Nova # 6 Review

The penultimate issue of this short run, Nova # 6 is solid comic, filled with wonderful organic pencils and sprawling splash pages of scenes from the horrors of the Cancerverse and the struggles of Richard Rider. The book is emotional, tragic and gut-wrenching, and both the art, pacing and writing help to tie this story together. Again, this comic seems to be filled with a passion for creating something worthwhile.

That being said, there are numerous plot issues and continuity weak points that longtime fans will find overly distracting. Simply put; this matter can no longer be overlooked. While I have vowed to be flexible with this kind of stuff, Nova # 6 dives back into the past history and gets too many things wrong to be ignored. In this case, it unfortunately reaches the level of detracting from the other material which is incredibly well-done.

Let me briefly mention what I saw as problematic:

  1. A version of Thanos in the Cancerverse. It was expressly stated in TI that Thanos was not around or never existed in that reality. This was an important notation in Thanos Imperative.
  2. Worldmind wasn’t left behind- A central point to this issue and to Thanos Imperative was that Worldmind was clearly left to stay in the 616 reality while Richard took the raw Nova Force into the Cancerverse. Frankly, the story could have been altered to work just fine. Loveness could have made Worldmind come in after looking for him.
  3. Artificial Intelligence was immune- now I’ve heard a decent explanation that Worldmind was organic enough to perhaps get corrupted…yet it was pretty clear from TI that all artificial intelligence was incompatible with the many-angled taint.
  4. It makes for the fact that the GOTG traveled back to the Cancerverse in that horrid initial Avengers Assembled arc seem even more awkward.
  5. If Rich had the whole Nova Force and left it in the Cancerverse, how did he have any powers when he returned? How is Sam really powered then? Because they said that the Black Helms Syphon off the Nova force (steal it).

Most, if not all of these subjects would have been cleared up if the creators had read and knew Thanos Imperative and Bendis GOTG arc. It’s not a heavy lift, nor is it asking the world for Loveness to know those two trades fairly well before attempting this kind of story.

A few people have made a big deal about Worldmind being left behind by Rich Rider. This was a sad revelation and added to the emotion, yet Rich was going through hell and his mind was very likely insane or near-insane. Plus, he’s probably been gone for only a few minutes as it stands. (albeit time seems to pass differently there)

All told, this is still a very good comic, and a very good issue on top of it. The story here honors the character of Richard Rider in unprecedented ways. Truthfully, if the implications of these “seasons in the cancerverse”  (an ode to Slayer) are true, Rich has been through a kind of hell that perhaps no other Marvel hero has ever had to burden. In many ways it makes him more interesting than ever and a character I hope gets plenty of page time in years to come. (I’m really curious how getting gutted by the Revengers so often will make him view the Avengers)

Despite a few faults, there is gripping, evocative work being done in these pages, namely with the metaphor of PTSD and friendship and trust, not to forget the notion of being ‘left behind’. It’s profound stuff that both Loveness and Perez and all the others involved with this book should be proud of.

I really think this story deserved to be told in at least 4 issues, perhaps even worthy of being something as long as Zola-verse etc… as it stands we must give latitude for these guys trying to wrap things up nicely on an abbreviated timeline. As it is, I wish it were not the case.

An imperfect, yet enjoyable issue, now more than ever it will be truly a shame to see this book go.




7 thoughts on “Nova # 6 Review

  1. I enjoyed the issue a lot, and while there are inconsistencies, I feel like a lot of it can just be attributed to comic book logic. Let’s play devil’s advocate and address your points.

    1. It was pointed out to me very recently that we actually do get a very brief look at Cancerverse Thanos during the Thanos Imperitave, right in this Panel:
    He’s still stuck in stone, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that the revengers eventually just unstuck him and then the many angled ones corrupted him as well, all off panel.
    2. Correct me if I’m wrong but the last time we saw Worldmind speak was when Rich asked for full power in the cancerverse, stripping the power from all the Nova corps. I guess this possibly could’ve drawn in Worldmind fully into the Cancerverse to help Richard handle the power better. I’m reaching a bit here, I know.
    3. You bring up a good point, but like you said, it’s not too crazy to think that the worldmind might have been organic enough to do it. Maybe that’s possibly why they broke Thanos out of his stone state, to try and inspect the cosmic cube, and then he found the Worldmind instead, and he used his intelligence to corrupt the AI. And honestly, it makes for a very emotional story of Richard leaving the Worldmind behind. The “please don’t leave” line hit me pretty hard.
    I’m also giving it a pass because it reminds me a lot of in the Halo series of Gravemind corrupting Cortana.
    4. I haven’t read that, but I just looked it up and saw that Bendis wrote it. Bendis writing something that ignores continuity? No surprise there. I can’t stand Bendis.
    5. This is something I’m questioning too. I thought him no longer having the Worldmind explained the star on his helmet losing the two points, but I’m curious where he’s drawing his power from. Perhaps it was gonna be a future plot line that he only had a finite amount of energy he brought with him, and they were gonna have to find a new energy source or battery? Or maybe they’ll explain it in the last issue. Who knows?

    I definitely understand the complaints about continuity, especially for such a good book like Thanos Imperative that so often gets ignored, but I think I’m just more willing to look past some of the issues because of how much I’ve been enjoying the book. The fact that I got Richard Rider back in a way that showed such respect to the character is more than I could’ve ever hoped for.
    I hope Perez and Loveness go on to do great things at Marvel or beyond.

    It’s also funny to compare Richard dying over and over to the recent awful Clone Conspiracy story in ASM where Ben Reilly is killed over and over. He comes out of that and turns evil and crazy, but while Richard is still obviously traumatized, he’s still Richard Rider.

    And while I love Perez’ art, I thought the guest artist does a really good job of showing how sick and twisted the cancerverse is. Definitely gives a different tone to the book.

    1. I’m with you, loved this series, loved the issue even though there were problems.
      I truly think this whole story needed at least 6 more issues to fully wrap-up in a decent way explaining everything. We won’t get that so here I’m hoping that #7 is solid.

  2. Its quite scary knowing that this lasted 7 issues Just like Erik Larsen’s take on Nova from 1999.

    1. I think there was more passion in this. Sure, Larsen’s was maybe some love for what he read as a kid and ignored years of what transpired after. (it was , at the time nice to see such an A-list guy work on Nova)

      Frankly, with this one, their was an effort to build up Rider and bridge what went on before. Some of the plot choices and pacing were off. Art was a niche zone not for everybody, and yeah, it had Sam…hell, can;t really blame them, they tried to get everybody together.

      Of all the shit that’s disgraceful with Marvel right now, this isn’t it.. This was a decent comic that deserved better.

      Hell those fuckers just killed Rick fucking Jones.


    1. Trade waiting….and probably waiting to Byrne steal at Barnes and Nobles from the flow of Starlin’s last few OGN/ Marvel works. Frankly, I’ve had no use for what he’s done over the past few years. Seems like an (arrogant) broken record stuck in a rut. I actually liked his Stormwatch more than anything.

      BTW think this Nova run would have done a bit better if we would have gotten Alan Davis?

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