REVIEW: Nova #11 – “Worldmind”

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NOVA #11
Writer: Sean Ryan
Artist: Cory Smith
Colorist: Andre Mossa
Letterer: Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne
Release Date: 09/28/16
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $3.99

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SPOILER WARNING: Sometimes there are books where you can not discuss without spoiling it, and this issue is one of them. This review will contain spoilers! If you have not read this issue, please bookmark this review. You can return and finish this review after you  read the issue. If you do not care about spoilers please continue. SPOILER WARNING

Sam Alexander was always embarrassed by his dad, thinking he was nothing but an alcoholic. He believed that all the stories he told were ramblings, until the day his dad disappeared. Sam woke up in a hospital with talking Racoon and a green woman standing over him. Rocket Racoon and Gamora tell Sam his dad was a Nova member and give him his helmet. Since then Sam has had ups and downs as the new Nova.

Sam is determined to find his father which often leads him to leave his mother and sister behind so he can search space for him. This mission has put strain on Sam in more ways than one. Without the Nova Corps to train him Sam had a bumpy road learning the ropes with his new powers. Sam’s private life also suffered with his mom worrying and having to lie to his friends. After a few mishaps with his helmet Sam promised his mom, that if he can not discover how the helmet works he will give up being Nova. This lead Sam on a new mission to find the Worldmind.

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Plot: Sam has found the Worldmind, the artificial intelligence that powers all the Nova helmets. Can the Worldmind give him the answers he seeks? How does the helmet work? Most of all, the fate of his father.

Story: Sean Ryan really thrusts us into the Worldmind, you feel like you are in Sam’s shoes. The information is hitting you from all angles and you feel like you are in the Worldmind yourself. This serves as a very apt way of delving into the story, and helps you to relate to Sam, but it also serves as a distraction.

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The Worldmind is slightly shifting as the story goes on, as does the A.I. everything becomes more focused, more human. At first you may think this is Sam influencing the Worldmind, or grasping it more so his mind can relate. But by the conclusion of the issue you discover that someone else is behind it.

The continued frustration of this series here is present though, and that is Sam’s father’s whereabouts are still unknown. Sam finds out that the Worldmind is made up of all the minds of all the fallen Nova Corps members, and of course Sam asks about his father. The answer is the frustrating part, we know he has not joined the Worldmind. Now this could mean he is still alive but, Sam’s helmet isn’t powered by the Nova Force, so maybe the connection is different. This frustrates me because since the first volume of this series came out, this has been going on and we never really get anywhere.

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I love the series, and think it is one of Marvel’s best, because I can relate to the father/son dynamic, but I think it needs more. I would love for the next volume to grow and show us Sam with his dad, that will be a dynamic we really haven’t seen yet in the book.

The ending really puts a smile on your face, as does the epilogue. New and old fans I feel can really enjoy both. For the ending of the issue, we see Sam finding some balance in his life and being a kid. Ryan really makes his friends feel real, they are supportive, but also laugh when Sam bumps into the tree. The epilogue for old fans bring back a fan favorite, and for new readers a new character to get to know.

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Art: As much as Sean Ryan takes us on a journey through his writing Corey Smith does with his art. The art really plays a huge role in this issue, because the disjointing feeling of the Worldmind must be visually experienced.

Smith does a great job with the subtle transitions here. He shifts the Worldmind and the A.I. is small ways and uses other images like the fallen Nova Corps members in the background to distract you from noticing them. The colors here also enhance the emergence feel of the Worldmind.

Verdict: Overall I really did enjoyed the issue, but I did feel a little frustrated. Another volume of Nova ends and we are still no closer to bringing home Jesse Alexander. I recommend this for new and old fans alike, but caution people not to flip through it as they will be spoiled.

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