REVIEW : Nova #1 – “Rider’s Return”

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Nova #1

Writer: Jeff Loveness & Ramon Parez
Penciler : Ramon Parez
Colorist : Ian Hrring
Letterer : Comiccraft’s Albert Deschesne
Release Date : 12/7/16
Price : $3.99

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Plot

Ever since it was revealed in the beginning of Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Guardians Of The Galaxy  that Star Lord, Drax, and Thanos survived their battle during the events of Annihilation  and were able to return from the Cancerverse fans have had one big question on their minds. Where the hell is Richard Rider Nova? Well the wait is finally over. The original Nova of Earth has returned home. The question is how? And at what cost? However if you’re a fan of Sam Alexander Nova don’t worry, everyone’s favorite teenage intergalactic champion isn’t going anywhere. The marvel universe is definitely big enough for two Novas, and judging from how Richard is adjusting to being back home this seasoned space vet just might need some backup. Novas gotta stick together right?

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Story

Before I get things started I wanna give you guys a warning. I’m going to be referencing Stranger Things a lot throughout this review anytime I talk about Richard Rider, so if you haven’t seen Stranger Things this review may confuse you. Richard Rider has always been a character that I’ve enjoyed following. I’ve followed his career since the early days of  The New Warriors. One of the most enjoyable things about Richard’s journey as a character is seeing him grow from a cocky hotheaded teenager into a mature, well rounded leader. All of that development culminated when Richard decided to make the ultimate sacrifice to stop Thanos.

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Alright so this is where the Stranger Things comparisons begin. Richard comes home after his long absence and right off the bat you can tell that something isn’t right with him. The first thing that I thought of when I saw this was when Will first came home at the end of season one. You can tell he’s different but plenty of mystery is left hanging to leave fans wondering and wanting more. The imagery used used showed is just how dark of a place Richard was in and how shaken he was. The best thing about it was that the little breaks were like mini cliffhangers that make you excited to see what happens on the next page.

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Let’s take a break from Richard Rider and move to Sam Alexander. Sam is a character that I was skeptical about when he was first introduced since I’m an old Nova fan, but Sam eventually really grew on me. He reminded me of everything that I love about teen heroes. It was awesome seeing a hero come up deal with school, girls, family, and fighting bad guys. Sam reminded me of a combination of classic Spider-Man and Richard Rider. This issue serves as a great introduction to what Sam is about. One minute he’s fighting aliens in another galaxy then the next he’s home in Arizona helping his mom and little sister. The contrast between Sam’s home life and his hero life is what makes him so fun to read about. It’s always interesting seeing how these two lives clash and mess with Sam as he tries to get through his day.

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Sam just cannot catch a break. He spends his morning helping out an ungrateful talking planet only to literally get caught with his pants down in front of everyone including the cute new girl. This is just another Monday for Sam Alexander. Suddenly he gets a signal from his helmet saying that another nova signal has been detected. Of course this catches Sam off guard, as far as Sam knew he was the last Nova. Who else was out there? Could it be his long missing dad? There’s only one way to find out. Time to fly off and investigate, and so the issue ends with both our heroes stories finally coming together. What’s wrong with Richard? Can Sam find a way to help him? We’ll have to wait for issue two to find out.

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Art

The art is great. It has a distinct feel to it. It’s fun, bright and vibrant. This perfectly captures the tone for the series, which is something that a first issue should do. Something that I find really interesting about the art is all of the subtle changes made depending on which Nova’s perspective we’re following. When the book is focused on Richard the art seems for detailed and yet somewhat distorted. When we shift to Sam the art becomes more energetic and fast paced. The cool thing is despite these difference the art never felt disjointed to me. I imagine that it must’ve been a difficult task but the art team manged to pull it off with flying colors.

nova-1-4Verdict

The best way I can describe this book is well balanced. Having a book with two main leads is difficult. The biggest issue a creative team runs into is finding a way to give both characters page time without feeling like they favored one character over the other. In my opinion Nova #1 succeeded in reintroducing Richard Rider to recent fans of Nova while giving old school Nova fans who might’ve left when Richard did a taste of what Sam Alexander is about and who he is as a character.  This first issue sets the tone for a series that I think will be filled with mystery, action, and most importantly fun. It will also give both characters a chance to learn and bond with someone they can relate to. If you can’t tell by now. I really enjoyed Nova #1, and I highly recommend that you guys go check it out.

 

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