[[wysiwyg_imageupload:1264:]]Okay – the art was amazing and the writing was very well done for the type of story it is. But let’s not get bedazzled by Immonen and Waid. This is probably their first and last foray with this new character. If you want to see what less talented writers and artists do with this new character, check out the next episode of Ultimate Spiderman this weekend. I watched both premiere episodes last weekend. Let’s just say my teeth still hurt from all the grinding I did of them as I suffered through that torturous hour.
I put “Nova” in quotes for a reason. This is “Nova” in name only (i.e., NINO).
Here’s why this is NINO.
What we are presented with is a hackneyed premise: Angst-ridden teenage boy mysteriously acquires strange powers which he barely understands. While trying to do good, he unwittingly misuses these powers requiring rescue by headliner heroes. Upon recovery, he adopts a smart-alec or over-confident attitude to hide his insecurity – again requiring mentoring and/or rescuing by headliner heroes as he persistently uses bad judgment and becomes the perpetual teen sidekick.
How many times have you encountered that premise over the course of your comics reading history? If you’re a long time reader, the correct answer is: “Too many.”
If you’re a long term Nova reader; your next thoughts should be, “Didn’t we already go through this in the 1970’s? And again in the 1990’s?” With Volume IV of Nova, I thought we had finally put this teen angst second-stringer tripe behind us – but apparently Alonso, Brevoort, and Loeb can’t trot that formula out to sell too many times.
Sure – the uniform borrows elements from the classic and some of Wolfman’s and DnA’s concepts have been retained (albeit in bastardized form). But make no mistake, this is not Nova. This is “Nova” – a pale imitation and an un-necessary downgrading reboot of a concept that had finally matured with the advent of Annihilation and Volume IV.
Frankly, if it was this or nothing – I’d have preferred nothing. At least we’d have a history of some great stories and the concept would’ve remained un-sullied.
Disagree with my assessment? I invite you to look at that last panel where scrawny unconscious teen “Nova” is carried away in the arms of big, tough, wise Iron Man. That should tell you all you need to know about Sam Alexander. He’s no Nova Prime. He’s NINO.