Released: June 14th 2016
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Nova 1-6
I’m a huge fan of Rich Rider, so it only made sense for me to give the new Nova series and character a try. I read a little bit about the new guy during the 2016 Nova comics (the one where it has the two Novas in it) so I guess my curiosity got the better of me. The new kid that takes up the mantle of Nova is literally a kid – his name is Sam Alexander and he’s still in high school. Quite a shift from the Nova we’ve known in the past. One thing is still the same though; I still loved the artwork for Nova.
Kid Nova (as I call him so as to keep myself from getting him confused with Rich’s Nova) has a lot of the struggles I’ve come to expect from a teenage superhero. He’s still trying to figure out his powers (and is hampered by the fact that he’s powerless without his helmet), go to school, have a social life, and keep his identity a secret. Unlike most superheroes his age, his parents actually know what’s going on. I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Basically for now his father assists with the crime fighting (also being a member of the Nova corps) and his mother both worries and nags him a bit about it.
Being that this Nova is still new, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from him. I’m happy to report that despite the mountains of work Sam is juggling, he isn’t petulant, bitter, or whiney about it. I get the impression he tends to lock a lot of his emotions inside (this opinion was reinforced in the later issues, after the plot twist with his father). He seems like he’s a hard working kid who truly cares about what happens to the people around him. Naturally that means he fits in pretty well with the rest of the Young Avengers (Especially Miles and Kamila).
I’ll admit that I did love the whole plot twist that occurred during the second half of the volume. It felt like a pretty typical alien infiltration plot, but perhaps I’m biased against them because I’ve seen so many of them. I’m hoping this whole setup just builds Sam’s character further, to allow him to be an even more interesting character.
While I wasn’t impressed with the main plot, I did enjoy the interpersonal relations that occurred for Sam. It was nice to see a cameo from Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Ms. Marvel (Kamila Khan), Iron Man, and Vision. I wasn’t expecting to see so many other characters appear, but then again it does help to establish a new character. I also loved the plot twist with (spoiler alert) Sam’s friends putting two and two together and realizing that Sam is Nova. I’m actually really curious to see where that one leads. Will they become supporting friends (help him hide his secret, make excuses for his absence, etc), or will they be bitter and upset about the whole thing (picture Ron in the first part of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
I think I’ll continue reading this series, even though I’m not incredibly impressed yet. I think it has a lot of potential though, so I’m willing to give it time to settle and see where it leads.