It’s faint praise but this issue is probably the best of the worst thus far.
I say that only because Duggan mangles the Nova Corps mythos a tad less than usual, and of course, because Rich Rider and Cosmo make cameo appearances. Also, Knowhere is back to being portrayed as a Celestial head floating in the Big Rip rather than Bendis’ recent portrayal of it as a desert planet in a binary system (ripping off Star Wars’ Tatooine). Otherwise, this issue is yet another completely forgettable waste of time, money, and paper.
NINO himself remains an obnoxious and thoroughly unlikable disgrace to the Nova Corps uniform and legacy. As usual, he bumbles his way through situations - implausibly and unbelievably utilizing powers he’s never been trained to use during heavy combat situations that he’s never been formally trained to manage. And, as usual, the cute sugary coating that overlies this intelligence-insulting series fairly oozes off each page threatening to send even non-diabetic readers into a hyperglycemia-induced coma. They’re just desperate to turn this tripe into a Disney kiddie movie aren’t they?
That’s one of the things that bothers me most about this despicable series. It isn’t enough that Loeb, Alonso, Brevoort, and Duggan disrespect and insult true long-term Rider Nova fans by replacing him with an annoying child, they also insist on dumbing down the storylines and concepts to pre-teen level.
Continuing Bendis’ wrong-headed ret-conning of Knowhere into an alternate universe version of Tatooine’s Mos Eisley spaceport, Duggan lifts the Han Solo vs Greedo bar scene right out of Star Wars Episode IV. Hey Duggan – have you ever actually read a science-fiction novel? Or does your total understanding of cosmic (like Bendis’) come from being a casual Star Wars fan? It sure seems like the latter.
Here’s the main difference between DnA’s Nova/GotG and Loeb’s-Duggan’s NINO/Bendis’ GotGINO: DnA’s work read like a well-written science-fiction novel that respected readers’ adult mentality, and Loeb’s-Duggan’s NINO/Bendis’ GotGINO read like comic books aimed at children and/or zombies who’ll buy anything. It’s the difference between DnA’s entertaining, intriguing, imaginative, original, high- quality work that respects the characters and fans, and Loeb’s/Bendis’/Duggan’s pedestrian, forgettable, un-imaginative, derivative, hackneyed trash which disrespects the characters and fans.
In an obvious attempt to “throw a bone” to Rider Nova fans, Duggan et al includes a cameo flashback of Rich Rider coming to BRB’s rescue in a heretofore unknown meeting between BRB and Rich. Surprisingly, Rich is treated with respect (for a change) by this (so-called) “creative” team. I suppose this appearance is supposed to satisfy us and make us shut up about Marvel’s shabby treatment of the Rider Nova character and the Rider Nova fans? Nope. Not gonna happen. You’re going to have to do much better than that Marvel Editors.
It was nice to see Cosmo again, but of course Duggan can’t resist turning him into a joke character, and, of course, NINO is completely disrespectful to Cosmo. That’s another of the reasons I just can’t stand the little “idiot” that is the NINO character. NINO – much like his patrons on Marvel’s editorial staff – simply doesn’t realize how inferior he is not only to his predecessor whose title he usurped, but to all the other cosmic characters with whom he interacts.
The art and coloring in this issue are certainly acceptable, but they aren’t enough to justify investing one red cent in this series. If you’re a true cosmic fan and a true fan of Rider Nova, the best thing you can do is leave this trash on the shelf. If we all continue the boycott of Loeb’s/Marvel’s callous insult to true Rider Nova fandom maybe we’ll be rewarded with the phrase, “Final Issue,” smeared across the cover before issue #20 of NINO hits the shelves. Better no Nova than NINO.