For my first comic review of 2017, I’ll be looking at Nova 2, written by Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez. The series is already off to a strong start, with Richard Rider returning from the dead and Sam Alexander learning how to be a superhero and deal with puberty. The issue picks up where the first left off, with Rich falling out of space and Sam tracking the Nova signal, as he believes his father has returned.
The opening scene shows Sam catching Rich, who has manifested a purple, tentacle monster in his crash landing. Rich soon wakes up and the two Novas take the monster down together. When the dust has settled, Sam is convinced Rich is a clone and a hilarious exchange follows between the two that involves Rich meeting the rest of the Champions.
Rich is confused to see new incarnations of people he’s known his whole life, like Ms Marvel and Miles Morales as Spider-Man. It demonstrates how long he’s been gone and the dynamic between the plucky young heroes and the seasoned Nova is one of the best parts of the comic.
This lead to my favourite exchange, with Sam and Rich sitting on a roof. Rich thinks back to when he stopped The Annihilation Wave to save the universe, yet The Avengers were fighting each other on Earth. He did the same again with Thanos and they’re still fighting like nothing has changed.
“The Annihilation Wave…then Thanos. We almost lost everything. And they’re all down here — still fighting each other. Like nothing happened. Like it didn’t matter. No one remembers. And my dad died…guess you’re never ready for that.”
It highlights how narrow-minded The Avengers are in relation to the rest of the universe, and how much of a hero Rich Rider really is. The two Novas bond over the losses and Sam invites Rich to a family party. In return, Rich takes Sam out to Knowhere, where they reunite with Cosmo the Spacedog. The issue ends on another cliff hanger, with bounty hunters looking to collect on a price.
The art is crisp and alive, with bright colours and darker palettes to set different moods. Loveness and Ramone have a grasp on Sam and Rich and their dialogue plays well off each other. I enjoyed this issue even more than the first because it focused more on Rich and reminded the reader how much he’s accomplished in his life.
I’ll continue to follow the series, so look out for my review of the next issue in Feburary.