Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Andrea Di Vito
I predicted Nova would be my pick for book of the week in the previews, and it probably is, but it didn't deliver nearly as much as I was hoping for. Its claiming of the book of the week award says more for the quality, or lack thereof (well, there were good books, just nothing that screamed must read either), of the books that came out this week than it does about this issue of Nova.
That said, when this issue was good, it was damn good and my favourite parts involved the scenes dealing with our hero, Richard Rider, and his new Quasar powers. I loved the Nova/Worldmind dynamic Abnett and Lanning added to the Richard/Wendell Vaughn Quasar. It was just interesting seeing Wendell trying to fill space or rambling on or what have you as he tagged along inside Richard's head. Reminded me of how much I missed Worldmind inside Rich's head while still being unique and fun in its own right.
However, the treatment of the Nova Corps was where I had most of my problems in this issue. To start things off, I really disliked the old fashioned, overly wordy exposition used to fill in the reader on the current situation at the start of the issue. It never worked for me and felt like I had a recap page spread out over the course of three or four pages as Richard's brother painfully spelled out every little detail to the reader through his dialogue.
The biggest concern, though, was with the supposed Shi'ar Imperial Guard vs Nova Corps battle that previews, solicits and the cover all hint at. It does, technically, happen in this issue, but it's nowhere near as satisfying as I was expecting. It amounted to nothing more than the Nova Corps fighting some random Shi'ar soldiers, securing a random planet and then the Imperial Guard showing up. The Imperial Guard kill one or two Novas and then Nova Prime surrenders to Gladiator after one punch. I was expecting this bloodbath and an epic battle between the new Prime and Gladiator and was disappointed to see the sudden surrender.
The big reveal, if you can call it that, was that the Worldmind was, in fact, corrupted by Ego. I'm both relieved and disappointed with that development. On one hand, it means we can wash away the whole 'Worldmind's a dick' story and get Nova back into control once he frees him from Ego. But, on the other hand, it also feels like it was too obvious and the possession and reveal of Ego's control just comes on way too fast for it to have any impact and I get the feeling it was implemented just to get the Nova Corps into the War of Kings moreso than an actual story driven plot. We'll have to see how much control Ego had next month before I make a final judgement on this.
Verdict - Check It. While I talk a lot about the negatives of the issue, it was still quite entertaining. Just not perfect or up to the typical Nova standards. I'll still take a "bad" Nova issue over just about any other comic, so it's not a complete wash either.