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Nova #5 - Chapter Five: Victory Review

5

Sam Alexander faces his toughest challenge yet. Can he overcome one of his father’s former allies?

The Good

Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness conclude their run on Nova as strongly as they started. Sam Alexander fills his father’s shoes and faces down his father’s ex-squadmate Titus, who has led the ravenous Chitauri into Earth’s galaxy and now faces down the child Jesse Alexander left. Sam is written as well as any character with decades of establishment behind them, but it’s only been five issues of his solo series and he already feels like he fits naturally into the rest of the Marvel Universe and this issue cements that. He has all the charming awkwardness that a newly minted hero should have, but also the drive to do right, the fast-thinking to adapt to new situations and even some wit to keep the reader grinning. We even get Rocket Raccoon and Gamora (in her current Guardians of the Galaxy costume, no less) near the end of the issue to tie things back together and, hopefully, usher Sam into his next adventure. But the book is about far more than battles in space, at the end of the day it’s about the relationship of a boy and his family, especially his absent father, and that relationship gets completely redefined by the end of this issue, leaving plenty for the next creative team to pick up and run with.

The art must also be commended. Loeb and McGuinness have worked together for well over a decade now (though it was back at DC) and McGuinness’ style has morphed considerably over that time, and I’d say he’s brought a whole new look to this book. Most known for his larger-than-life cartoonish characters, most of the characters in this book are more subdued, even realistically, proportioned and it perfectly balances a sense of whimsy and groundedness. Fantastic inks with longtime collaborator Dexter Vines help make the characters and moments extremely crisp and clear. The dramatic moments actually seem stronger while the images of a teenager with a bucket on his head battling a space-tiger are actually fully in keeping with the style and don’t clash with the more subdued drama. The colors by Edgar Delgado also pop in every page, on every panel. He contributes as much to the sense of whimsy and wonder, as well as the bombastic action and wild battles of the book, as much as the expert pencils and inks. There is one page specifically where Sam’s arms divide the page horizontally that is a brilliant and intense image, perfectly displaying the character’s strength but also commenting on his shortsightedness.

The Bad

There’s nothing in this book to stop me from recommending it. Jeph Loeb had a few shaky books over the last several years, but this is easily his best since Fallen Son and McGuinness has rarely, if ever, been in higher form.

The Verdict

Even the COVER of this book takes on amazing meaning if you extrapolate the meaning of the father affixing a helmet (Nova’s most notable piece of equipment) to his son’s head in his childhood. There are layers of meaning within this book that should keep older readers happier, that and the absolutely stellar writing, characterization and art. Even for younger readers, this book’s rating doesn't suit its very friendly atmosphere. In an industry that seems like it’s becoming increasingly dark, this book shines as a pure delight and an absolutely stellar all-ages book. And I do mean ALL ages.

21 Comments
Posted by Nassirdada

This book is disgrace to the NOVA legacy.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Is this Loebs last issue?

Posted by frozenedge

Don't let the angry Rider fans see this rating they just may.....

This book is disgrace to the NOVA legacy.

never mind, too late

Posted by broo1232

Is this Loebs last issue?

For the while yes, but he and McGuiness said they have another story coming at some point.

Edited by Billy Batson

Is this Loebs last issue?

No, he's still writing the next one.

BB

Online
Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous said:

Is this Loebs last issue?

No, he's still writing the next one.

BB

I thought Zeb Wells was taking over with #6?

Posted by Z3RO180

@nassirdada: oh be quit. The words ruined and disgrace get thrown about this website way to much. If you to read a Richard rider book then go read one with him in it.

Posted by Billy Batson

@billy_batson said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

Is this Loebs last issue?

No, he's still writing the next one.

BB

I thought Zeb Wells was taking over with #6?

Looking at the solicits, he is. Comixology still has Loeb for sixth <.<

BB

Online
Posted by 34g3f3ert3t43

I read Nova#1 and subsequently dropped it. Not that it was bad, I just kind of stopped... I am debating doing some catch-up on the older issues, do you guys think the quality of the book justifies the price-point?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous said:

@billy_batson said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

Is this Loebs last issue?

No, he's still writing the next one.

BB

I thought Zeb Wells was taking over with #6?

Looking at the solicits, he is. Comixology still has Loeb for sixth <.<

BB

Hmm slow on the uptake I see lol. Are you reading this?

Edited by Nassirdada

@frozenedge: It's true. I am a Richard Rider fan, but above all I am a Nova corps and a cosmic fan. In 5 issues, this book has only addressed few of the Nova corps mythos( a pleasant innovation of the Black Novas). With a few minor tweaks, the story could just as easily take place at the center of Marvel’s universe.

The creators think Sam will be a more "relatable" character. However, he is just another Spiderman-ish powerered teenager, a rip-off of the old Richard.
I'll give this book a chance . I know Zeb Wells will bring back some familiar faces.

But why give sam the title Nova ?

Posted by Billy Batson

@jonny_anonymous:

Not really interested in Loeb comics. Just saw your question on my feed :p

BB

Online
Posted by johnkmccubbin91
Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous:

Not really interested in Loeb comics. Just saw your question on my feed :p

BB

lol yea pretty much the same, I just really miss DnA Marvel Cosmic

Posted by ptigrusmagus

I'm worried about where this series is going after Loeb. This is my introduction to Nova and I have no affinity to past incarnations.

Posted by frozenedge

@nassirdada: The give him the title Nova because, you know he's part of the Nova corps. Nova isn't a title restricted to only Richard Rider. When Bruce 'died' and Nightwing took over the Batman name, DC didn't rename the title "Dick taking over for Bruce Wayne as Batman" they just called it Batman. Would you prefer Marvel have called the book "Kid that's part of the same group as Richard Rider but we won't call it Nova"

Posted by nerdork

@n1colaspr1me: Personally, I am really enjoying the series. I never thought I would prior to picking up the title, as I am a huge R. Rider fan, and want him back with a terrible fervor, but Sam Alexander’s surly optimism is a lot of fun to be a part of. The story has been well written, and the artwork, IMO, is top notch. I do believe that the Title is well-worth the price, but it really comes down to personal interests, and I cannot definitively say that this is a book for everyone.

Posted by Undeadpool

@nassirdada said:

This book is disgrace to the NOVA legacy.

Shallow. Briefly, come instance.

Edited by SummersBlood

I never realized the Ultimate Nullifier had an 'off' switch.

Posted by AWeekInGeekdom

I that it was a really sincere, honest and fun loving issue... I wasn't reading Marvel stuff (aside from Spider-Man) but I picked up NOVA and so far it's been fantastic! I must commend Loeb for not making Sam an annoyance like his TV counterpart... his scenes with the watcher were really touching, in a friendly/buddy cop kind of way (heck I'd read an adventure with the two again.)