Review: Nova #18 (Duggan)
Sometimes a reboot of a concept surpasses the original. That was the case for Nova Volume IV. Most times, a reboot is inferior to the original. That is the case with NINO.
The problem is that the major players in the NINO reboot (Alonso, Brevoort, Loeb, Bendis, and now Duggan) never liked, understood, cared about, or bothered to familiarize themselves with cosmic in general or the Nova mythos in particular. Their past and present motivations appear to be to cash in on the expected surge in interest in cosmic once the Guardians of the Galaxy movie premieres and is the blockbuster everyone expects -- and, in the case of NINO, to develop a “Spider-man-ish” character for which they own the movie rights. Their lack of understanding and regard for cosmic shows in the decline in quality of cosmic under their leadership. Thankfully, the fans have resisted Marvel’s marketing flim-flam about NINO, and this total mess of a comic book is failing – down to 111th in sales – with only 22K still buying. I can’t wait to see the words, “Final Issue,” smeared across the cover in the near future. It is way past time for NINO to go away and never be heard tell of again.
The 22K of high-camp, clichéd, teen antic/angst mediocrity lovers still buying NINO will call this the best issue of the series thus far. I agree – it is the best of the worst – but that’s faint praise. Bad concept equals dumb story cover-to-cover. And the lack of regard for Nova mythos is on full display throughout.
Once again, NINO’s mother won’t be winning the “Mother of the Year” award. She encourages her minor children to play with a weapon of mass destruction and stands idly by while NINO flies off to the edge of the universe to face mortal danger. Honestly – I fully expect her to start leaving loaded weapons lying around the house. And in a way she is – since in this silly re-boot of the Nova mythos the powers are stupidly portrayed as emanating from the helmets. She piles up a heap of discarded helmets from fallen Corpsmen in her basement. All that power centered right there won’t attract the attention of any villains and expose her family to further danger, will it? Dumb.
And then the Avengers and Fantastic Four encourage NINO to risk his life fighting Mindless Ones. Is every adult in the Marvel Universe an irresponsible, blithering idiot?
If I had one major criticism of Volume IV, it would’ve been that DnA portrayed Rich as underpowered. Just the opposite with NINO. Duggan portrays NINO as ultra-powered. No way NINO tosses around Mindless Ones like that.
The end scene is especially egregious. Remember that above-mentioned lack of regard for Nova mythos? Jesse is portrayed with a Millennian helmet but wearing a Centurion Uniform (as is the Corpsman he guns down). And since the Worldmind was presumably active at the time of that apparent crime – there’s no way he would get away with it as it would have been recorded in Worldmind archives. Once again, the “creators” and “re-booters” borrow the look and general concepts without any understanding or regard for the history and mythos.
Of course, NINO has an existential angsty teen crisis when it looks like dear old dad is just another criminal thug. And when Iron Man has a chance to be an adult and help – he just makes an off the cuff remark and walks away. Now that’s heroic, isn’t it? Sheesh.
NINO ends by saying he’ll never wear the helmet again. If only that was true. But it isn’t true and the little idiot will be back because Marvel is desperate to throw him in the face of every reader by making him part of every event and giving him special one-shots. And Brevoort, with a straight face, is his typical disingenuous self when he says he gave Rich equivalent marketing hype.
It is now rumored that Rich Rider will make an appearance in the post-credit scene of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Think about the resurgence in interest in Thanos after his post-credit scene. He was brought back from the dead in very short order, wasn’t he? So, if this rumor is true, it’s our best chance of getting Rich back and active in the Marvel Cosmic Universe. NINO needs to be gone and forgotten by then – because if he’s still selling, the powers at Marvel will continue with Loeb’s re-boot, and Loeb’s re-boot by Loeb’s own design and admission has no room for Rich Rider. So – if you’re a true Rich Rider fan, the best thing you can do is leave this NINO trash on the shelf at your local comic shop. Cancel NINO from your pull list or digital purchase list. Take Ultimate Spider-Man off the record list of your DVR. Don’t buy New Warriors (in Name Only) because it headlines NINO. A small push is all that’s needed to drive sales further down and hopefully eliminate NINO forever.