Review: Nova #16 (Duggan)
You know those vinyl stickers you see on the rear windows of trucks? The ones of Calvin taking a whiz on something the driver of the vehicle holds in disdain? I think Brevoort and Alonso (hereinafter referred to as “Bonso”) must each have one of those stuck on the rear windows of their vehicles with Calvin’s target being the word, “Cosmic.”
I never thought I’d be thinking of Quesada’s tenure as “The Good Old Days,” but at least he admitted that he didn’t like or understand Cosmic. Then he had enough true leadership skills to give the fans what they wanted by getting out of the way and letting truly talented Cosmic writers create what became Marvel’s penultimate modern Cosmic universe. Then along came Bonso and in a textbook demonstration of bad leadership, Bonso decided to “fix” what wasn’t broken. In creatively bankrupt fashion, Bonso re-packaged The Avengers and Spiderman to give us the atrocious GotGINO (Guardians of the Galaxy In Name Only) and NINO (Nova In Name Only), respectively. Seriously, Brevoort has said many times that in his opinion Nova was “coolest” as a goofy, teenaged, Lone Ranger-type flying around on Earth spouting one-liners and that the Nova Corps “wasn’t cool.” Pretty much sounds like every issue of NINO doesn’t it? You want to know who to blame for NINO? Blame Bonso.
NINO #16 is embarrassingly bad cover-to-cover. That’s why sales of this series are deservedly low and falling fast.
When I say, “bad cover-to-cover,” I mean it literally. Beginning with the cover, we see NINO lifting Stormbreaker as if the little idiot is the least bit worthy of accomplishing such a feat. The Beta Ray Bill fans should be offended – and I hope they respond by boycotting this issue and this series. Everything NINO does proves he’s not worthy of his uniform or to lift Stormbreaker. He treats life and death issues with all the seriousness of a video game. He makes stupid mistakes that hurt and endanger people. He has no respect for education or his elders. The little idiot rides a skateboard around his little cow town and has no real fighting skills when he’s out of uniform. What makes this so “cool,” Bonso? I don’t see it. It sounds lame. It is lame. You’re out of touch, Bonso. Get out of the way and take Bendis, Loeb, and Duggan with you. Cancel NINO. Then let truly talented cosmic writers resurrect the better cosmic that existed before you came along.
It gets worse.
Inside the issue, Duggan produces a plot and dialogue worthy of a Saturday morning cartoon aimed at 5-year-olds. NINO unbelievably bests a more experienced and better armed opponent; then screws up in disarming him. Dumb. Implausible. He then “High-5’s” BRB (eye roll). Then he tracks down the lame, hen-pecked bounty hunter who easily bested him a few (sad and atrocious) issues ago, has a totally uninteresting negotiation session with him, and then in sexist fashion both NINO and the bounty hunter are shown shaking in their boots in reaction to the bounty hunter’s shrewish wife. So where’d you get that sexist plot element, Duggan? Perhaps a late 1950’s or early 1960’s network situation comedy? How original of you.
The art and coloring have long been the only saving graces of NINO. They’re certainly acceptable, but nothing to rave about by any stretch.
In short, the only saving grace of this book is that it takes about 5 torturous minutes to read. At least the pain is over quickly.
I did like one single line in this issue. Cosmo has had enough of NINO’s idiocy and says, “I miss the old Nova.” So do I, Cosmo. So do all of us long-term fans of the one and only true human Nova, Rich Rider. Nix NINO! Bring back Rich Rider and The Nova Corps!