This was a rather slight issue of Nova to be honest, with not that much actually happened, but I do think that Gerry Duggan did a good job at using this issue’s status as a .NOW jumping on point to explain who Sam Alexander is for any new readers, delivering some pleasing action and setting us up for a much more exciting next few issues.
The issue begins with Sam feeling very pleased with himself after the events of last issue, where he helped out some aliens in trouble. Of course, as we readers know, the aliens he helped out were actually villains, so his happiness is going to be short-lived. And it is! But not for the reasons you’d think just yet, as Sam is punched right off his skateboard by his very own ‘Flash Thompson’, Moffett. Moffett is angry at Sam for getting him into trouble, but before he can really beat him up, Beta Ray Bill shows up. Moffett is understandably freaked by the sudden arrival of a giant talking horse man, so he runs away, straight into a signpost. Bill is here to bring in Nova, who he thinks is corrupt and helped the evil Skaarn knowingly. Bill initially thinks Moffett is the ‘Black Nova’. But Sam quickly reveals himself, and a fight begins!
This was a pretty fun fight, and I liked how Sam thought his way out of being trapped under Bill’s Hammer. He can’t lift it off the ground, so he just blasts beneath him, creating a hole deep enough so he can just drop to freedom. Refreshingly, this fight doesn’t go on for too long before the truth comes out, and Sam realises that Skaarn was a bad dude, and Bill that Sam isn’t an evil Nova. So, with the ‘heroes fight over a misunderstanding’ part of the team-up cliché over with, Nova and Bill decide to head back out into space together and stop Skaarn. But first… who’s going to babysit Kaelynn?
I continue to really like how the various writers of this series have balanced Sam’s home-life with his superhero life, as for him, going off on an adventure into space will have real consequences, so he needs to cover his ass beforehand. Sam gets Carrie to agree to babysit his sister, but not until after she slaps him across the face. It is fun how awkward this budding romance is, even Peter Parker is smoother than Sam Alexander. Sam also runs back into Moffett, who is trying to tell the cops about what he saw, they don’t believe him, and Sam doesn’t help the bully out at all. I reckon that’s going to come back and bite him on the ass. Sam’s mother agrees to let him go into space, but is worried about him being alone, except of course, he won’t be. I loved the moment where Sam’s mum sees the silhouette of Bill and thinks it’s Thor and gets all flirtatious, until the hideous horse beast reveals himself. Gerry Duggan is a comedian, and whilst this series isn’t an out-right comedy, it always has plenty of funny moments like this, or just in Sam’s inner monologue.
The issue ends with Nova and Bill in space and heading after Skaarn, so the story has barely begun, but I’m excited to see where it’s going. Paco Medina’s art was once again a perfect fit for this book’s youthful, light tone, and overall, this was just another solid issue of a very fun series. It was perhaps a bit too focused on the Earth-based side of Sam’s life, but that is necessary every once in a while. A big part of this series is how being Nova effects Sam’s home-life after all.