Review Nova # 2 (Spoilers)

Just a short review for this comic, one of the best Nova books in years and years.

Rich is being handled wonderfully, the dialogue is spot on, well researched and enjoyable.

Thoughts:

-What can I say, Knowhere, Cosmo reunion and “I think they remember” bar scene…very touching and well-done. The kinda moment we sure needed!

-This is a denser comic than issue #1 with more reading and events. For a comic these days, its worth the cover price.

-Rich being mad about heroes fighting is SO Rich. As was the Champions back and forth with Ms. Marvel.

-Last issue, I was somewhat critical of Sam’s mom somehow being wayyy more “latino” than she was in past depictions, at least I made the observation. That notion is cranked up even more in issue #2 and let me say, it was instead very well done and rich. The result was very warm, real, and showed the strength of community and family of Sam.

It’s really wonderful to see the positives of Latino neighborhoods/community depicted rather than the usual tropes. This felt like the real AZ 2017, not some back set from an old 50’s movie like Loeb designed. Loveness and Perez are 100% able to show the richness of the cultural and the warmth of the positive rather than the generic and token stereotypes. In a few panels they both prove themselves 100 x the writers of Joe Loeb, and 100 x the empaths and researchers.

-From a guy who wasn’t a big Sam fan, this comic is already excelling at reproaching the character. These are the kind of things that make Sam “real” and not a Peter Parker or Robbie Reyes rip off.

A few other notes:

-Rich Rider bioscan folks…yeah “Flesh and Blood Rider or nothing” crowd there you go….

-Rich floppy helmet! Yes, that is research!

-Loved the shout out to the Rich Rider fans /internet/ forums, thank you Jeff and Ramon. Keep writing books like this and you’ll have our passion as well!

-The art began to really grow on me. Perez masters alien life and the organic play of the pencil, I was unsure of it at first, but I’m in to it now.

-Loved the aliens at the end. I’m not sure, but that almost looks like some class of Death’s head. Loved Titus being back (or at least someone from his species), he had a really good design. We need more cyborg tiger folks out there.

-Dialogue was a bit herky jerky in a couple parts, but was a stylistic choice of frenetic back and forth between Sam and Rich. I eventually zoned into what Loveness was going for, and it mostly worked.

-Reading this issue I almost think like Jeff and Ramon read my blog here and decided to listen and act. I know that’s crazy, but that’s at least how I felt.

-Clearly more Cancerverse mysteries….both the “fib” he tells Sam and the goo left at Sam’s home.

9/10 (Probably would have been a 10/10 if it was a arc tie up issue or such)

Keep it Jeff and Ramon, great stuff so far!

Spectral

Not Nova related, but saw this cool little flick tonight on NETFLIX

For anyone looking for a solid movie on NETFLIX, I highly recommend “Spectral” which just came out a few weeks ago. The movie does not reinvent the wheel in terms of a sci fi action plot in the genre of Aliens/ Predator, yet what it does is deliver very well produced visuals/cinematography, action, effects, good dialogue, solid acting, and a level of quality that far exceeds the expectations of a NETLIX flick. Not only is it one of the better NETFLIX original features ever, it’s probably one of the best sci fi /action films in the last couple of years. I love the feel of this film, it captures all the best of hard-nosed war movies, meets Call of Duty and Halo…very enjoyable. For what this movie is, I give it a 9 / 10.

To be fair there are a couple of herky-jerky points in the movie that seem a little forced, but all in all its well done. Really I am almost in disbelief that was a NETFLIX movie and not a theatrical release.

I also want to say, with respect to Marvel TV (which for some reason I thought about when I saw this) that if this is what folks can do for a meager NETFLIX originals, its makes the crap and low budget feeling TV that Jeph Loeb and Marvel TV crew are pumping out both on NETFLIX and on ABC seem all the more unacceptable. You can do this kind of stuff on a lower budget, and this class of flick proves it.

I look forward to whatever this guy who directed this movie, a newcomer named Nic Mathieu, is working on next. He did a hell of a job with this movie.

Nova # 1 Loveness/Perez, Review and Thoughts

Overall, I liked the first issue. I give it a 7/10.

What its not: For fans of the Giffin/ DnA era, what we don’t have here in issue #1 is a dense/heavy book with interlaced science babble and congealing plot lines inset with maps, appendices and guides. Despite a solid show for Rider, this is not something that would just be plugged into the DnA/Giffen era. This book is something apart, and has its own feel.

What we do have: This is a simple, skippy tale, highly stylized that relies heavily on the mojo between Loveness choice words and Perez’s pencils and is thus a bit more “style before substance”. The whole book took me only a few minutes to read, dialogue was mostly light, but well executed.

Thus, this I’d wager the format won’t be for everyone, and is almost certainly bound to upset a few of the ( some often inconsolable) fans who routinely bring out the pitchforks and torches out if anything RR wasn’t perfect and exactly what they wanted or perceive it should be.

In general, the writing was solid, dialogue good, and some decent funny lines for Sam emerged. Plot and direction seems well-thought out and crafted with care. In many ways, this seemed like the most polished Nova comic in years.

I will say, yes, to add to the inconsolable (s) fears, (and my own) there is more Sam here than Rich. Though counting panels seems a bit childish, for so many fans on edge about who will dominate the book, Marvel and Loveness could have given a bit more to Rider to assuage those long slaked fan’s well-nurtured fears. Repair bridges right? Still, clearly Rider’s plight is the main focus here in terms of the story, and it’s tough to argue some slight has occurred just yet. To be fair, this comic was certainly a step in the right direction, and we really appreciate them bringing our boy back.

My negatives are that the comic bogged down a bit for me during the Sam Alexander High School “girl scene”. While it’s no surprise I’m not a fan of Sam most of the time, we’ve just seen too much of this same kind of shtick before. The goofiness of Sam’s antics got a bit long winded here after earning some laughs from me with his Ego scene. To some extent , this should have been balanced by another cut to Rider, or something else. It was almost like “Too much Sam” and I thought the art just turned way too cartoony and silly by the time Sam starts imagining or hallucinating Thanos and a bunch of baddies in his school.

I thought these couple pages could have been juiced up with something else and should have been cut/abridged. While this scene does show some of the mindset he is battling right now with his secret identity conflict (also it juxtaposes each Nova’s psychosis) the pages and faux battle scene were largely unneeded and a bit over the top with camp. A couple panels could have accomplished a bit more with less. (as they did with Rider’s own hallucination)

Still, a promising start. Loveness weaves good action, and the dialogue with Sam helping Ego was pretty well done and funny. The “global warming” line had me chuckle pretty loud.

The art is mostly filed under, “Art I normally wouldn’t go for, but still appreciate,” much the same place Skot Kollins work on DnA Nova was for me. (Which needs to be taken into account) Still, in the end I mostly liked the art. Perez lines are very cartoony which I mostly grew on. As I said, the High School portions got a bit too deep in this motif for me. Perez art is also highly stylized, a nice cross between Declan Shelvey and Skottie Young. I’m still not totally won over by it and not sure how much of it I would care to see in a Nova book for a long run. Keep in mind, its guys like Jack Kirby, Neil Adams, Mark Bagely, John Byrne, Ron Lim, George Perez, and Art Adams who brought me in to comics. Though I love all forms of differing styles, certain stuff is a better fit for certain topics. The colors are stylized as well, and come of very pastel.(which mostly works)

With all things considered, however, I’m still on the fence if this kind of direction is what I “want”. There is a marked difference between taking in a few issues of something like this as a mini-series or exposition, rather than accept that this is the future direction of a Nova ongoing.

Frankly, I prefer dense/ content heavy stuff; star maps, encroaching fleets, and climactic space-battles, at least in my Nova book, that is. Certainly, the story seems, for now at least, something low key and personal, which is honestly, no matter how well-done, not exactly what I hoped for. I wanted Rich’s return to the Marvel U to be lauded and ushered in with a mega sonic boom and gravimetric sweep, something closer to the wedding of Reed and Sue than just another arthouse pull on Marvel’s struggling palette.

Still I do really like the angle they are pursuing with Rich and his potential psychosis/PTSD and struggle to adjust. So too, the sense of mystery is nice. DnA touched on this “inability to adjust” when Rich briefly returned to Earth, and I always wanted them to explore this further. This could be some great stuff, especially if we could get a functional take (for once) on old New Warriors supporting characters.

I stated before, its very possible something low key and intimate may be needed that can galvanize the relationship between Sam and Rich. Maybe I am wrong, and “low key” is just what the doctor ordered.  Truthfully, I would argue Sam needs this even more than Rich, as I personally see him as under performing in sales.

Now briefly, a few observations, Heavy spoilers ahead so be warned:

Ego is almost a good guy/sympathetic figure and evidently asks Sam for help. The quality of the writing between Ego and Sam almost makes me wish he would be a reoccurring character in this book or develop a relationship with the Novas once more. Clearly, they have a history.

Rich hallucinates a bit when he’s at his house and sees his mother as dead. At first it could seem like some form of PTSD, but the last panel shows Rich clearly effected, injured and attacked by something within him, multi eyed and black, very likely a cancerverse type entity.

Clearly, he’s still under the sway of that realm and some form of the many angled ones.

This is AWESOME! It’s a great story idea and has real potential.

What if this is the Cancerverse Rich Rider? What if this is a Rich Rider generated from his severed arm or something wild like that? Did Star-Lord lie?

Remember we knew that at least one Cancerverse victim (Scarlett Witch) was capable of some form of free will/ breaking free from the evil collective.

It almost seemed like Rich is trapped on Earth as well. Maybe this will mean a Star-Lord meeting?

So too, for the first time, I had very few issues with continuity.

-No mention of Robbie Rider yet, in the home scenes.

-Promise of Knowhere in next issue? Makes sense, with Cosmo coming out.

-Sam’s mom didn’t speak much Spanglish before and Sam supposedly does not speak Spanish. Thus, the breakfast part with Sam was off then, in that his mom laid that Spanglish on so thick.

Looking forward to the next issue and talking Nova lore once more!

 

Thanos # 1 (short review)

This was the first comic I’ve bought in awhile, a Marvel digital purchase, which I found steep at $3.99 ,but it beat schlepping to the distant comic store on a snowy northeastern day….also, I really want to be sure about the quality of these books before I go full in on collecting again.

(Surprise) I was pleased with the book.

Art was excellent.Prose was “adequate”, with a nice pace and plot. Deodato has tweaked his style some with that dot shading, and it looked pretty good.

(Spoilers)

A few complaints/observations, however:

I didn’t love Corvus Glaive going out like such a bitch. IMO Glaive was actually pretty cool, and the way he ended up dying, kinda made me think that Lemire or somebody was just embarrassed he was ever created in the first place. If that’s the case, I disagree, whatever Hickman missed out on with Thanos, The Black Order was kinda his one big lasting cool factor. Yes, Thanos would beat up Corvus, but I think Glaive would have at least battled him and fought back some more.

Didn’t love how Death acted or looked, but I’ll keep watching.

I’m not sure about the Champion as the rooting interest here. (?) He looks a lot like Lobo or Giffen’s old knock Lunatik and here, he was kinda coming off as “Mary Sue-ish” IE can do no wrong and has probably found some super-cool new quasi-hero coolness. (which is cool)

Thane is there as well…um er…just not sure about him either.

Again, I’m not sure if I like showing Eros as some wry and unapologetic sleazoid. That seemed to be where they they are going….kinda took him to a place I didn’t think (or at least hoped) he’d go. Truthfully, he’s been this shady sleeze-bag before, to some extent, so its not totally out from left field.  I guess I need more information. For some odd reason, I like Eros (even though Dan Slott made him a rapist), and I hope he somehow redeems himself within this book. I’ve always hoped they’d tweak that Slott stuff to make it a little more easy on the guy.

Still, some interesting stuff here. Overall, it had a solid feel. I guess I liked the vibe of the whole thing the most….this IS hard sci fi and gritty Marvel cosmic. That must be commended and encouraged. So too, it seems set to uplift a few lesser known or forgotten characters….not unlike DnA and Giffen.

In general, Lemire’s Thanos mostly works, and Deodato’s art really aids it. I look forward to issue # 2 and to see where this goes.

The Forgotten Impact of Annihilation

 

Annihilation finally gave Marvel’s cosmic universe a sense of space and plausible science. Marvel’s cosmic used to be an almost magical realm, where things just seemed to happen and pop everywhere….sometimes even a world where things seemed hopelessly separate as well. It was a world of shifting Kirby-esque ringed planets where other galaxies were only a finger snap or teleport spell away.

The Skrulls, Shi’ar and Kree all seemed to be waiting just beyond the limits of the planet Earth, and as long as someone hopped in any old shuttle a wonky and wonderful space adventure and strange worlds were just a few panels down the road. Light years were nothing, and science was something for school, not comics. (Priest’s Deadpool “Bad Wolf” arc back in the late 90’s actually gloriously made fun of this notion as well)

There was something fun about that, but there was also something naive and unrealistic at the same time.

That all took a different turn with 2006 Marvel’s classic event Annihilation with Keith Giffen, Andy Schmidt, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and a bevy of talented artists.

The work built off Giffen’s earlier Marvel works in Thanos and Drax, but also harkened back to some of the elements he used a decade earlier in DC’s classic event Invasion!

 

The concept was also heavily influenced by 2000 AD concepts like Rogue Trooper and other sci fi books that appeared in that publication

Space fleets felt like real moving parts, shifting in a real sense of space with quasi-physics and pseudo-science involved to give everything a sense of plausibility. This evolved everything from comic book fun to a harder form of graphic novel science fiction.  Superheroes and space battles seemed almost more tangible and possible this way.

Annihilation introduced another pseudo-sense of spatial orientation within the framework of the Marvel Universe cosmic landscape. (meaning the actual universe) Thus, apart from fleets of destroyers and hive ships, actual space felt “real” and graspable, and not just some huge realm you entered when you jumped on a rocket into the sky, closed your eyes and said “Jack Kirby” three times fast.

Annihilation visualized the impossible. Thus, reading the comic was like watching a solid sci fi film come to comics. You could almost smell the popcorn.

I think it was the first time anyone used maps in the Marvel Cosmic Universe….but the sense of space also bled into the stories. The Nova Files companion and footnotes were a great explanation and dipped into the continuity and depth of Marvel cosmic. This was research and well thought out event crafting …this was Marvel comics at their best. Within the pages of each issue was a love letter to Marvel lore, not just something bold and new or a square peg shoved down a round hole.

Image result for Nova Files annihilation

Suddenly, the reader began to realize the placement of things like the Crunch and Xandar, Andromeda and the Large Magellanic Cloud. This made Earth seem small and frankly, it made the whole cosmic realm equally vast, full of potential and exciting.

It was all brilliant, new and fresh.

The effect on the event was the same as much of the art and plot; cosmic gained a gritty realistic, and cinematic quality that transcended and built upon the old Kirby/ Starlin directions and felt new and wonderful, while still retaining a sense of respect and influence of many of those older creators.

Respectful and fresh all at the same time, imagine that. Within the book,  Kirby and Starlin never felt sloughed off or improperly researched…they were always warm and inextractibly set within this new vision.

It’s painfully too bad folks like Bendis never read this stuff or wrote anything nearing this level of quality. Sadly, it’s even more criminal none of the guys involved were signed to Marvel exclusives and had much of an impact on Marvel today. Most of them were let go or brushed off almost immediately after. DnA and a few of the artists stuck around longer, only to be demoted to lesser spin offs.

I also have to mention the science of Nova Prime and Richard Rider.

Rider’s interaction with the Worldmind gestalt gave his powers a sense of logic and limit, despite having near limitless power.

Nigh-Omnipotent characters are always a problem to pass off on readers and hold drama within the framework of pseudo-logic….but Giffen and DnA nailed it.

Rider was thus more like a human starship, and his interactions with his own powerset and Worldmind were reminiscent of the playful bickering between Han Solo and Chewy at the controls of the Millennium Falcon , the bridge interaction of Star Trek’s crew, or HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, all the while building something original and unique. To top it off, the whole back and forth between Worldmind and Rich spoke of that same ode to Marvel’s past….of Rick Jones in a Starlin-esque version of Mar-vell’s head or in Peter David’s Genis-vell.

Counter this with Jeph Loeb’s and Gerry Duggan’s portrayal of Sam Alexander, who possess undefined and seemingly limitless powers which are hardly ever explained, described or articulated with that critical sense of “quasi-logic”, save for blue strokes across the page and streaking speed fit for any situation to be fast enough to resolve whatever the issue demands.

The whole powerset seems muddled and herky jerky…which, as a result, devolves the character. It is much the same issue as characters like Dr. Strange have suffered from in years past, the lack of definition of his powerset and/or abilities builds up a potential dues ex machina to escape and demean the tension of threats. This hurts the story.

Going forward Marvel needs to fix this problem among the many others Sam’s character faces…or Marvel can just write him off and give us more Richard Rider…which many of us wouldn’t mind either.

My own Cat fight with Cosmic Book News and Last Post There

nino-ban

I wanted to share something for those fans who post or have posted on CBN in the boards there. Everything is stagnant except for Rider and Quasar talk, and over these past three years or so, I have really enjoyed discussions there with many Nova fans like Sep, CapMarvel, 50year old Nova fan, Drakkeon, Timelord, etc..while I don’t like dwelling on cat fighting between fans,  I wanted to let folks hear my side of the story without censorship or moderation.

When I started this blog, it was because I had been banned from CBR’s message boards because of “excessive Richard Rider talk” and so-called attacking fans of Sam Alexander…

I wanted to have a place where folks could share their views without moderation without fear they would be censored for airing strong opinions, and my own thoughts critical or approving would be free from the deletion of over-bearing mods, like CBR’s famed gestalt of self-righteous muldoons.

At that point, 19 issues into Duggan’s Nova volume and gravely disappointed, I found solace in CBN and their boards as a refuge to complain about the current state of Nova, wage boycotts and protest the fact Richard Rider was dead and Marvel was a fool for not using him.

The so-called leader of this was Matt McGloin and his visceral hatred of anything Marvel. The guy who thinks he knows what “True” Nova fans are . He was oft-abrasive, and usually loved lecturing everyone on certain matters, but I was willing to concede to the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” notion. I was glad I did, for awhile at least, I met some great Nova fans on there and have no regrets about my time on the board.

Now for the catty stuff; let me be perfectly honest and say I now know this guy McGloin’s true colors. Despite us finding common ground at one point, McGloin is sincerely a bully and wannabe. Though he has bemoaned the antics of Marvel execs like Steven Whacker, he has no problem doing his best imitation of the man as well. His site is now nothing more than click-bate mire of sensationalism, and trust me, he has no desire for Marvel Comics to save itself or recover.

Since the announcement, the CBN boards have felt more and more like the garden of roses in Alice in Wonderland, with McGloin shouting “off with his head” at anyone not “angry” enough at NINO or the fact they may sample the new book.

My last post on the board was precipitated by the more and more irrational views of McGloin and Timelord, who seem to defy any sort of logic in their spittle induced cathartic back and forth about how bad NINO sucks and how horrid Tom Brevoort is….even still with the announcement that Marvel is bringing back Richard Rider, like we all asked for.

Within the board, there was the promise that “No NINO supporters” were free to post on the board. (He’s actually got it posted in the rules now) leading up to this, he berated and threatened a few long time posters whose comments were not “NINO hating enough”.

Something needed to be done. It was in this environment I pulled some prize quotes of delusion: “Flesh and Blood Rider or nothing” was one.

Then McGloin, madly declared he was currently working on a CBN drive that would declare a new boycott of the new series. “Rider like DnA did him or nothing at all!” he declared, basically implying anyone that was not with him was against him. This is where I drew the line.

Let me share the post that got me “banned” and has put me at odds with McGloin. It’s long, as I wanted to be perfectly clear. I also specifically  stated in the write up that it was my last post on the board, so McGloin banned someone who had decided to leave and deleted the post, the trite actions of a petty child pouting as he takes his toys back to his mommy:

I’m hearing Champions #1 was a huge failure.

I didn’t love the Han Solo comparison either, but I don’t have a big problem with it. He’s a brash and competent and a risk taker pilot type. Though Rich was more responsible, it’s not like an insane idea or anything.

Marvel always seems to want to compare stuff to Star Wars or the characters therein. I think it’s an indicator of some things….mostly negative. I think from reading these interviews you get a clearer picture why Rich was actually back-burnered. …”too similar in some eyes to other characters.”  Or “redundant”. Especially with Star-Lord and the actual Han Solo out there. Maybe this is why marvel cosmic has been put down….to avoid competing with their own Star Wars material. Seems lame.

Please read the much more substantial Marvel interview as well.

SO here’s where this post turns, and I point out I couldn’t see this situation any differently than you two. Reading these two interviews, the vast majority of what I hear within tells me these guys “get it” and understand Rich Rider and Nova. It’s a breath of fresh air, really, and, to me it paints a totally different picture than the crazed talk you guys are pushing.

Some of the listed focuses of this series seem to be some of the fundamental angles I wished DnA could have explored more. I find Loveness and Perez hook intriguing and something well-thought out. I’m almost reading stuff from these creators that is “too good to be true”, and from both you and TL I’m reading stuff that is hard to believe as well.

These guys seem to be huge fans. Loveness seems like a rare Marvel guy who was brought up on the books. Read what he says about Scott Summers? That’s awesome, because I love cyclops too. I love the Summers clan and I would love to see something like the Starjammers.

The book seems much more planned than any we’ve seen. I think by reading both these guys thoughts, I have the opinion they have done an in-depth character study of Rich and plan to really produce something well thought out. Sounds like they’ve read the material or plan to read it all.

The Marvel interview mentions extensive content in space, Thanos and even Dr. Sun name dropped. Old villains and old characters are a huge part of this series. I don’t get how Rich is a sidekick when he is clearly shown bailing a dying NINO out from cancerverse stuff in the art. Frankly, in contrast to you and TLs (IMO) wild thoughts and fears, this series seems way more about Rich than NINO. As I read it, Sam seems like mostly an afterthought.

Honestly, you guys sound like you have gone off the deep end and are broken records. Nearly all your thoughts seem unjustified or fantastic. I’m not in agreement with your stance.

Maybe you just were not prepared for life with Rich Rider back.

I can understand Stinger’s angst because he loves Quasar and that character is still down. I think Stinger you are bit off on the reality of what works and what does not in terms of these character issues, boycotts and fan-angst.

You guys did decent with Quasar….but it didn’t stick and it’s certainly not as rosy a performance as you make out. I really don’t appreciate the constant lectures on fandom, trolling, zombies and what real fans should be like.  At this point, it’s mostly tired. To call me a zombie really dug deep. I’ve gone on FB and defended CBN to no end, and here as well. No more.

Nor do I dig the threat of censorship for simply liking a character. ”Ban NINO fans”, whatever….none come anyway here. I don’t like NINO, but I’m happy to hear others who disagree with me and their opinion. It’s called discussion and dialogue. That’s why I founded a blog on RR so folks could just say what they want without being over moderated.

I respect that this is your turf and board, but I don’t dig that environment. So this will be my last post here.

Perhaps this is happening on the NMB as well….but two wrongs don’t make a right. I will say to call a spade a spade I feel like that board also is making a mistake as well and the over-moderation is not needed.

Again, Stinger let me say, I respect what you and CBN have done during this struggle to get Rich back on the cards. I also appreciate having a place to vent my frustration, though at times you seemed to come on just to lecture us with a line like “You zombies need to wise up and get that Marvel is horrible, Stop Buying NINO,” You did this when it was even like us 3 talking back and forth and it was pretty clear few of us were buying the comic and no NINO fans were posting.

Series seems exactly what we need; a bridge that joins the new with the old. There was never any need for me to just rehash DnA material.

“Bring back Rich Rider….but only like he was with DnA!” sounds ridiculous and petty dude.

Even DnA were planning on killing off Rich for a couple years!

I’m not going to debate Marvel Cosmic is down, but at least this seems like step in the right direction. Marvel was down when Annihilation came out as well….Civil War sucked, New Warriors were a joke and Starlin had just been cast off from Marvel.

(Insert Stinger’s post that announces he is working on a new boycott of Nova)

If CBN does this then know that you do not have my support. Good Luck to you, but I plan to reasonably sample the work before I come to such conclusion or extremes.

This book has a lower tier creative team. It’s not been set up in any big event, and is just kinda being thrown out to the wolves to sell or flop. The only hook is “Richard Rider returns”….and if it doesn’t sell better than thought, if people don’t show up for that tag….then it sends a message about Rider to Marvel that they were right….and maybe Rich does belong in the gutter.

I want to prove them wrong. I want a “reborn Rich” book to work…..and any boycotts, not only do I disagree with them now, but I find them counter-productive to the existence of Rich and his future.

In this regard, you and CBN undo any of the good you did before.

Whatever you guys do, I wish you well Stinger. I will continue to support Quasar and hope he comes back. I thank you for what you’ve built here and wish you well.

The last portion I put in bold because It is the most important part.

If CBN and McGloin are taking the stance that there should be a preemptive boycott of Rider’s return book (mind you, without an issue in our hands yet) after six years of Rider dead and in the gutter, well then they are hurting the character more than they are helping him. To me, that is being a fraud …and unacceptable. Really, this has nothing to do with Sam Alexander.

Again, apologies for those who could give two craps about this kind of stuff, but I just wanted to get my side of the story and why I did what I did. I admit, its drama beyond us all.

I’m not telling folks to abandon the boards or not frequent CBN, but just sharing my side of the story and what the place’s (IMO) true colors are. I’ve always maintained the company has done some good, and it would be a shame to undo it with some sort of breakdown.

I consider the matter closed….and hope to link up with the great posters (aside from McGloin) who posted on the CBN boards in other places.

EDIT:Just want to thank the folks who are giving me support. It really means a lot. Look forward to the coming days of actual Nova/ Richard Rider talk. I saw McGloin’s post where he once more ripped Nova fans and bragged about how awesome he was.

RICHARD RIDER/NEW NOVA SERIES ART FROM NYCC

http://www.newsarama.com/31435-more-on-richard-rider-s-return-as-nova.html

THOUGHTS:

This looks decent…the art works well enough. I don’t have many problems with the lack of a “Prime” star. Perhaps some aspect of the story will explain that.

Again, I have more of an issue with a comedy series based off “Nextwave”. Not too sure about that…but I’ve never read Nextwave either.

For one, there is a glut of comedy or light hearted stuff out there, especially within cosmic. Its hard to separate with this material, and several books have failed. I still think a lot of the comedy in the cosmic is trying too hard to ride the coattails of the GOTG film, and stems from a lack of confidence in serious cosmic science fiction of the DnA, Giffen, or even Starlin/ Kirby breed. The need to “dumb down” runs strong with Axel Alonso’s Marvel.

Two, the creative team is interesting, but not going to be a draw.

Three, I have doubts about “long term viability” as a comedy series that harkens back to Nextwave.

Personally, I think the comedy rout was an abject disaster for both The New Warriors and Star-Lord, though it has worked for others.

Lastly, NYCC seems to have sent a message to me that Marvel cosmic is still very far from a united vision. Still disjointed and deprioritized.

Still, good to see Rich Back. I think the top image pushes away some of the fears of Rich as a “ghost” or as a bumbling sidekick to Sam.

Thoughts on NOVA # 11 revelation and some fan’s reaction

I haven’t written a blog since the big reveal and I’ve noticed a few observations among Nova fans;

First, somehow there are some vocal fans still pissed off and angry (Timelord is one of them, who is a friend and opinion I value, he wrote this piece for CBN here) Let me say I very much disagree with this stance, though of course there are some decent points and concerns raised.

Let me recap some of the developments of the 2nd half of CY2016:

-Richard Rider is back. We get a new Nova series.

-Bendis is off GOTG.

-Nicole Pearlman, one of the good “gals” is writing a Gamora series. (Most reports have her as having included RR in the MCU in her original script for GOTG)

-Jeff Lemire is a solid writer who is writing Thanos.

-Al Ewing’s Ultimate’s is frankly intriguing. He is really growing in “cosmic” competence and something to be valued.

-IDW Has both Rom and Micronauts .… that’s pretty cool.

I mean, man, we’ve been looking hopeless for so long, where it looked like years would go by and no Rich, and some fans actually are griping about minor stuff? There looked like there was a freakin’ conspiracy at one point. (And I still think there was) Bendis basically said the character would not be used again and now here we are.

I bring up this old line from a past blog entry:

Not to lecture everyone, but again, if this does turn out in our favor, we should be happy and proud of it and not unreasonable. It’s the end of a long road. Honestly, we should act classy and even a bit thankfull/grateful to Marvel….I’m not saying I regret anything I said or did during this process and will not say that, but bringing back Rich was what it was all about. I’m going to keep my promise and buy Marvel comics again. As I’ve always said; I love Marvel Comics and sure as hell, I want to support them.

On this matter, let me re-link this past blog here.

If this is Rich Rider, we should prepare for some initial disappointment and yet still be open to accepting this for a while. In other words, we should give this a chance and keep expectations low. Sure , they’re going to fuck something up. Whether its established continuity, the creative team, characterization or some other detail here or there, I can bet Marvel will jack up something and aspects of any series will not be to some of our standards. Let’s remember, even Annihilation jacked up stuff. (like show Rich as a cherry recruit when he had been Nova Prime before!) How furious were Rich fans when he was Kid Nova and wearing a damned red ascot in FabNic’s New Warriors volume one? Those things worked themselves all out.

One of the main points I made in that piece was to be prepared for some disappointment. We probably won’t get everything we want….that’s just how it goes. So does life.

It’s no secret, I don’t like Sam /NINO. He’s been NINO so far meaning…”Nova in Name Only”… but I never said I needed the character dead or thrown away. (Um…er…ok maybe I did once or twice) The worst part about Sam (among many many bad or annoying parts) was that his presence seemed to preclude the revival of Rich. Now that’s out the window and Sam is just another Nova character. I guess I can be cool with that. At least, enough to take a look as to what comes next.

Admittedly, Sam does have fans of his own. (Not many though, sales are down to 14k) Some of that crew are first class pricks and antagonizers. Some are nice, well-meaning folks and even kids as well. Whatever “crimes” of character assassination occurred in the past, I don’t want to see their favorite character thrown in the dumpster either, at least not without a good attempt to fix the character. This was what I recently had to say about Sam:

A word about Sam Alexander: In many ways, there was nothing wrong with the notion of Sam or a young brash Nova figure. There was nothing wrong with many of the broader ideas the Sam material wanted to do. Truthfully, the Black Nova concept was a solid idea that I had high hopes for. Instead, what was wrong was the execution. All of those ideas of mine regarding what went wrong there have been laid out on this blog. As we move forward, surprisingly…I am up for Sam Alexander…but dammit, the character needs to be fixed. With Rich back, for once, I’m hopeful we can see that happen.

Yet some of us, sorry to not pull punches here, are frankly delusional about some of our fears. Even with all things considered, there is no cause (yet) to organize some angry fan push about stuff we don’t know about. We weren’t entitled to win this battle. We fought. They pushed back. Years went by. (Darn it I have five year old daughter who was born after Rich was killed off!) Everyone compromised and now it’s time to shake hands and move on with the next chapter. If the new era stinks, then we can all bitch about it.

The worst aspect is that there’s little hard evidence out there for much of the specific paranoia going around. Some of these thoughts I’ve heard include the following:

-Sam will be more featured in this new book than Rich.

Frankly, the solicit Mentions “Classified” the most….and though I voiced my displeasure with this, it’s very reasonable to assume this was done to add some suspense to Nova # 11 and the big reveal. “Classified” is clearly Richard Rider now. Prior to the Rich Rider returns splash page, the writer said Rich Rider was a big part of Nova going forward. That means a big part.

-Rich is a ghost and not real.

No evidence he is a ghost. He said “Mom, I’m Back” at the end of the issue. RR looked real enough to me…no ghost would wear blue jeans like that. The rays of light at the end I took to mean a metaphor for a new dawn…which is something hopeful. The rising sun was also shown when Sam and Rich shook hands.

-Rich is going to be a sidekick.

-Sam will dominate the book and Rich will be just some goof.

In fact, Marvel has toned down its pushing of Sam. Outside his role in Champions, he’s mostly gone from USM cartoon, Disney Infinity is kaput and his solo books have clearly been deprioritized by Marvel in terms of A-list creative teams.

-The book will be a comedy romp. (Ok there is some evidence of this, but it’s marginal EDIT: OK the book IS going to be a comedy romp, “based on nextwave” groan…)

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know what to expect from Loveness. I do know that he’s written less than 10 Marvel comics.. That’s not enough to define him. Folks seem to have dug his Groot run. Even if he does mix in solid humor, Keith Giffen was heavy into humor and comedy related books. Ever read Ambush Bug, Lobo, Trencher or JLI/E? Blue Beetle and Booster Gold anyone?

As I’ve shown, Perez actually has worked on Sci Fi before, and has some nice lines. He’s also written stuff and may team up with Loveness.

Yeah, I get it. Marvel is crazy right now. The books are mostly not good….the editorial spirit pushes stuff into this whole left of center political stuff that really does not interest me.( I mean Occupy Avengers? Give me a fucking break) Just look at this blog and the thoughts. I don’t take back anything. Again, we have cause to be wary.

We may be “angry fans”, however, but we need to be credible and reasonable as well. Marvel won’t ever try to listen to us if we just hate everything and want “our way or the highway” without the ability to compromise. This was about bringing back Richard Rider. We get that, and I for one am going to give Marvel my business again. (At least for now) We need to be fans who love Marvel as well.

Some of the paranoia and demands are crazy; “Flesh and Blood Rider or nothing” was one I heard…yeah, as if Rider merging with Worldmind has not happened before. I mean, didn’t that start our beloved Annihilation arc? As if it couldn’t go the other way.

Like it or not, Rich turned into pure energy when he died. He merged with the Nova Force and a broken cosmic cube…we already saw that, ergo…it would be logical that he may be in some energy form. I’m fine with that.

I want to link a portion of what I said in another post (On NMB) about a few other past moments that many fans were disappointed or jumpy:

I’m not sure where things changed and we needed Sam Alexander to be killed off as well. This was about Rich. I’m open to new things as well…Annihilation and Giffen’s stuff was new things. The New Warriors were new things….etc..

Let’s just take a refresher on a couple simple points:

Annihilation happened in a real down point for me in Marvel lore. I hated Civil War, thought the whole line was shot and despised the crude antics of then EiC Joe Quesada. Starlin leaves Marvel in anger. Then I see Nova used in the dreadful Skottie Young stuff…the New Warriors killed off….horrid. Right away the Nova series is written by “unremarkable” journeymen comic writers who came from DC…and there was weird stuff right away. Scott Kollins art looked weird, Richard Rider was being treated like a cherry newbie, and they brought back Xandar again? They kill off Quasar! But yeah…that worked out.

Not to mention RR during during Fabnic (“PC”) New Warriors book with some cheesy skateboarding black version of Batman…calling him “Kid Nova”, dreadful costumes each week, (was that an ascot?) ham fisting some excuse where he still had his powers, and basically running around and avoiding any tie in to Wolfman Nova Volume 1 storylines for years. Recall how long it was till they even went into Xandar and the Corps.

Then there was Sam. I was receptive to check it out. Frankly, there was a lot that looked good right away. I mean remember how they tricked us with Diamondhead and Terrax? Turns out, it stunk. The crowd screaming for boycotts and rejections like TL were right…however I don’t regret for one instant that I held a wait and see attitude and at least tried it out. I don’t have any regrets about coming to the same conclusion reasonably.

Yeah, I know….Marvel is not perfect. They can’t seem to put the new continuity in any solid framework. Nova has sloughed off plot after plot into vapid finishes. The helmets are not the power source…yep.  Loveness is a lower tier writer. DnA… Giffen…all gone. Sam Alexander will be a big part of it. Not Annihilation III…I agree….like I said we have reason to be tepid. But maybe, just maybe there is enough here to tune in once more and be proud that our voice brought back something we enjoy. Ramon Perez is a talented guy. Frankly, I’m excited to see what Marvel does next.

Rich Rider is back folks…and though maybe this will all turn out to be lousy, for now I’m happy, grateful and excited for a new day.

Looking forward to doing some reviews again and talking story. I’m planning to sample Pearlman’s Gamora and Lemire’s Thanos as well….with a wait and see attitude on whatever new cooks up for GOTG.

LLRR

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

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

NOVA #1
JEFF LOVENESS & RAMÓN PÉREZ (W) • RAMÓN PÉREZ (A/C)
Teaser art variant BY FRANCESCO MATTINA
Action Figure Variant Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
HIP-HOP VARIANT BY CHRISTIAN WARD
ICX Variant Cover by TBA
CLASSIFIED IS BACK!
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.