Marvel will be releasing two new titles in 2007 dealing with some of their “Cosmic” characters: Silver Surfer and Nova. I have always been a fan of both characters. Silver Surfer had his own monthly from 1987 to 1998. Silver Surfer then had a rather short lived monthly title in 2003 that last just a year.
But, like one Revolutionary that visits The Revolution often said: the power of a big blockbuster movie will control what a comic book company does. And with the second Fantastic Four movie coming this summer starring the Silver Surfer, Marvel has decided now would be the best time to unleash a new Silver Surfer monthly title. I understand the logic, but the Silver Surfer has had a tough time since 1998. I don’t know if the new Fantastic Four movie will generate enough interest to carry a new Silver Surfer monthly title.
Silver Surfer is slated to debut in May of 2007. J. Michael Straczynski is handling the writing duties and Esad Ribic has been named as the artist. I am not familiar with Ribic’s work; however the preview shots look rather nice. It appears that Ribic should crank out a nice looking Silver Surfer.
I have to admit that my only hesitation over this new Silver Surfer comic book is that JMS is the writer. I dig Silver Surfer’s character and am glad that he is getting his own title once again. And I like Ribic’s style of art. However, JMS makes me worry. I used to enjoy his writing, but as of late, I just haven’t enjoyed anything he has done.
I thought his Squadron Supreme was slow, boring and horribly preachy. JMS’ work on Amazing Spider-Man just got worse and worse with each issue until hitting rock bottom with some truly atrocious Civil War tie-in issues. JMS’ writing on Fantastic Four also had a similar decline in quality with each issue before hitting absolute rock bottom with some flat out unreadable Civil War tie-in issues. So, I can’t say that I’m confident that JMS can deliver a story that I’m going to find compelling or interesting.
Silver Surfer: Annihilation had nice sales numbers. Issue #1 sold 49,100 copies. Issue #2 sold 44,200 copies. Issue #3 sold 41,600 copies. Issue #4 sold 39,200 copies. Silver Surfer: Annihilation did suffer a drop of almost 10,000 copies between issue #1 and issue #4. The question is how much of those sales numbers was due to the hype of the entire Annihilation event or because of genuine fan support for Silver Surfer. Still, Marvel would be very happy if the new Silver Surfer comic book had sales numbers around the 40,000-35,000 mark.
The other new title deals with Nova. Nova is a character that I have always liked. Mainly because as a kid I thought Nova had one of the coolest costume designs. Plus, I found it funny that Nova was this hero who could fly insanely fast, but in Spanish, “no va” means, “it doesn’t go.” That always made me chuckle.
Nova had a monthly title that ran from 1976-1979. Nova had a second monthly title that ran from 1994-1995. Nova: The Human Rocket published in 1999 that only lasted 7 issues. Evidently, Marvel feels now is the time to give it another try and see if a new Nova monthly title will work the fourth time around. It has been announced that Nova’s new ongoing book will begin in April 2007. It will be written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and drawn by Sean Chen.
I dig Sean Chen as the choice for the artist. I enjoyed Chen’s work on Iron Man and Wolverine. Chen’s style should be great for a cosmic hero like Nova with plenty of sci-fi tech and alien creatures. I couldn’t find any pics of Chen’s work on Iron Man so this pic from a Spider-Man comic book will have to do.
Abnett and Lanning as the writers? Eh. I’m biased against them. They managed to do such a crappy job on the Legion of Super Heroes that the title got cancelled and replaced with a new series entitled “The Legion.” The Legion only lasted for 38 issues and then was cancelled. Abnett and Lanning’s “stellar” work on my beloved Legion led to them getting a complete a total re-boot an unprecedented SECOND time! So, yeah, I can’t say that Abnett and Lanning are dear to my heart.
Having said that, I thought they did a better than average job on the Nova: Annihilation mini-series. It wasn’t anything incredible or particularly great, but I thought DnA did a good job with Richard Rider’s character. They had a nice grasp of his personality and delivered some very witty and entertaining dialogue. My only concern is that Abnett and Lanning tend to lose their focus and have trouble constructing technically sound story arcs.
Nova: Annihilation had decent sales numbers. Issue #1 sold 42,500 copies. Issue #2 sold 39,600 copies. Issue #3 sold 36,700 copies. And issue #4 sold 35,200 copies. The sales numbers between issue #1 and issue #4 only dropped by 7,300 copies. That isn’t too bad. Again, the question is are these numbers due to the hype of the Annihilation event or due to strong support from Nova fans. If this new Nova comic book can hold steady around the 35,000 copies per month sales number then Marvel would probably be rather satisfied.
So, with some serious reservations about the writing for both titles, The Revolution will be giving both the new Silver Surfer comic book and the new Nova comic book a try. I’ll give each title six issues to show me that they are worthy of a spot on The Revolution’s permanent pull list.