Review: Nova #2 (Loeb & McGuinness)
Once again, McGuinness and Gracia deliver a feast for the eyes with magnificent art and coloring.
Once again, Loeb tries to set the record for cramming as many teen superhero clichés as possible into a single comic book.
It literally took me five minutes to read this book in the store, and I can honestly say that the only thing that kept me from being utterly bored by it was my outrage at Loeb’s rape and strangulation of the concepts that made Nova Volume IV and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II great.
Let’s start with characterization – specifically Gamora and Rocket. Instead of the sexy, dangerous, impulsive sociopath, Gamora has been reduced to a “Princess Leia” role uncharacteristically urging restraint while muttering something about NINO being “Our last best hope.” Pardon me while I roll my eyes at this hackneyed and – in this case – totally stupid story device. Two of the greatest warriors in the local group pinning all their hopes on a 15-year-old kid Yeah – that’s plausible – if you’re the nine-year-old boy at whom this book is presumably aimed.
Instead of the smart-ass cool tactician, Rocket is reduced to a hot-headed, impulsive, insensitive jerk who starts firing his weapon at a scared, startled child. Pardon me while I sadly shake my head in disgust.
Is this the Gamora and Rocket we knew and grew to admire in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II? I think not. Total mischaracterizations of both by a writer who clearly doesn’t care about what the fans really want from Marvel Cosmic? I think so.
And haven’t we seen this “I know what I saw, so why won’t anybody believe me” type scene many times before in other comic books and in movies and cartoons aimed at the pre-pubescent crowd? What about the “testing out the powers” scene? Or the flying through the town signpost scene? Or the “throwing away of the helmet and having it boomerang back” scene? Or the maudlin daddy issues scene? Like I said – cliché after cliché.
At least issue #1 had the Black-Ops scenes to save it from being totally boring. No such luck with this issue. Between the clichés, the morphing of Gamora/Rocket into generic supporting character roles, and the total un-likeability of the main character; this issue was a real snooze fest. Literally nothing of real interest happened.
I’m also finding that I’m growing to dislike the manga costume (I refuse to call it a uniform) more and more every time I see it. The adults in the Black-Ops Cohort could pull it off – but it looks totally ridiculous on a 15-year-old kid.
In the last review I said I could at least respect Wacker’s honesty in telling the Rider Nova fans to take a hike if they didn’t like Loeb’s hack-job on the Nova concepts. I take that back now. After spending so much time denigrating and disrespecting the Rider Nova fans on various forums, Wacker now reverses himself in the letters page of this book and tries to glad-hand the Rider Nova fans. His about-face seems less than genuine to me, and I found it to be the most egregious insult yet – as if a “shout-out” is going to change anything.
Too many brave trees gave their lives needlessly for this book. If not for the art it would be a total waste of paper. If you must satisfy your curiosity, just thumb through this book in the shop and put it back on the shelf. It isn’t worth your time and money.