The cover to this issue says that Nova is ‘Unchained’, but I don’t think he even gets chained once inside these pages, let alone breaks out of them. It was a good cover though, and the story, even with the lack of chains, continues to be a lot of fun.
Gerry Duggan starts off in Knowhere, with Sam rushing to the infirmary to try and save the life of Cosmo. Cosmo is obviously OK, because come on, they aren’t going to kill off Cosmo, and he tells Sam what Skaarn’s actual plan is. He wants to use Knowhere’s massive teleporter to rob a vault that, due to it’s orbit, is only accessible once every few years. Skaarn heads off in his ship to attack from that front, and, with the War Bringer destroyed last issue, leaves behind his new hired mercenaries, 3 rogue Space Knights called the ‘Disavowed Of Galadoria’ to use the teleporter and get right into the vault. Sam confronts the Disavowed, and they get into a pretty fun fight, with one particularly interesting moment where Sam and one of them start laughing at the disgusting goop they got punched into. It’s that kind of good-natured stuff that sets Sam Alexander apart as a teen hero, even in a life and death battle, he still finds time to laugh. Nova melds two of the Space Knights’ legs together, captures all 3, and then teleports them away to the last co-ordinates entered, so right into the path of Beta Ray Bill, where they are, presumably, hammered to shit.
With 8 hours to kill before Skaarn’s attack on the vault, Sam has Cosmo teleport him back to Carefree so he can go to school and avoid getting suspended. I think the plan here looks to be that when in space, Sam will be based in Knowhere, which will allow for easy back and forth between there and Earth. This will mean Sam can be Nova, without worrying that it’s all just going to make his civilian life worse. Of course, being back home isn’t all that easy, as Cosmo accidentally teleported Sam into the girl’s changing room, and he now owes Carrie 70 bucks for babysitting his sister.
After school, Nova heads back out to space, where he and Beta-Ray Bill are reunited and get ready to teleport in and interrupt Skaarn’s plan. But there’s complications, this vault isn’t full of money, it’s full of weapons, and when they get there… it’s too late. Skaarn has pulled off the robbery all by himself, and he’s now got a massive weapon that is full of the Power Cosmic. Next issue looks like being a battle for the ages, and it’s probably the biggest test the new Nova has had yet.
David Baldeon’s art was once again solid, this book has done a good job of using different artists but retaining the same tone and energy. Baldeon is on the same curve as McGuinness and Medina for sure. Gerry Duggan continues to make Nova a fun read each month, and he’s always finding new ways to balance out the two sides of Sam Alexander’s life.