Zeb Wells and Paco Medina continue to expand Nova within the series’ seventh issue! Read below the cut for our full review!
Written by Zeb Wells
Illustrated by Paco Medina
• Nova’s Eventful World-Wide Adventure Rockets Roaringly Into Our Renegade Spider!
• Zeb Wells (“Robot Chicken”, dressing as Thor on the internet) and Paco Medina (Ultimate X-Men) continue the story of Marvel’s newest, least experienced hero: Sam Alexander.
• We’ll get to tying into Infinity next month, but you should probably pick this one up first.
I confess, out of all the Marvel NOW! titles I’d been avoiding “Nova” like the plague. A character who made his debut in the Ultimate Spider-Man doesn’t exactly beholden himself to me, for reasons. However, I was surprised that “Nova” #7 was a really fun, wonderfully illustrated, romp about a teenager trying to find his place in the Marvel Universe.
In this issue, Nova is doing his best to branch out from his Arizona hometown and find a city to set up shop in as a superhero, starting in New York where he has a conflict with the Superior Spider-Man. Since it’s editorial mandate that nearly every character from Daredevil to The Living Tribunal have a conflict with OckSpidey, it may be easy to assume this goes like the typical Marvel “Heroes fight and then realize they’re on the same side and team up” brawl. Fortunately, however, this is not the case. Without going into too much spoilers, OckSpidey is usually written as a character with depth or as a deranged mad scientist whose insane screams no one notices. Here, he’s a little bit of the latter but really he acts like the Gordon Ramsay of superheroes and it’s as great as you’d think. A good way to avoid an otherwise typical team-up. The rest of the issue also deals with the idea of what use a superhero is when New York already has a dozen for every block. It’s a good plot that humorously subverts typical superhero tropes without being too “look-at-me” about it.
Unfortunately, the dialogue ends up being a little overdone. When Superior Spider-Man does this, it’s hilarious but when Nova does the same it just feels a little off. Not to mention Nova seeming too-teenage for his own good at points (Yeah I get that he’s a young superhero but how does anyone not know the Statue of Liberty is a woman?) Then again, Nova’s penchant for cliche dialogue could be explained as him trying hard to fill in the typical superhero archetype, os maybe drawn-out dialogue isn’t too harsh of an offense then, but it’s still a little off. The good news though, is that Nova doesn’t sound like it’s trying too hard to make it known that it has a teenage hero, which is always a good thing for a comic to do.
Speaking of just a little off, Paco Medina’s art in this book is very good. When he’s illustrating Nova and Spidey flying around or Nova using his tech, he’s really doing some great work. Add to this David Curiel’s colors, and you have an incredibly pleasing aesthetic. More importantly though, the bright, mostly clean, style really sets this up as a story for a young hero and when Nova has an actual mature moment the palette reflects the change accordingly. Aside from the occasional weird background face and Nova’s lower jar looking off once in a while, it’s some really solid art. Also, one certain character’s face in the end you might want to Watch out for, just looks creepy. Face like a little water jar baby’s. Oh, and as a bonus, this issue might win the award for most unsubtle cameo of a real-life cameo.
As a comic, “Nova” did everything it was supposed to. It had a fun one-in-done adventure with some really great art. It also set up for a lot of interesting plotlines in the future with The New Warriors and the inevitable Infinity tie-in. Not only that, but it offered just enough continuity to get me interested in what had happened in the rest of the series and in what will happen in future issues. That saying that “Every Issue Is Somebody’s First” works here, as I went from wanting to avoid Nova as much as possible to finding it to be one of the better books in the Marvel Universe. A really funny script, some great art, and a young protagonist who isn’t constantly talking about how he should be on his smartphone or pager make “Nova” #7 a pretty darn good issue and actually turned me around on my opinion of the whole series. Good job, team.Continued below
Review Score: 7.5 – Browse with a probable buy!