Nova #1 Review
By: Rob Gruszecki
The Novas, an intergalactic super force, race across the galaxy to try and find missing members of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Narrowly avoiding destruction in a tense laser battle the story continues, only with a few minor interruptions from the storyteller’s audience. Bravery, courage and cosmic adventure exploding from every direction until a violent retch throws us back into reality where a 15 year old Sam takes care of his ‘custodial engineer/retired intergalactic crime-fighter’ father who is sick into one of the school’s toilets. Sam, the often petulant and frustrated teen, cleans up the washroom in his father’s stead as in between hurls he continues to regale his son with stories of his former glory. What follows is the beginning of a tale of family, teenage drama and super villain fights in deep space.
Jeph Loeb (Batman: Hush, TV’s Heroes) writes the new number one for Marvel Now with Nova and what we get is a mix between Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, the Green Lantern Corps comics and the beginning of Back to the Future where Michael J Fox rides around on his skateboard and gets in trouble from his bald and inappropriately rude principle for being consistently late (In fact I’d be surprised if the principle wasn’t an homage to BTTF as his resemblance is uncanny and his completely uncalled for hostility in regards to the character’s father is pretty on the nose). Loeb’s scripting throughout the issue is a lot of fun each page and even when it seems as though the direction about to be taken with the fifteen year-old Sam is to become insufferable he swings in with a simple page taking Sam’s awful attitude and turning it into something quite beautiful. Ultimately where his tale takes us is to a place that will feature Sam as he flies through the galaxy with a hairy Rocket Rackoon and Gamora at his side.
What really steals the show for me is Ed Mcguinness’ artwork on interiors. His style fits the feel and theme of the book perfectly. With more than a couple enormous spreads to show off his talent with laser blasts, alien character designs and the far reaches of space, Nova number one has some of the most enjoyable art of all of what has come out of Marvel Now. The style he brings to interactions between high schoolers in their drab hallways and on campus is even a great visual treat.
What Nova promises to be with this first installment is one of the more madcap series in the whole launch. That isn’t to say that there is a lack of substance to this excellent comic, instead that it manages to balance themes of teen angst, rebellion and resentment very expertly with a ton of heart. I went into Nova with expectations for a fun sci-fi action and I got it but with a lot more as well. You’ll be sure to have a smile on your face reading this first issue.
Hopefully Sam’s principal wont be such a jerk next issue… I mean seriously, what kind of principal insults the profession of a student’s parent to their face with such venom?!
Rob Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
Follow him on twitter @Ghost_Factory
Listen to his music www.ghostfactorymusic.com
Read more of his comic reviews (Dear, Ghost Factory. What Should I Read?) or listen to the Comics Round-up weekly Podcast both found at www.flashfact.org