It’s finally happening! After being stuck in the Cancerverse following the events of Thanos Imperative it is time for Richard Rider to make his grand return. While I have nothing against Sam Alexander, a character I’ve actually enjoyed reading when he pops up, he hasn’t reached the level that Richard has as the premiere Nova. Now with both Richard meeting Sam for the first time ever I am very interested to see how Jeff Loveless writes these two together. Will they become the new Dynamic Duo or will it led to yet another superhero vs superhero battle within the Marvel Universe? Let’s find out with Nova #1.
Writer: Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez
Artist: Ramon Perez
Colorist: Ian Herring
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At the Rider household Richard Rider asks his mom about when his dad passed away. Mrs. Rider tells Richard that his father passed away a few months ago. She does tell Richard that his dad would be happy to know he was back home, safe and healthy.
Richard suddenly sees his mom turn into a zombie but it turns out to just be in his head. His mom asks Richard what is wrong but he plays it off as him being okay.
Somewhere in space Nova (Sam Alexander) battles the Sidri, who were giving Ego the Living Planet a problem earlier. Nova is able to fend of the aliens though he does cause Ego to have a massive headache during the battle.
Afterwards Nova goes back home where he has breakfast with his family. Sam’s mom remind him about his entire family coming over and that he needs to take a shower after being in space for four days. Sam says the Avengers don’t have showers and heads out for school before his mom can say anything.
As he flies to school as Nova, Sam thinks about how he recently quit the Avengers along with Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. He arrives at his school and finds a spot to change out of his Nova costume. When he does so he forgot that he was only wearing his underwear underneath his Nova costume.
Some students suddenly walk by and make fun of Sam. As Sam tries to convince his friend Blake to help him out a girl from Sam’s class asks him if he is okay. Sam stumbles over his words while Blake records the entire conversation.
Later into the school day as Blake continues to make fun of Sam they spot the girl Sam talked to earlier. Sam decides to go talk to her but just as he does some Marvel villains approach the girl. Sam changes into his Nova costume and fights off all the villains and actually beats them.
The girl suddenly gets Sam’s attention bringing him back to reality as the fight with the villains was all in his imagination.
Sam tries to flirt with the girl but he completely botches his attempt. Before he can make things worse he suddenly hears his Nova helmet calling out to him.
Sam goes to grab his Nova helmet which informs him that it has detected a Nova signal. Sam thinks that it’s his dad and flies off to find the signal.
Back at Rider’s household Richard is in the backyard reminiscing about his childhood. His Nova helmet flies to him and he changes into his costume
Richard as Nova decides to fly around. As flies above Earth something suddenly goes wrong and he collapses.
As Richard is falling back to Earth some sort of black smoke begins coming out of his body. End of issue.
The Good: Nova #1 is an example of a comic book that I wanted nothing more than to love. Unfortunately by the time I finished reading Nova #1 I was only left with a sense of disappointment. It wasn’t the kind of disappointment that comes after reading a bad comic. It’s the type of disappointment in which I know this comic could’ve been so much more than it was.
On the positive side, Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez do a very good job in portraying Sam as a kid. For all his confidence when he is out saving the universe as Nova he still has problems when it comes to his personal life. His mishandling of approaching a potential love interest was a funny scene. It is made even better by his dream sequence of saving the girl from the biggest bad guys in the Marvel Universe. It’s things like this that make readers connect with a young character like Sam.
The other positive mark Nova #1 gets is with Perez’s artwork. With the Guardians of the Galaxy morphing more into the Galactic Avengers it’s nice to see the more weird side of the Marvel Universe. And to explore this side of the Marvel Universe with all the different aliens Perez showed that he is more than up for the task. The way he draws Sam’s opening battle to help out Ego is a great showing for what we can expect from the bigger cosmic battles of this series.
The Bad: Nova #1’s biggest fault is the utter lack of making Richard Rider’s return to the Marvel Universe feel like it is a big deal. This is a character that not only was the most well-known Nova in the Marvel Universe but became Nova Prime. That is an incredible high bar that Richard reached in his superhero career. It even led him to be the leader of all the cosmic heroes in Marvel during the events of Thanos Imperative.
Unfortunately you would never know that Richard Rider was a big deal if you’re only experience with the character is Nova #1. And I wouldn’t shame any reader for a second for not knowing who Richard is since he died almost 6 years ago at the end of Thanos Imperative. That is a long time ago, especially with how popular Marvel’s properties have become during that time, especially Guardians of the Galaxy. So with that in mind Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez fail to get over Richard over with new fans, which should’ve been a priority with Nova #1.
This lack of getting over Richard over with new fans hurts even more for someone like me who became such a big fan of the character during DNA’s run. Because while I know how important Richard became as Nova this first issue almost made me forget. This is where Loveness and Perez needed to step to give us some details on Richard’s return. The entire first issue should’ve been structured around that instead of putting us directly after Richard returned home to his parent’s house. By making this choice in the story structure we aren’t ever given a reason to care about Richard’s return.
Along with the lack of importance given to Richard’s return I did feel lost when it came to Sam’s history. As someone who has only sparingly read a few comics with Sam’s Nova in it I have no connection to the character or his history. Because of that I had no idea why he would react the way he did about getting a Nova signal. The only thing that I think it may be is that Sam’s dad is missing but that is not something Nova #1 clues me in on. That lack of development is where I wish Marvel would’ve given Loveness and Perez a couple extra pages to tell their story. It was definitely needed for this issue.
Overall: Nova #1 is a comic book that I came in with high hopes for but was largely disappointed by. While Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez story had a few good points all of the negatives outweighed them all. The lack of importance given to Richard Riders return was a big mistake, as was the lack of background on Sam Alexander. With a hefty $3.99 price point on this comic I do not recommend picking up Nova #1 at all. As a Nova fan I will keep my eye on the series to see if others say it’s good to possibly purchase in trade paperback format. But as a monthly series it did not earn a spot on my pull list moving forward.