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Nova #4 - Chapter Four: Betrayal Review

4

Sam Alexander has barely been NOVA and now he's facing the Chitauri. Good luck, kid.

The Good

Even though there is a bit of history involved with Sam Alexander learning about a special branch of the Nova Corps and the appearances by Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, the series still has a fresh feel making it easy for new readers to jump in. Because this world is new to Sam, for the most part, we get to see everything unfold through his eyes. We may know about the previous members of the Nova Corps but you can easily dive into this series without having to worry about what you might have missed.

The combination of Jeph Loeb's writing and Ed McGuinness' art with Marte Gracia's colors gives the series such a warm and friendly feeling. Sam may be facing incredible and deadly odds, but you still feel the enthusiasm coming from Sam as if he was a kid with a brand new toy.

It's great seeing McGuinness' take on Nova in action. The effects of his blasts are different from the previous version and the 'threat' he faces off against here looks nice.

Just when you think you know where the story is going to go, Loeb throws a couple twists at us. The issue has such a fun feel to it. I keep saying that this could be an all-ages book or at least doesn't necessarily have to be a T+ book. It's got big action with great visuals and a big sense of adventure.

The Bad

The Chitauri. We haven't seen them in the Marvel-616 universe. Their appearance here almost feels like a way to bring in elements from the Cinematic Universe. It doesn't really have a forced feeling but seems a little odd to be randomly brought in now since this book appears to have a connection to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, which, obviously, is getting a movie next year.

The main problem with this issue is it feels it just flies by. A lot happens in a very brief amount of time. Sam Alexander had a tiny bit of training but still is out of his element with the new world he's been thrown into. Whether he's going by a huge amount of luck or has a natural tie to the powers, he easily gets out of a very sticky situation (although he does get into another one soon enough).

The Verdict

NOVA continues to be a fun and enjoyable title. Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness are making Sam Alexander into a great character. So many of today's comics have such dark tones and themes, it's refreshing to have a comic with a lighter feel. There are still some slightly mature themes entrenched here but the enthusiasm and design of Sam makes you feel a little warm inside. Sam is a character I want to see more of in the Marvel Universe. I just hope anyone that may work on the character uses the same care and understanding that Loeb and McGuinness currently are. The book has a big epic feel. The only problem is the story feels like it rushes by with too much happening too quickly. This just means we need more NOVA.

14 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

One more issue till Loeb is gone

Posted by Hawkguy
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@hawkguy: Zeb Wells is taking over the book

Posted by Dark_Guyver

The Chitauri? Does Marvel just plan on combining Ultimate and 616 universe?

Edited by SynCig

I hate to beat a dead horse but I really dislike when they implement aspects of the Cinematic Universe into the comics. As Corey has stated on the podcast a couple of times, there is not a lot of people that go out and buy comics because they watched The Avengers or any other comic book movie.

Edited by SynCig

@dark_guyver: Seems that way. Maybe they will combine Ultimate, 616, and the Cinematic Universes... Ugh.

Edited by sentryman555

@syncig said:

I hate to beat a dead horse but I really dislike when they implement aspects of the Cinematic Universe into the comics. As Corey has stated on the podcast a couple of times, there is not a lot of people that go out and buy comics because they watched The Avengers or any other comic book movie.

I don't like it either but maybe they're hoping people that saw the Avengers are gonna see the chitauri and pick up the issue because they remember seeing them in the film.

Posted by Z3RO180

@jonny_anonymous: is your statement a good or bad thing ? Cause from wat I know nova has been quite solid so far.

Posted by SynCig

@sentryman555: Yeah, I think that's what they are going for as well but I don't think that's a realistic expectation from Marvel.

Posted by Hawkguy

@jonny_anonymous: Might be reason enough to drop this, Loeb was the only reason I read this, but its been dragging on too long.

Gonna give this thing 2 more issues, maybe it'll get better.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@z3ro180: Neither really, I'm not reading so I don't know. Just thought I'd bring it up since nobody as spoke about it on the Vine.

Edited by vPuik

Nova is not one those books where I just can't wait to find out what happens next, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

I also don't mind introducing Chitauri to the comic universe. In the movie they seemed to be nameless aliens that we don't really know where they come from and who they are and why are they here. Maybe there were too many explosions when they went over that.

Posted by w0nd
@syncig said:

@dark_guyver: Seems that way. Maybe they will combine Ultimate, 616, and the Cinematic Universes... Ugh.

the funny thing is the movie is a combo of t he two, so when 616 does it, it just becomes redundant.

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Posted by agitatedandroid

Here's where old fans and new fans completely diverge. Every time I read the reviews/comments on Nova all I see are old fans whinging about change.

Do none of you old fans realize that Nova is the perfect gateway drug to comics for new readers? Why aren't you shoving Nova under the noses of your comics-curious friends? When your friend says "ugh, continuity, I'd have no idea what's going on" you throw Sam Alexander at them and say, "Don't worry, neither does Nova. You can learn about the Marvel 'verse together."

Oh, no, the cinematic universe and the 616 are polluting one another. Boo hoo. It's genius. "Who are these bad guys? What's their deal?" says comics-curious friend. "They're the dudes from the Avengers movie. You know as much as I do," you say.

As for "no one sees the movie then buys the comics," hogwash. I saw the movies, then started to buy the comics. Then, I thought I'd find a community on the internet to talk about those comics. Instead of finding folks who are as excited about Sam Alexander as I am I found you lot complaining that the aspects of Nova that I'm loving, you all detest.

When you say it's stupid to bring in elements from the cinematic universe you're one step away from saying the new readers that might like that are just as stupid. New readers coming here to see all this bile are just as likely to never return or to think, "I must be liking comics the wrong way." Instead of joining the conversation they shy away for fear of being told they're liking things wrong. They should be demanding Richard Rider and poo-pooing the Chitauri. Nonsense.

And, Tony, you're the ringleader. You can't say you want an inclusive community that welcomes new readers in one breath and then use the next breath to decry some of the very things new readers may be latching on to as they try to join the conversation.

"The Bad" The Chitauri. Why? You never actually say. You just bemoan the cinematic universe mixing with the 616. Why is it actually bad? How is it odd? Every book needs a bad guy, this arc it's the Chitauri. How is it random? It seems pretty deliberate on the part of Marvel to act as a gateway for potential new readers.

If there's a demonstrable reason for why bringing in elements from the cine-verse is bad then please explain. Is there some better villain Sam should be going up against? None of you mention an alternative or a real reason why the Chitauri are bad other than you don't like it when new people like things that you like for the "wrong" reasons.

All of this, it's disappointing and it's poor criticism.