No you didn’t read that wrong.
Let me state something right off the bat, I love Richard Rider. The previous Nova was without a doubt a staple character that the House of Ideas pushed forward in big ways during and after the cosmic crossover Annihilation. But after the dust settled from the Thanos Imperative the franchise was left in doubt.
Soon the opportunity to not only re-introduce but re-brand a property that might have gotten too serious for its own good arrived thanks to an event and a line wide initiative.
Making his first appearance in Marvel NOW! Point One we were introduced to a different kind of intergalactic warrior. We didn’t know his name but we got to witness his actions and he left an impression.
REMEMBER WHEN COMICS WERE FUN?
I’m not going to lie, one of the main reasons why I feel that Sam Alexander is a not just a great Nova but the best is because he’s a kid that’s trying and learning. It’s not some dark, dreary end of the universe odyssey, but rather a son attempting to live up to his responsibilities and come to terms with the relationship, and lack there of, that he had with his father. And you know what? He’s still laughing and having a good time!
It’s a complicated dynamic that sprung off the page as Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness ushered in these dynamics in their opening arc. The original creative team did a wonderful job setting things in motion as we got to know our soon to be icon. Sure he makes mistakes but he’s growing while interacting with ideas that are entertaining to read.
Fans who enter this monthly might be distraught as they wonder: what about all of our old friends and allies?
And the short answer is they’re here. Slowly but surely the writers and artists that have graced these pages have brought in Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Beta Ray Bill and even Cosmo. Along with them came familiar concepts such as the Worldmind and even the wonderful station known simply as Knowhere.
It’s been a hell of a ride so far.
THERE’S WEIGHT BEHIND IT
That’s right, because as much fun as we’re having journeying across the stars with our teenage hero we’re also seeing a young man dealing with his father’s disappearance, his little sister’s needs, a burgeoning romantic interest, his responsibilities both at home and school, not to mention a galaxy that needs a police force. It’s all very human and readily available through simple dialogue that’s been brought to new heights by current scribe Gerry Duggan.
HE’S GOT A SUPERHERO SQUAD
Following his assist in Avengers vs. X-Men our new Human Rocket was offered a spot on the iconic team, but his mother wouldn’t let him do it! So the good folks at Marvel have seen fit to introduce him to characters Speedball and Justice. They instantly tried to recruit him during their attempt to rekindle their old team’s ill forgotten flame.
Thanks to the High Evolutionary, his shenanigans and some additional, but not freely given help, the New Warriors are on the map again.
IT’S A GATEWAY TO A LARGER UNIVERSE
When you buy any comic there’s bound to be a couple sister titles that you’re just going to have to pick up to get the full experience. For example if you buy Superior Spider-Man chances are you subscribed or at least tried Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Superior Carnage. That’s true here too because if you’re getting this than there’s certainly enough additional exposure to push you toward New Warriors and hopefully Guardians of the Galaxy.
A BIG MISTAKE
Recently our hero went into space and helped a very bad alien survive an attack by the good guys. It was one of those classic ‘I’m here, I’m a hero so let me help you‘ kind of scenarios that was simply destined to go badly. But as soon as he found out that Captain Skaarn was a villain he’s gone to extreme and reckless lengths to make things right. Hence the team-up with the one and only Beta Ray Bill!
He’s an up and coming player with a learning curve. And as you take all these things into consideration I’ll admit that maybe he’s not the initial number one choice but he still gets my vote nonetheless.
LET’S FACE IT
If you’re a cosmic enthusiast than right now is without a doubt a wonderful time to be buying. You have three ongoing titles (and a team book) with more than enough to offer an audience that’s been starved too long. And one of the key faces locked into this is without a doubt Nova, and the kid beneath that shinny black dome.
So travel to your local comic shop buy a stack, sit back, pour a nice tall glass of the amber stuff and enjoy!