Nova #3 (Marvel) - Comic Review

It is amazingly satisfying to finally see Richard Ryder, the man they call Nova, treated with respect. If only they could do the same thing with U.S. Agent (Marvel – call me – I’ve got the pitch of a lifetime for him)…

Anyway….

Nova #3 closes out the first storyarc, which gets Rich caught up on what’s been happening here on Earth since the Civil War. At the end of issue #2, the Thunderbolts had decided to bring Nova in…even though Tony Stark had just given him 24 hours to decide what he wanted to do…so we kick things off with a big bad superhero brawl. Sean Chen’s pencils are just plain beautiful, and make the fight worth “reading” as it were…

Things kick into gear once the action is over, however, when Tony Stark shows up and sends the Thunderbolts packing, still trying to convince Nova to stay on Earth, register, and help the Initiative. He remains undecided, but after a quick trip home, things go from bad to worse. Rich’s parents are worried about him, and his over-bearing father is coming down on him hard. After walking out of an argument, he stands on his front lawn, only see the Thunderbolt Penance walk up.

Rich doesn’t know it’s his old buddy Speedball, but after Penance removes his helmet, Rich can’t believe what he’s seeing. The scars on Penance’s face, and the look in his eyes on the page are wonderful, and really make you feel for this guy and what he’s been through. His carelessness, along with the other New Warriors, caused this whole mess, and he literally looks like he has the weight of the entire world resting firmly on his shoulders.

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are doing a fantastic job penning this book. The writing is great, and they seem to have truly captured that “Peter Parker” feeling of Rich. What I mean by that is that in the Nova book in the 70s he was very much a Peter Parker type guy. He could never catch a break, and these two writers have managed to capture that feeling, but at the same time have Rich seem like his own man, and a more mature version of himself than we’ve ever seen before.

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Nova is seriously stepping up into the A list…and it’s because of this creative team, and the talent on this book.

The brooding space shot on the second to last page as Nova makes his decision regarding his stay on Earth is another fantastic image and, while it does have a Superman vibe about it, it feels perfect for the character as he is today. I look forward to reading more from these guys. This is just a fantastic book.

Grade: A+

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