Zeb Wells’ run on Nova continues to be an enjoyable story, with plenty of humour and interesting takes on what it is to be a superhero, and now that it’s tying in to Infinity, it has an added edge, in that it no longer feels just a little bit aimless.
Wells does a good job at explaining just why Nova is involved in Thanos’ attack on Earth, and it goes back to a question a lot of fans have been asking ever since ‘The Thanos Imperative’, and that’s what ever it was that went down in the Cancerverse between Thanos, Richard Rider and Star-Lord. Two of those characters are back in the Marvel Universe in a big way, but the original Nova isn’t, and it’s good that we’re finally getting some hints there, although I suspect fans clamouring for Rider’s return will be disappointed, as Thanos strongly hints that he is dead with a capital d.
There are some people who are clamouring for the return of Richard Rider within the Marvel Universe, and that’s his old New Warriors team-mates, Speedball and Justice, who once again appear here, and this time actually come face to face with Sam Alexander, in what was a very fun scene, especially with Speedball’s reaction to not being instantly recognised. It was a little weird to see the New Warriors TV show that caused Civil War and killed 100s of people referenced in a humorous way, but hey.
I think the best scene in this issue was when Sam was flying away from just having fixed the Skate-Park, and having found out that the cute punk girl had easily worked out his secret identity. It was hilarious to see Sam go so far in ranting and raving at the helmet, that he took it off, and of course fell right back down to Earth and destroyed the Skate-Park again. One of the advantages teenaged superhero books have over adult-focused series is that the main characters are more able to make mistakes, and Sam is making a lot of them, but in new, exciting and endearing ways. I buy him as a real kid who wandered into this crazy circumstance.
Of course, this book is not all humour, as we are introduced the primary villain who’s going to be facing Nova in this arc, Kaldera, who is a member of Proxima Midnight’s squadron of Thanos Goons. She certainly looks like a big threat, especially since she’s armed with a Nova-Glove, and one that was probably Richard Rider’s. At the end of the issue, Kaldera confronts… Sam’s little sister! Uh-oh. I can’t wait to see Sam in action against Kaldera, and whether or not Speedball and Justice will get involved, we could even get some concrete answers on what happened to the former Nova. Oh man, this is getting exciting.
Paco Medina’s artwork was strong, he really nails the tone of this book, getting both the traditional superhero bits in, but also the humour of things like Thanos waving to The Watcher, or just Speedball in general. He’s just perfect for a book with youthful energy like Nova, and I’m glad that he’s staying onboard even when Wells leaves.