Comic Book Review: Nova #31

Nova has been a favorite of the Revolution. DnA have been doing a great job breathing some life back into Nova, and the whole cosmic side of Marvel. Nova #30, which came out last week, was one of the few times I was disappointed by an issue of this series. That issue lacked some of the fun that this series is known for. But luckly we got another issue of Nova this week for DnA to make up for that disappointing issue. Hopefully DnA will rebound with Nova #31 and give us a fun read.

Creative Team
Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Andrea Divito
Colorist: Bruno Hang

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue begins with a barbeque that PEGASUS is holding for the Nova Corps two days after the Skrull invasion (Secret Invasion). While everyone is enjoying the party Darkhawk is alone on the PEGASUS complex roof alone.

Richard Riders comes over to see what is wrong with Darkhawk. Darkhawk tells Richard everyone loves Rich while he is still nothing more than a second rate superhero. Richard tries to cheer up Chris by telling him that it is not true and the only reason he is still around is because he went through hell and back during the Annihilation War and Chris does not want a part of that.

We cut to the present were we see an announcement of Darkhawk as a wanted criminal for assassinating Lilandra. Novaa tells Worldmind to shut of that psionic feed of the wanted poster as it is driving him nuts. Nova says he is going to try and make it quick even though Irani tries to warn him about the dangers of the planet he is chasing Darkhawk on.

Darkhawk flies by Nova at four times the speed of sound. Nova scans Darkhawk’s armor to see that he has gotten an armor upgrade and starts giving chase to his old friend. Worldmind warns Nova of the dangers of the natural crystal planet he is on but Nova is more worried about reaching out to his friend. One of the huge crystal mountains falls on top of Nova.

Darkhawk finally stops to see if Nova is okay. Nova flies right into Darkhawk and slamming him into a crystal mountain. Nova tries to reason with Darkhawk saying that all he wants is to help. Darkhawk transforms his armor to a more sleek design without the wings much to Nova’s surprise. Darkhawk tries to escape but is blasted in the back by Nova.

We then flashback to six hours earlier were Frakturi is angry that she is still a Millennian and has to train using fightsticks while the old man Philo is made a Centurion. Richard explains to Frakturi that Philo has years of experience which still does nothing to lessen Frakturi’s anger. Philo then tells Frakturi that if she can hit him that Philo will promote Frakturi to a full time Centurion.

Frankturi attacks Philo, who puts both hands behind his back and only dodges Frankturi attacks. Frakturi tries to give Philo a hammer shot but is suddenly stopped. Philo explains that while Frankturi was attacking he was surrounding Frankturi with a gravimetric field and then blasts her in her forehead knocking her out.

A little later Worldmind is explaining to Nova the current situation with the Fault. She also confirms Nova’s suspicion that this is where Darkhawk is hiding. But Nova says he is certain that Chris is not the assassin. Worldimind then talks about how eager Irani and Qubit were to pull bridge duty and that she loves everything Philo stands for. Nova sort of guessed that and heads out to hunt down Darkhawk.

Back in the present Nova tells Darkhawk to talk. Darkhawk says that Nova won’t understand what is going on but Nova says to try and explain as they have been friends for a long time. Right when Nova lets Darkhawk stand a bunch of huge green vines come out of the planet they are on and release a bunch of creatures to attack.

Irani asks Nova if he wants some support but Nova says not to as he is going to escape the planet. Worldmind tells Nova that he can’t as there are still some Kree archeologists that have not left the planet yet. Nova tells Worldmind to send him the coordinates and he and Darkhawk head over there to save the archeologists.

Nova tells Darkhawk to hold the creatures off while he takes the archeologists to safety. One of them says that their leader isn’t with them and Darkhawk decides to go get him. Darkhawk finds the leader but before he can reach him a green crystal calls for the leader and he reaches out to touch it.

In the upper atmosphere Nova gives the rest of the Nova Corps the escape pod with all the archeologist and heads back to find Darkhawk and the leader.

When Nova reaches the location where Darkhawk was last and he sees a Raptor, thinking it is Darkhawk. Before he can get closer Raptor fires a laser at him sending Nova flying across the planet. Darkhawk finds Nova and asks him whats wrong but Nova angered by thinking his friend just blasted him starts fighting Darkhawk. Darkhawk explains it wasn’t him but a Raptor who is really responsible for Lilandra’s assassination. Before Nova can take in the information Raptor blast both of them in the back.

Worldmind tries to contact Nova but before that the world Nova was on blows up much to the shock of Worldmind and the Nova Corps. End of issue.

Commentary
The Good: Nova #31 was a great read. This was just a fun, fast-paced issue. DnA continue to work their magic as they use the aftermath of War of Kings as a great back drop to the current cosmic titles with Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy.

One of the things that makes Nova such a fun to read is how DnA have built a nice supporting cast around Richard Rider with the return of the Nova Corps. The Nova Corps has a similar feel to how the Green Lantern Corps started back up after Green Lantern: Rebirth and the return of Hal Jordan. And in many ways Richard is very similar to a younger version of Hal with his impulsive nature and having to lead the new Nova Corps as Nova Prime.

The addition of Philo was a great choice by DnA. I loved the flashback scene to Philo’s first training session with the Nova Corps recruits. It was great to see Philo put Frakturi in her place. Philo is the Kilowag of the Nova Corps and it was cool seeing him show Frakturi and the other new recruits the difference between him and them. It also was a nice way to insert some comedy in the issue as Inari and Qubit dodge training to pull bridge duty and Worldmind’s comment about loving what Philo stands for.

I am glad that DnA brought back the ranking system within the Nova Corps as Richard and Philo are the only Nova Centurions while the five new members that appeared in Secret Invasion are Millennians and Rich’s brother and the other Nova Corps members from Earth are Corpsman. The ranking system allows DnA to take their time to rebuild the Nova Corps; allowing the reader to get to know these new characters as they move up in ranks. The training Philo is going to put all the recruits through should make for some great future scenes.

All of the flashback scenes during this issue also helped to balance Nova’s search for Darkhawk. Anytime I can see some of the old school New Warriors together it is an instant win in my book. And it is great to see Richard still trust his friend even with him being marked as a wanted man throughout the universe. It was also cool seeing them work together to save the remaining Kree archeologist from planet they were on.

Also, it was interesting seeing Rich’s reaction to Darkhawk’s new powers and to Darkhawk talking about the Brotherhood of Raptors. This is the first time we see Rich deal with the Brotherhood since their appearance and I think they can make for a nice addition to his growing Rogues Gallery as the Brotherhood of Raptors makes could make for some great antagonist for the new Nova Corps to face.

The ending with the planet Rich was on blowing up was a great hook ending. I can’t wait to see what happens next with how Rich will get himself out of the situation he is in.

I glad to see Andrea Divito back on art duties in this issue. Divito provide plenty of solid artwork throughout the issue. He has a great feel for illustrating the cosmic setting of Nova and I especially like how he drew the planet blowing up at the end of the issue.

The Bad: The only complaint I have with this issue is that the ending with it looking like Rich is dead has been an ending that DnA have used in a lot of their story arcs on Nova. It is an ending that is being a bit played out and I wish DnA would come up with a different way to an end an issue of Nova than making it look like Rich is dead.

Overall: Nova #31 was another solid issue. DnA keep each issue of this series moving fast-paced while providing plenty of solid character development. If you haven’t tried Nova or any of the Marvel cosmic titles than I highly recommend picking up this title along with everything Realm of Kings related.
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Kevin

2 Comments

  1. I know this is going to sound like a stupid nitpick, but as much as I loved your review and agree with most of it, I'm pretty sure Fraktur is a woman and seeing you refer to her as a he or him a lot was kind of jarring.

    Otherwise, good review. I always get a thrill seeing New Warriors get together again since that was one of the first comics I actually read.

  2. Also, it looks like the Sphinx will be back next issue! I always liked him from the original run of the series.

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