Nova…the return? My hard earned dollars….the return?

So we have a creative team announced and the following solicit:

Teaser art variant BY FRANCESCO MATTINA
Action Figure Variant Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
ICX Variant Cover by TBA
CLASSIFIED makes his roaring return to the Marvel Universe! How will Sam Alexander cope with this unfathomable homecoming? It’s the return you’ve all been waiting for. Or is something…else? Strap in True Believer, you’ve never seen a NOVA book like this before!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

First things first, yet again I feel disrespected. (surprise) This is very underwhelming, disappointing and even dubious. We’ve waited for nigh-six years since Rich was axed in 2010, we’ve been treated like crap, had poochie shoved down our throat, and I think we deserve to see Rich Rider actually be named in a promo or formal announcement not “Classified”. Sure, I get salesmanship. Generate your buzz, however, but do it in better ways and not at the expense of our tenuous loyalty. “Classified” really has me pissed, and we don’t deserve to be strung along or tricked with this kinda shit this late in the game. Dammit Marvel this is “make or break” between you and me… so get your shit together!

Do I sound entitled? Or do I sound like some guy who was once a trooper and loyal dog for years until you took away my favorite character, told me I was a piece of shit, and turned into a company that has lost its way?

For those sick of me being negative, keep reading…I do get somewhat positive at some point here. (I promise)

But first, more negative:

This book was just “announced” ghost-style and slipped into solicits…which was less common under better managed days. Truthfully, that’s not a good sign that this volume has any buzz or is important to Marvel. In fact, there’s no presence of Rich or Nova in any other books. (aside from Sam in Champions)  Now they have even toned down the fact the book is even going to feature Rich…which sucks.

Frankly, the return of Rich Rider should be something that is a selling point, not something to be “classified”. It goes to show me they are not serious about mending fences with Rich fans and bringing those fans back into the fold. To them we are still the “small but vocal” assholes who can take it or leave it. I really see that still in play…which is incredibly unfortunate.

The cold dose of reality is that this is a lower end creative team in terms of “attractive power” and that notion will almost certainly cripple this volume into a short run. Aside from the Rich Rider hook, there is no reason to buy this book….and yet they play it down. NINO sales are at 14k this month.  From what I see here, this book won’t last, won’t sell for long and has a low commitment of Marvel’s resources. In short, this book is already doomed. Under that commitment, I’m not going to be strung out.

Loveness is a script writer and a guy who has done comedy. He’s very likely in the fold of guys like Duggan and Bendis, the kind of writers that have killed Marvel Cosmic…even despite a well-reviewed Groot series. I’m really wary of these comic book outsiders and script writers. With my logic, they are the kinda guys who want to kiss up to Jeph Loeb and be in his back pocket….ergo expect Sammy -boy to be the star…and expect goofy zany exploits still.

The positive:

Ramon Perez is a talented guy. He’s not a comic book outsider. He did the Hawkeye series, which was very stylistic and critically acclaimed. He has some sci-fi chops and worked on a Farscape comic a few years ago. I need to check it out to see if it was any good. Overall, I dig his work and I’d say he can do “the trick” for a decent book. He seems to be able to write and draw, which is a bonus.

I know a few folks have expressed contempt for Loveness style but as I see it the guy has written too few comics to say definitively what he is. Groot got very solid reviews from a number of sources, really that’s his only work aside from scripts and a couple other books. Though I am dubious of him, he could be Jack Kirby part II for all we know. I think he, at the least, he deserves a chance.

I guess what I’m saying here is, tentatively, there is enough to give this volume a shot. It doesn’t blow me up to be excited for this team, but I can’t say it’s some sort of deal-breaker either. I promised I would buy a Marvel book with RR in it if he came back, even despite the complete mess of a company Marvel is right now, (and it IS a mess)… I will possibly give it a try. (Caveat: provided we are dealing with RR here and not something cheap bait and switch)

I don’t like Sam, but I think it was pretty realistic to see we were both going to get a book with them together and not strictly a Rich book. We can go from there, I guess, though I don’t expect this creative team to be a big draw unless something wild were to happen. If Sam continues to suck as a character, I’ll keep being vocal about his eternal state of suckitude.

Further, I think the book deserves a couple issues of support before damning it for whatever we think it is. At least, that’s where I’m at right now. Perhaps NYCC will bring some further announcement and we’ll get some better picture in the upcoming series promo interviews and art whenever those pop up. For now, despite disappoint for the listed reasons, I’m gonna wait and see what unfolds.

Still…I’m not totally sure yet…. So will I support this series and buy this book?…maybe I will…maybe that’s “classified” Marvel….so get your shit together.


Nova Still in Chaos


So no announcement yet….and I’m feeling a little negative once more. Really though, what reason do we have to be upbeat? Rich is still dead. Marvel is still the same company off the tracks. Bendis still has hijacked GOTG. PC replacements of established heroes run amok. Continuity is still in hellish limbo chilling with the Dire Wraiths. Sadly…cosmic still sucks.

Timelord recently reflected on this exact topic on CBN in an op-Ed (Link) I happen to agree with him on at least 90 percent of this stuff.

I think folks are pretty sane in being wary…even though I always like to base my attitudes off facts….that is actually where we are coming from. The fact is Marvel did dick us over and treat us like shit. They just let Abnett walk. The fact is Marvel hasn’t done anything to rope me back in.

A “back room half-ass announcement” and dubious promo art that hasn’t been followed up on is nothing to high five over. No creative team or art displayed….weird. Worse, no evidence exists “Rider reborn” is going to have any sort of significant impact on the Marvel Universe. If Sean Ryan is handling the rebirth….plan on whatever Rider’s role is to be minor and disappointing.

This smells like a bushwhack.

Going forward, the cosmic books look to be still fractured, disjointed and very much the playground of a select group. Jeff Lemire looks to be using most of the good old Starlin characters and promised his book will be self-contained.

Sam Alexander in Champions still looks to be a big Marvel investment, so my thoughts are whatever Nova volume we see, it will be Sam Alexander heavy….even if Rich does show up somehow.

I saw worldmind is back. I’m very wary of Ryan setting any kind of canon with Nova lore at this point. His book has been a failure…his pitch was horrid and the book is a disgrace, just like his Suicide Squad was. We all need to move on from this guy….so I’m not gonna support it. If he brings back Rich, I may buy the book strictly as a completest…but that will be all. If he writes the next volume… I’ll panic. But I’ll honor my word and check out a couple issues.

Timelord’s own theory on Worldmind and Rich may indeed be true, but I do think we have to give it more time to see if that’s how it will play out. It could go many ways from here, even though Nova has only one more issue to wrap this up.

-Worldmind has nearly always been depicted in the Nova Prime helm and even the same full armor that Rich wore in the DnA era.

-It looks like he is made of energy from the pic I saw.

The argument that Ryan is not educated enough in Nova lore is fair, but could also work against TL’s theory: does Ryan even know that Worldmind can take the Avatar form of past Nova champions? Maybe not…

A lot of the books I was potentially excited for look less sexy now. Solo was written by Duggan (no way in hell will I buy that). Prowler is about a clone of Hobie Brown and will be written by Sean Ryan. Lemire’s Thanos sounds a bit narrow.