Another month, and another solid issue of Nova.
Nova # 3 continues the same strengths of what has gone on since December; despite a few minor gripes, the book has strong dialogue, pacing and excellent art that lights up the paper with an organic flare. Page after page of Perez’s lines routinely add to the storytelling and flow. Overall, even as a resident curmudgeon extraordinaire, (I hate nearly everything 🙂 ) I truly look forward to this volume every month.
As stated, this issue once again excels in the dialogue department. Loveness and Perez nail affable and whimsical banter between Sam and Rich with the added dry humor of the bounty hunters. Death’s Head and Titus need to be reoccurring characters. I laughed out loud a couple times and it was great to see someone nail the characters.
The plotting is well done. The book sets up numerous mysteries and reasons to keep reading. This issue in particular, contains an especially interesting reveal that (spoiler) Rich Rider has some control of this Cancerverse possession and can actually use the powers. In other words, Rich appears to be some sort of Cancerverse creature. It’s kinda of an awesome moment, and frankly, I would have done it with a splash page.
There’s a point in issue #3 where you realize that we’ve got more than one storyline out there, including Sam’s dad, the current Cancerverse possession, the girlfriend(s), and, with this issue the burning question of “who is hiring bounty hunters” to track down Nova helmets. (Guess: we know Thanos was collecting the helms circa Infinity in a seemingly forgotten plot point from vol.5)
# 3 was mostly an action issue with a smooth flow. There were, however, a few parts that were clunky and some (possible) continuity matters that were unclear.
I had a few notations/issues, some positive, some negative;
-Did I mention Death’s Head was (tic) awesome, yes?
-I actually really like Titus as well.
-I dig the Cancerverse possession of Rich. There’s not enough Lovecraft out there IMO, and it’s a complex evolution that adds a layer to RR. The notion alone implies a couple of arcs worth of material. Never thought anybody could make Rich an even better character. ( I’ve got a few theories about Rich that I will save for a later blog post.)
-Cosmo went down a bit of a bitch. Knowhere is a pretty uber facility, it seemed a bit silly the security was woefully bad.
-I know they’re still implying the power to all Novas comes from the helmets, something that contrasts with the old continuity for yellow Novas and Rich.
The reality is; it’s not a minor quibble.
The fact Rich’s Nova powers were within his body have been huge plot points at the start of two great eras of Nova, that being Night Thrasher throwing him off a roof at the start of Volume 1, and Annihilation, where he needed to absorb the Worldmind and take in the full Nova Force. DnA also had an integral Arc in vol. 4 whereupon Rich’s absorption of the Nova Force essentially would kill him if he didn’t have the powers within his body. (The arc where he became Quasar briefly)
That being said, I will say it is not exactly clear from the issue if it really is the case. Rich may have been simply fooling or using a ruse tactic. Either way, it’s not a deal breaker…but I think it’s something that can be easily fixed to make sense. Whatever the case, I actually trust these guys for some reason. 🙂
-Rich Rider appears to be depowered significantly. He used to have greatly enhanced strength in the “class 100 range “ and go toe to toe with Gladiator or Silver Surfer. Its fine if he’s been depowered, but it would be nice to have him reference this within the book. It was annoying to see that nameless chitauri get the bead on him. I know there was a reference to the crowd and not being able to let loose, but Rich has fought in such tight conditions before.
-Still want to know the deal with worldmind. Due to the end of the last volume, this cannot just be brushed off as an older supporting character unused. Some aspect of this needs to be explained or else it just feels awkward.
-While Perez has stated the rank reduction to centurion has an explanation, Rich is also depicted in a flashback photo with Gamora as Centurion in rank, which is not possible. I assume this to be an error.
-Was cool to see old New Warriors ladies. Excited to see Gamora next issue. Cool to see Loveness and Perez acknowledge the past. I love this, the future is great….but the past matters. That is an integral part of good serial fiction IMO.