The latest member of Marvel’s Nova Corp showed up last year during Avengers vs. X-Men and now, months later, he’s getting both an official origin and his own comic book series. Jeph Loeb, a name that starts fights among some fans, has brought the character back to the pages of Marvel comics and he’s managed to make him both interesting and unique.
Loeb’s all new character, named Sam Alexander, is the brand new Nova and if you don’t know what that means then this comic has you in mind. It explains the Nova Corps in a way that doesn’t feel forced but also skips over a lot of details about why they’re not around anymore. Loeb establishes the characters really well and lays out a path with many possible directions about where they could end up. It’s smart writing character-wise, but as far as the story is concerned there are a lot of questions about where it goes from here.
When the comic was first announced, Loeb mentioned he would be using it as a way to tell stories akin to what readers saw when Spider-Man was first around, a teenager with these amazing abilities trying to become a hero and a man. While Sam isn’t exactly Peter Parker, you do get that vibe from this comic, and it could prove to be one of the more unique stories they’re telling at Marvel because of the protagonist’s perspective. In theory this is a good thing, but in case you didn’t know, Jeph Loeb is not a 15-year-old boy, which at times makes Sam’s interactions with some characters less than believable.
Ed McGuinness gets to stretch his legs pretty far in this new title. There are more splash pages in this comic than I can recall from others in recent memory and he uses them well. McGuinness makes the story visually interesting for the duration of the issue and uses much of his space wisely. Sometimes the panels in the comic are too cluttered with no guidance of where your eye should land or what the action actually is.
If you’re looking for something to start reading that is a character you haven’t seen in a movie and has a different feel to it compared to the other hero comics, then Nova is a good start. Loeb’s grasp of the characters are the best part of his writing, while the plot feels like a street covered in fog. The artwork by Ed McGuinness is pretty jaw dropping at times but often feels cluttered and out of place. If you’ve been following this new character since he first appeared in Marvel’s comics, this debut issue might bring up a lot of unanswered questions as it did for me, but it gives you plenty of reasons to come back, especially with the ending.
Rating: 7 / 10