The Issue is pretty simple. Sam is a high school kid with a lousy father. He's grown up hearing tales of how his dad used to be a member of the Nova Corps but all he saw was a man drowning in his alcoholism and trying his best to not get fired from his janitorial duties at his son's school. Life's not horrible but it's hard for a boy his age to have to deal with these problems. Until he finds his father gone one day. He storms out to look for him when a nasty fall sends him to the hospital. When he wakes up, he finds the raccoon and the green assassin his father always told him about, wanting to talk about his father.
Here's the simple of why this book gets my pick: as a huge fan of Richard Rider, I refuse to believe he didn't make it out with Thanos and Star-Lord. That Marvel is using this as an attempt to bring in a younger character aimed at a younger audience. They're spitting in the face of the fans they just brought in and I wasn't happy with this new kid. However, there is something I can understand that it seems many don't and that is the fact that Nova was cancelled because it wasn't selling. When a property isn't working as it should be, they have to do something about that and if a character doesn't succeed for the majority of it's life, things need to move in another direction.
All things considered, if you can leave Richard out for now and read it as a new start, it's surprisingly good. I'm not in love with it but it wasn't the angry train-wreck I was expecting. This series could turn into something great so my fingers are crossed that it doesn't go the way of most Loeb books.

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