Comic Vine Review

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Nova #11 - Chapter XI: Pawn Takes Night Review

5

Gerry Duggan takes over and he's ready to put Sam Alexander to the test.

The Good

We've mentioned several times how much we enjoy this series. Yes, this isn't Richard Rider (let's just get that out of the way...again) but Sam Alexander is shaping up to be a great and fun character. When you look at the majority of Marvel Comics, most of these characters have existed or been in action for decades. It's great seeing the younger hero gain incredible powers. It's clear that Gerry Duggan gets what Sam is all about.

With Sam, we have an average kid that has suddenly gained an incredible set of powers. He's dealing with real-life problems at home and he is absolutely going to mess up from time to time. What Duggan does right away is show there are some consequences to be a Nova. Sam is seeing some physical affects as well as seeing his school work suffer. This series is more than just about someone with the Nova powers. Duggan also takes the established supporting characters and show how they relate to Sam. Sam has some actual normal responsibilities, like babysitting, even though he can fly across the galaxy. That's what gives this book some heart.

Paco Medina's art is top notch as well. We've been lucky with the different creative teams we've seen on this book and they've all retained the essence of who Sam is supposed to be. Medina has to draw scenes taking place in high school as well as spidery-aliens on a distant planet. This type of variation in a single comic is another thing that makes it stand out.

The Bad

Nothing bad here. Sam's dealing with a lot and it's fun seeing him learn from each experience.

The Verdict

This is a book you should definitely be reading. The more we get to know of Sam Alexander, the more likable he becomes. Trying to balance the responsibilities of possessing the Nova powers while still trying to get through being a high school student (and big brother), this books strays from the average superhero tale. Despite the strange locales Sam may venture to, there is a lot of humanity here with Sam being such a normal kid in an grandiose situation. It's refreshing having a series like NOVA to read each month.

22 Comments
Posted by Trevel8182

So Nova went from protector of the galaxy to getting detention and joining the chess club. Doing Rider proud. Just when I thought "there's no way I could hate Sam anymore then I do now", he insults Earth's Mightiest Heroes. NO ONE and I mean No one insults Earth Mightiest Heroes.

Posted by G-Man

@trevel8182: "Doing Richard proud"? Have you read the old NOVA comics? He was far from the expert hero in his day.

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Edited by Trevel8182

@g_man: He didn't have training by Gamora and Rocket Raccoon and ride of the coat tails of another dude and still he accomplished more. Like how he re-built the Nova Corps at the end of his series or fought in Kree Skrull war or went on special mission with Nick Fury and Rom, how in his fifth issue he got his own Marvel Comic. While Sam instead of finding Robbie Rider rebuild the Corps and find Richard Rider he's just pissing around ignoring his family and friend which Rich was able to balance both. What I'm trying to say is Sam doesn't have the Same excuses Rich did. Rich got a pat speech from Rhomann Dey and that was it, Sam has been trained and has been told by his father and many others the history of the corps.

Posted by blazingwhale

" We've mentioned several times how much we enjoy this series"

This review just lost ALL credibility, this serious is an insult to Nova fans and just any comic book legacy's in general, why invest in a character for so long if they can just forget it an do a crap teen version instead?

The point of the nova force is there can be multiple why not have Rider an this tool be nova an keep everyone happy?

Posted by G-Man

@blazingwhale: I'd say why not have patience? And "lost all credibility"? Okay. Guess you haven't heard me mention how much I love Rider or the fact that I have his complete original run or a Nova commission from Darick Robertson when he was on NEW WARRIORS. I can appreciate when other characters take over the mantle. If you seriously don't think Rider will be back...I don't even know what to say.

But what did you think about this issue? I'm assuming you read it.

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Posted by cameron83

Can this Nova hate just f*cking stop already? I mean it's just f*cking tiring. I see it on almost every single f*cking thing relating to Sam.

I mean,I absolutely love Richard and prefer him over Sam,and I know that Richard will be back. But I like Sam and I think he actually needs to be recognized as his own character,not be seen as "Richard Replacement". He needs to be appreciated for his character and be judged on THAT,not on some sort of bias or because you like another character better.

....sigh,cue the angry replies that take things out of context and put words in my mouth....

Posted by cameron83

btw,great review and great series.

Posted by Trevel8182

@g_man: If your such a New Warriors fan why don't you have problem with Speedball and Justice instead going out in to space looking for Richard Rider knowing that both Thanos and Star-Lord(They are both Avengers)they don't. Instead telling Sam about Robbie Rider who lives in long island with the Worldmind that just needs a spark of the Nova Force to reactivate they don't. Marvel won't let Speedball and Justice do these thing because they want to be "The Last Shooting Star(besides Garthan Saal, Malik Tarceel and there army of evil Nova's)" I believe there exacts words when they meet Sam where "well he's not are Nova but he'll do" remember these are suppose to Rich Rider's best friends.

Posted by tomlikesfries

Can this Nova hate just f*cking stop already? I mean it's just f*cking tiring. I see it on almost every single f*cking thing relating to Sam.

I mean,I absolutely love Richard and prefer him over Sam,and I know that Richard will be back. But I like Sam and I think he actually needs to be recognized as his own character,not be seen as "Richard Replacement". He needs to be appreciated for his character and be judged on THAT,not on some sort of bias or because you like another character better.

....sigh,cue the angry replies that take things out of context and put words in my mouth....

Agreed. What's with the Richard Rider obsession? I mean, he's not replacing Rider, I assume it's an entirely new character. Most people who complain don't even read the book. It's one of the most fun titles on shelves right now in fact. Sam is a really interesting character, but these people are just missing out by complaining without reason. Makes me mad, man.

Posted by Trevel8182

@cameron83: What do you like about Sam Alexander? What do find endearing about his character because I can't really think anything? The few likable things about him Rich Rider did better and I'm just talking from his original series. What is Sam Alexander story about? is it sins of the father because from that flashback we saw Jesse Alexander(Which is another great example of why Jeph Loeb should never be allowed to work in continuity. So Richard Rider was the first human Nova and with Star-Lord co-found the Guardians of the Galaxy together but they existed 17 years ago with Gamora and Rocket before Rocket was even alive and Richard was even a Nova?) was a coward, liar and loser but at the end of that story Sam says something"I thought my dad was loser and now I wanna be more like him" What? So is Sam's story about appreciating your parents? Richard Rider story was about a no one from no where who by random chance got to become a star metaphorically and physically, the moral of his story is anyone can be hero.

Edited by G-Man

@trevel8182: Where or when did I say I didn't have a problem with it? And what does that have to do with Sam Alexander as a character? And how would Speedball and Justice have the means to go out into space to look for someone they assume died a heroic death?

I just find all the hate weird. Heroes that replaced never return, right? Wally West replaced Barry Allen, Kyle Rayner replaced Hal Jordan, Ben Reilly replaced Spider-Man, Jean-Paul Valley replaced Batman as did Dick Grayson, Rhodey replaced Tony Stark, Eric Masterson replaced Thor, etc, etc, etc. Funny thing is pretty much all those replacement characters are equally beloved as well.

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Posted by Trevel8182

@g_man: Star-Lord and Thanos are both alive and Richard Rider is missing in action and they are Avengers and New Warriors they have easy access to space travel and that doesn't excuse them for not telling him about Robert Rider and the Worldmind

Nova is not Iron Man, Thor, Batman, Green Lantern or Spider-Man he is an awesome D-List character and D-list characters get replaced a lot and they usually don't come back. Dick Grayson, Ben Reilly, Rhodey Etc had a long standing relationships with there predecessors and they didn't act like the person who came before them didn't exist. Hal Jordan was still apart of Green Lantern when Kyle Rayner was Green Lantern.

Posted by Renchamp

Anger about fictional characters. First world problems. Am I right?

Posted by G-Man

@trevel8182: They have access to space travel? Did you see the truck they were driving? And Hal Jordan was still a part of Green Lantern? How does dying and turning into Spectre make him part of Green Lantern? He was Parallax for a couple years, died in 96 and didn't return to being a Green Lantern until 2004!

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Posted by DaltonMunnal

I don't often glance at reviews so I had no idea this book/character got so much hate. So, I wanted to add that I have been loving the series. There's nothing wrong with a mantle being passed down, especially when we're talking about a role like a Nova or a Lantern which is specifically supposed to belong to multiple characters. Everybody comes back.

Edited by Alch21

One of the best series around. Honestly can't say that I've read Rich Rider or w.e his name is but, if it was half as good as this book is, I can understand the heartbreak but not enough to deprive myself from this book. Hopefully New Warriors follows suit.

Edited by dscythe

I like Richard Rider as much as the next guy, but Jesus H people, this is still a GOOD BOOK. Sam is a completely new character, and while he does have a lot of similarities to Rich he was never intended to be a replacement.

We all know he's going to come back eventually, but in the meantime I think Sam is doing a damn fine job. Also Trevel, the New Warriors are gone at the moment, they have no place to stay and a beat up truck to ride around in, you REALLY think they can just hop on a space ship and go look for Rich?

Also for your point about trying to rebuild the Nova corps, Sam is really only JUST realizing that he's the last one left, and from this issue (IF you actually read it) it seems like he's going to be headed in the direction of trying to find out what happened to the Novas/rebuilding the corps. Remember all the dots on the map that were dead Novas? Yeah, he's probably going to check at least a few more of those out...

Edited by DatHomieSilverSurfer

Gotta say man, you have to check out the last nova series before this (2007-2010). I can't suggest this any more highly, it's incredible. And it really makes you appreciate this current series more, in my opinion. You can probably find some back issues for cheap at your local comic shop or comixology. (start with Nova: Annihilation) \

And Richard Rider was definitely less of a &*^(*&* than Sam is. I enjoy this series too, but there is just something so damn unlikeable about this guy. Issue 10 with all the callbacks to Rich brought a tear to my eye :,)

Yea, so check it out, Great review by the way G-Man. Long time stalker first time poster.

@alch21 said:

One of the best series around. Honestly can't say that I've read Rich Rider or w.e his name is but, if it was half as good as this book is, I can understand the heartbreak but not enough to deprive myself from this book. Hopefully New Warriors follows suit.

Edited by DrLove

I respect ppl's thoughts on this but damm. i have tried to like this but its just too silly for me. He is like a lame peter parker character. Rider was a huge important cosmic hero, the less time he spent on earth towards the end the more interesting his stories were. with this series we have to spend half the time reading about highschool nonsense. It just seems like such a waste. Robbie Rider not being involved is also strange. this comic is god-awful. Rich was already rebuilding the corps what is the point of starting over again telling the same story?

Posted by blazingwhale

@g_man: I would be interested in having a proper online chat about it, but this, and issue "100" was a joke to be honest, the sheer ignorance of the series history and how they portray Robbie and Vance is insane, just ignore all development of civil war an onwards and its not that if Rider will not be back, an they may do a hal jordan an take a long time about it but its that it wont be DnA who were on a stellar run an clearly had plot points set out for a long time, they had evolved a character to a new level an got it snatched away

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice