I finished buying this series…dropped it at issue 19 due to poor quality. Here are 5 things it did right and 5 things it did wrong. I’m kind and respectful here, but could probably add more to what it did wrong.
5 things this series did right
- Put top talent on the book– Although I was personally not a fan (of Loeb, big Ed McG fan), Marvel put some names that will draw folks in with Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness. Paco Medina was a great answer to Ed McG leaving. It was nice to see Mark Waid write a few Nova stories as well.
- Put Nova in major events– If that was RIchard RIder in those events, I’d be happy.I do think it works to show off a toy or , in this case, a new toy…problem is the product has to be good to seal the deal. This aspect was missing from RIchard RIder’s run.He was never shown off in the big “main marvel events”..
- Have a multi media approach to sell Nova– This was a good idea, again the product needs to be up to snuff or else it will not work. If the stream is sour then it does not work to lead a horse to water.
- Back your guy– Nobody at marvel wants to break that Sam Alexander is a bad idea and not working…at least they support him. Conversely, Rich seemed like he was going to be killed off every other month for 36 years.
- Put Nova on the Avengers– Rich got a shot and the book was a top ten seller with him on the team. Sam was not technically a member but the fact he was invited and chronically spends time with them made comic fans pay attention..too bad the book just was not good and the character didn’t work.
NOW 5 things this series did wrong! (and by the fact I dropped the book, it probably did more than 5!)
- Get the right people– I’m not going to dive into it too much, but Loeb doesnt have a good track record for building new properties that work at Marvel. Not to mention, if it was possible for him to leave after only 1 arc and 6 issues..then maybe someone else should have been selected for the job. Which brings me to my next point…
- Embrace Stability- get someone from the start who is committed to the cause and passionate to the project they are taking on. Nova began with a very decompressed 6 issue origin arc and then hit a series of crossovers and event tie in filler issues that lead nowhere. Don’t assume people will show up just because something is shiny and new. The book went on to see 3 writers in 10 issues. Others like Mark Waid took a shot at the character in 2 one shots. There was no ownership of Sam Alexander…which bolstered his poor character and status as a corporate marvel venture. Fans don’t bond with that!
- Respect the history of the character– Sam Nova tossed a couple bones to fans early with Terrax and Diamondhead cameos..It mixed in a New Warriors nod and the notion of a far different Nova corps than most fans knew. The book rarely mentioned Richard Rider or the old Nova’s name until over a year into the run. Overrall the book just didn’t seem interested in acknowledging the prior era…one that was much beloved and popular. Not enough was done to bridge the two series.
- Tie up or progress plot points– The new book has been terrible here. This does not even include the burning question of “What Happened to Richard Rider”..since Sam Alexander burst on the scene here are some examples of plot points we have not seen expounded upon, unfinished or poorly finished up:
1- Phoenix said SAM “didn’t belong” –why? That was over 2 years ago.
2- Why were Gamora and Raccoon active so many years ago and assisting the Nova corps?
3- Who was Jesse ALexander and how did he fit into past Nova lore?
4- What happened to Jesse ALexander being an Alcoholic? Why was this just brushed away?
5- WHo are the Black Novas? I mean who are they really? What were they doing all those years ? Why have we never seen them before?
6-Why did Thanos have those Nova Corps helmets?
7-Why did Sam stop collecting the Nova Corps helmets? Why was his mission of finding the old Nova Corps abandoned?
8- Why would Sam not just get a job to support his family?
- Why would Sam’s dad just leave the nova helmet kicking around?
- Why would Sam’s mom tolerate a 15 year old run around and get into so much danger? Who is Sam’s mom?
11.What happened to the DnA Nova Corps? What happened to all the DnA Supporting characters?
12. Why were Jesse and Titus getting an ultimate Nullifier?
That’s 12 points off the top of my head…I can probably think of 10 more.Again sometimes we need to feel a story is being advanced.
5. “EMBRACE THE CORE FANS” This was a quote from Joe Quesada in regards to the MCU. It made no sense to revamp the whole genre and target audience of this series and treat the fans of the old volume so poorly. You have a pretty stable selling book, why not reward those fans with some respect! 30k sellers are nothing to bat an eye at..You should encourage fans to come back to the table if you want to try some new stuff…but make it fit. This series switched genres to a teen book…and an infantile one at that. Obviously there is still a demand for Richard Rider material, with what went on in the Video Game, the Legends figure etc..There should have been a more coherent plan to please fans of Rich.