Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Wellinton Alves
Nova has been incredibly good lately and I think it might have to do with the fact he isn't bogged down with "forced" tie-ins in attempts to bolster sales. I know Annihilation and Conquest aren't forced, per se, but he's been involved in those, Civil War and various aftermath and tie-in issues since the series started. He even has a Secret Invasion tie-in coming up.
That is why I think these issues have been so good. It's Nova being Nova and the DnA get to tell their story and give us some real development in Nova's character that seems to have gotten lost in the last year's worth of "tie-ins". Don't get me wrong, this is one of Marvel's best books, hands down, but it was always more about the current storyline or event and less about Nova, the character, in those issues.
Another great thing about this storyline and this issue, in particular, is the fact DnA didn't resort to the cliched super hero battle as the crux of the story. We got our fight with Silver Surfer last issue, but it was actually more of a ploy to get Nova alone to talk to him outside of Galactus' sphere of influence than it was a "misunderstanding". Add the fact Nova hasn't been trying to stop Galactus or the Surfer, as I had expected, and it made for a highly entertaining read that defied the conventional, "don't eat this world Galactus!", battle and focused on the task of evacuating people and showcased Nova's character and his desire to save everyone, even at his own expense.
Did Worldmind "die"?
It's unknown at this point, but the fight with Harrow, the pyschich entity that was wreaking havoc on the planet in previous issues, shows just how important Worldmind has been to Nova's success as he fumbles with his basic operating systems and use of the Nova Force, nearly costing him his life in this fight.
Thankfully, the fight was noticed by the Silver Surfer and he quickly alerts Galactus to Harrow's prsence and the fact Harrow had been leeching off of the World Devourer, resulting in Galactus destroying the creature in an instant. Just as Nova thinks he is safe, Galactus turns his attention on him, similar to how he had just did with Harrow. Thankfully, Galactus only teleports him and the Surfer a few light years away as Nova is left pondering why he wasn't killed during a brief conversation with the Surfer.
It was an entertaining read and the developments with the Worldmind have some grave implications. There's also the matter of Galactus sparing Nova. Why did he do it? He seemed to be thinking something or understood something we, the readers, didn't. Does he know something of the Worldmind or did he simply admire Nova's courage and determination in his attempts to save those people? The Surfer's ominous final words about Galactus never sparing someone more than once seem to imply that we will be seeing some sort of confrontation between the Big G and Nova in the future. Hopefully DnA will answer some of these lingering questions from an otherwise spectacular arc.
Verdict - Must Read. Great story, lots of action, lots of drama, character development, great art and the best depiction of Galactus I've ever seen (still sporting the cosmic-y space pattern blended with his classic look) make this a must read for everyone.