With it being the final day of 2016, it feels like a good time to look towards the future and focus on a comic that respects the past and present. Nova 1, written by Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez, features the triumphant return of Richard Rider, who sacrified himself in the Cancer Verse to stop Thanos. The issue also features Sam Alexander, the new Nova who is juggling his responsibilities as a high school student and superhero. Nova 1 is all about honouring family and legacy, while giving readers a chance to see two different stories unfold.
The comic begins with Richard standing in his mother’s house and finding out his dad has died. Richard is feeling the effects of his resurrection, as seen in a panel where he mistakes the reflection of his mother for a zombie. The backdrop of the family home against Richard’s happiness to be alive is a heart warming moment that sets the tone for the rest of a high-octane issue.
Meanwhile, Sam is taking care of a problem in space by helping Ego, The Living Planet. He returns home and soon finds himself pantless in front of the new girl Lina. This hilarious exchange is the kind of teenage awardkness that allows the reader to connect with Sam. He’s an endearing character who is still trying to find his own way after quitting The Avengers and forming the Champions with Ms Marvel and Miles Morales. (Though his friend Blake is convinced he was fired)
Funnier still is when Sam finds himself unable to talk to Lina without fantasising about beating up a bunch of villains who are determined to talk to her before he does. The art is rendered in a cartoonish way to reflect Sam’s thoughts until it evaporates and he has to hold a conversation with Lina. Before he can say much, his helmet informs him another Nova has been detected and he races off to investigate.
The scene then shifts to Richard sitting on a swing in the garden. He puts on his helmet and recalls how much he missed flying. He flies into space, only to suffer internal pain and plummets back to Earth.
The art, drawn by Perez, Ian Herring and Albert Deschesne, is colourful and eye-catching, from character expressions to beautifully presented starscapes. I would have liked to see more of Richard in the issue, but overall it’s a great start to the new Nova series and one that I’d recommend.
Be sure to check back for my review of Nova 2 that’s out in January.