Thursday, February 2, 2017

Nova #3 - Review

Nova #3 - 4 (of 5) Gravimetric Pulses ❋❋

You know, after 45+ years of reading comics, I don't get caught off-guard very often. But Nova #3 gave me a "HOLY ----!" moment. More on that later.

The fight in the bar had a Spaghetti Western feel to me. I know that sounds odd but, to me, all that was missing was some ponchos and little stogies. Seriously, in my head I could hear the soundtrack from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

A scene I enjoyed was the subtle display of how much more powerful Rich is than Sam. After rightfully becoming angry with Titus, SA Nova unleashed his anger and strength on him. After repeatedly being punched, Titus shrugs and tells Sam how Sam's father hit harder and knocks him out.

With Sam knocked out, Rich faces the three bounty hunters on his own. In contrast to Sam's fight, RR Nova gives Titus the Guy Gardner one-punch treatment and tosses him into the Chitauri with very little effort. Not to mention holding off Death's Head at the same time!

But since Annihilation, Rich is more than just power. He has become a strategist on the level of Steve Rogers. Using Cosmo for communications, stalling while planning (a very funny scene) and, most importantly, knowing how to intelligently implement the weapons around him. Realizing he has a better chance with the bounty hunters than Sam, Rich is still smart enough to send Sam to the bomb on Knowhere as a backup plan.

And then - the "HOLY ----!" moment.....

I did not see it coming. No sir, I did not. Had no idea that Rich was going to squid out and go halfsies on the Chitauri. The Cancerverse infection (I still think it's from whatever Lord Mar-Vell planted in RR Nova during The Thanos Imperative) is becoming stronger. Either Rich is able to now control it to a degree or the creature is able to control Rich when the host body is threatened.

Either way, an intriguing plotline that keeps me wanting to get to the next issue. And I especially love that Loveness and Perez didn't just have Rich come back and everything is a-okay.

And the issue wasn't just all action. The aftermath of the fight in the Knowhere bar continues the simply terrific relationship Rich and Sam have developed. It's obvious from Rich's advice on life that Richard Rider has learned from his experience in the Cancerverse. And he's mature enough as a mentor to advise Sam on the lessons learned.

The epilogue in Rich's quarters on Knowhere was a great setup to next issue. It's the subtle things like Dr. Sun's helmet and the pictures of the New Warriors that show the love this creative team has for both Novas.

The art has finally won me over. The storytelling in the art is solid and helps tell the story as much as the dialogue. While the minimalist style isn't my usual taste, I'll take substance over style any day.

Unlike some creators, this creative team has done their homework and have plenty of talent to produce a book worthy of both Novas and their fans' support.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nova #2 - Review

Nova #2 - 4.5 (of 5) Gravimetric Pulses ❋❋❋

Blue Blazes! That was a great issue!! I enjoyed it more than the first!

The interaction between Rich and Sam is the real highlight of the issue. The two have a terrific big brother/little brother interaction that captures the personalities of both characters extremely well. Both Novas clearly need each other and each enjoys being around the other.

But the personal interactions aren't limited to just Rich and Sam. The pages with the Champions were wonderful. The young heroes clearly admire Rich Rider but still act like teenagers and can't resist ribbing the older hero. However, it's obviously in fun and not some snarky attitude towards an adult.

And as if that wasn't enough - we got COSMO!! Who doesn't love a telepathic Russian space dog who reads War and Peace?!? And his characterization had me laughing page after page. "Americans". lol!

And while a lot of the issue is character building, it starts and ends with action. In the beginning, we get a battle with a gross monstrosity from the Cancerverse. And the issue finishes off with a nice cliffhanger as the two Novas are targets of bounty hunters (Death's Head, Titus and a Chitauri).

In between the action and characterization, Loveness and Perez are able to squeeze in an interesting subplot regarding the Cancerverse creature. Apparently, only Rich Rider can see the rift that brought it to their universe. Later, a small piece of the monster returns after Rich uses his power to go to Knowhere. It finds the Nova helmets in Sam's garage. That certainly can't lead to anything good.

And that's another reason I love this series so far. The writers clearly have done their homework. References from the past series of both characters are made. The only small discretion is that Rich says he was never an Avenger although he was a member of the Secret Avengers briefly.

I asked Jeff Loveness about it and he mentioned that he had to nudge that a little due to Bendis stating in GotG's Original Sin arc that Rich always wanted to be an Avenger. To make it fit, Jeff assumes Rich never felt like he was a full Avenger since he was only involved in one mission with the Secret Avengers.

The art is growing on me more. The art style isn't what I'm normally used to since I'm an older reader. However, I love comics from all eras so different art styles are fine with me. What matters to me is the storytelling ability of the artist. Perez does a very very good job in that aspect!

And finally, the toast to Rich on Knowhere's bar made me stop reading and just smile (not to mention making my eyes a little moist).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nova #1 - Review

Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at reviewing a comic. I honestly don't think my opinion matters much but I have had people ask me what I think of a Nova issue when it comes out. So I guess I'll give it a shot. Oh, and just to be fair - spoilers are ahead...

Nova #1 - 4 (of 5) Gravimetric Pulses ❋❋❋❋

The first issue of the new series has a lot going for it out of the gate. It picks up where the epilogue of Nova #11 ended. Rich has returned and we discover his father has passed away while he was in the Cancerverse.

When Rich sees the reflection of his mom in the mirror as a grotesque zombie-like monster, it appears that he is suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. However, at the end of the issue, we discover it is a sign of something far worse....

Sam, on the other hand, has an encounter with Ego the Living Planet. After helping Ego deal with an alien infestation, Sam heads home to deal with an average school day. And that ends up being anything but average. Let's just say that Sam does not have the smooth when it comes to meeting a girl....

The creative team approaches the book from fresh perspectives that I really like.

The pages with Rich are more mature with a very good inner dialogue. The page where he reflects on his youth and playing on the swings showed me that Loveness and Perez get Rich Rider. To me, he sounds like Rich! The essence of it reminded me of Rich's dialogue when he fought the Sphinx in The Man Called Nova #11 (my favorite issue).

I also appreciate that the writers didn't just have Rich show up, be fine and happy with no side effects. Too many comics have had heroes return that way and it rarely feels right to me.

The final page makes me wonder if perhaps we're seeing the result of Lord Mar-Vell's infection of Rich back in Thanos Imperative? Or is the doorway Rich created in the Guardians of the Galaxy's Original Sin story arc still cracked open inside his body? The important part is that I'm intrigued enough to pick up the next issue to find out.

Sam is presented with a more humorous angle than we have seen before. And it works so well, especially in the school setting. Having his friends know Sam's secret makes for some really fun moments.

And in this series, Sam doesn't feel so burdened at home or school. He acts more like a youngster and it's refreshing. I'm sure Sam is presented this way to be a counter balance to the mature, experienced Rich. And I think it's a great approach.

From the art perspective, I enjoy how the Rich and Sam segments are presented with slightly different art styles. Rich's pages are a more traditional superhero comic look. Sam's, on the other hand, remind me of the style we saw in DC's youth oriented books and the Marvel Adventures Super Heroes series.

The contrast in styles reflect the contrast in characters between Rich and Sam. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together when the heroes finally meet and work alongside each other.

To me, the series is off to a very good start!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Return Rich Rider (R3) Petition!

I'd like to invite everyone to sign the Return Rich Rider (R3) Petition that I started on the Nova Prime Page!

It can be reached either on the front page of the site:

or directly at:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Nova Title at NYCC 2014?

I'm hoping that New York Comic Con 2014 will have the announcement that Rich is returning to the Marvel Universe and into a new title.

It's time for Rich to return. Also, it would be something that would help promote Guardians of the Galaxy #20 which is out in less than two weeks. Can you imagine how the retailers' reorders for the issue would shoot sky high if the announcement is made?

Plus the buzz for the Marvel Heroes 2015 game (which has Rich and Sam in it) would be greater, too.

The timing of the game, the issue and the con seems to be a perfect alignment for an announcement of Rich and his new title.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Thoughts On The New Bendis Interview

There's a new interview with Brian Michael Bendis on the upcoming Rich Rider Original Sin story arc in Guardians of the Galaxy:

I'm thinking it's looking more like Rich will be returning in GotG #20.

I'm reading Bendis's statements as saying "I'm not to blame for Rich's demise but I'll be the one you can thank when he returns just like I did with Peter, Thanos and Drax."

Plus, if Bendis and Marvel were intent on Rich being dead/gone, why devote a three issue arc to it? Either don't bring up the subject or do a "behind the scenes story" in one issue to drive home the fact Rich is dead.

Also, if it's shown Rich died due to Peter's actions (his Original Sin), then Bendis's favorite Guardian character and Marvel Studio's golden boy of the moment will look really bad. But if Peter and the Guardians bring Rich back in the arc, then the Guardians look even better to readers.

And the cover to #20 looks like the Guardians are trying to hold open a portal in space. Hopefully it's to get Rich out of the Cancerverse.

Also, why would he have a dinner/writers summit with Duggan if it wasn't to coordinate the two Novas? An off the wall thought here - it seems odd that Ed McGuinness was brought in for just this one particular arc. I'm thinking it's to set up a new Nova Prime book with McGuinness as the artist.

And with Dan Abnett being back in the Marvel cosmic realm with Guardians 3000, maybe Abnett (or Lanning) will be returning to write the Nova Prime book?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thoughts On The Direction of Nova(s)

As the story of Sam has been moving along, and especially with the Original Sin tie-ins, I'm thinking my original thoughts of what Marvel is doing with Nova still hold up.

I honestly believe Marvel has been planning a Nova franchise from the beginning. Now, it can be argued that it could have been handled better or done differently but I think the plan was a franchise all along.

Given the success of Green Lantern and its franchise of titles, movies, tv appearances, etc., it stands to reason that Marvel would want to duplicate that with something of their own. And they knew they had it in Nova.

In my mind (warped as it may be), the plan went/goes something like this:

* Take Rich off the board. Otherwise a new Nova would not be accepted by new or old readers because we'd be reading Rich's title and wouldn't give a second Nova a look. At least DnA were able to give Rich a fantastic send off. A true hero's farewell. This is a HUGE gamble because the old readers may not give the new Nova a chance and not come back when the franchise plan is revealed with Rich's return.

* Aim the new Nova at a younger demographic than Rich's. Give new readers a new Nova one that's not tied to Rich's incredible legacy so tightly that the new readers feel lost and don't have a character of their own to follow. The only misfire in this has been Sam's school life is way too close to Rich Rider's (Mike Burley - Karl Moffet, Carrie - Ginger Jaye, etc.). His home life has been different enough from Rich's to make Sam stand on his own, though.

* Give the new Nova something different than just being a new Nova. Otherwise, it's just a reboot of Rich. The back story of the Black Novas, Sam not being Rich's successor but his father's, along with the powers coming from the helmet and not from his body has made Sam an interesting Nova (or Black Nova) so far.

* Give the new Nova enough time to develop his own fan base to sustain his title when the franchise is launched. It's been over a year and a half and the sales are slipping but not free falling at this point. It's somewhat steady right now.

* Return Rich Rider to a lot of fanfare and a new title! Rich will be in three issues of Guardians of the Galaxy (#18, #19 & #20) and written by a big name writer. So it will be noticed by fans of comics. It is also coming at the perfect time as the GotG movie will be in theaters when #18 comes out. The movie also just happens to feature the Nova Corps, Rhomann Dey and Xandar! So interest in Nova from the general public will be heightened. And most of them will remember Nova as Rich Rider from when they were younger.

* Given Rich Rider a title (Nova Prime) and make it different than Sam's. Sam's book could be more Earth-centered with occasional space stories and Rich's book could be more space-centered with occasional returns to Earth. Sam's could still be targeted for young readers (and viewers of the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series) and Rich's could be more for the adult readers with harder sci-fi elements.

* Allow for crossovers with the two titles with Rich as a mentor to Sam but with Rich still being able to learn a thing or two from Sam. Rich could be a great teacher and maybe even over-protective of Sam as he sees a lot of similarities in Sam from when he was that age. Sam could be a good student as he knows of Rich's legacy and wants to be better. Sam also might even be too eager to prove himself to Rich which leads to situations.

Anyway, that's what I think Marvel has in mind. I hope I'm right! :)