EXCLUSIVE: Gerry Duggan talks NOVA

While attending this year’s Amazing Arizona Comic Con I was able to sit down with scribe Gerry Duggan and discuss his work on the cosmic side of Marvel Comics. That’s right Nova gets attention in this interview.

UTF: First and foremost, my big question is, at this point Sam Alexander is looking for other Novas, is there a chance that a particular Human Rocket might return?

nova armor croppedGerry Duggan: You might see him sooner rather than later, but in an unexpected way. I’ll be honest, resolving the Rich Rider issue is not really one of the things that I’m focused on at the moment. It’s more about building Sam Alexander as a young hero. That doesn’t mean you might not see that character pop up in other places, and good things come to those who wait.

UTF: Sounds perfect. I really want to talk about the newest Nova. I have to say, the dialogue coming from Sam feels very natural but he’s made mistakes how soon can we expect that to come back and bite him in the rear?

Nova 12_CGerry Duggan: In 30 days. In Nova #12, Sam did a good thing for a not-great guy. It showed a lack of wisdom, which I think a lot of 15-year-olds have. A mistake is an opportunity for some fun and maybe some comedy, but certainly some action. Sam helped a character named Skaarn, and that will really occupy issues 13, 14, 15 and 16 as Beta Ray Bill comes to Earth to demand answers along with satisfaction about why this young Black Nova would assist such a base villain.

UTF: I have to say, I’m really excited to see Beta Ray Bill back in action. Is there any more that you want to say about his inclusion? Or potentially the appearance of additional cosmic players?

Nova 17_Preview CoverGerry Duggan: Yes. There is at least one or two other fun characters that cosmic readers will appreciate. The one thing I try to  do is balance, I really understand that the audience for Nova is young. Sam is only 13 issues old, roughly. I don’t want to necessarily confuse things by going, “Oh, my God! It’s the Living Tribunal!”

As I reintroduce a couple of them, I am trying to take a little bit of the same tact that I took with Deadpool, which is to introduce a lot of new characters. Once in a while, we will see an old friend, but I want to make the book as accessible as possible to folks that want to have fun with an inexperienced hero as he learns the ropes.

I’m glad that you’re having fun. Issue #13 is a real blast, with Bill and Sam meeting for the first time. The next 60 pages are going to feel like 120, but that’s what I want. I want there to be a lot of velocity in Sam‘s stories. That’s how life is when you’re a teenager. Everything feels like it’s going a million miles an hour, unless you’re sitting in class, in which case it feels like years and years are passing between periods. I’m trying to give him as many Sam Alexander problems as he’ll have Nova problems. I think it’s a balancing act that’s working out well. The editors have been wonderful.

They’ve been great. First [Steve] Wacker and now Ellie Pyle and Devin Lewis have really made the book feel like one person has been writing it. Just on a personal note, as Sam comes back to Earth after this adventure with Bill, I think my most satisfying script that I’ve ever turned in was Nova #17. That’s being drawn now, and it’s turning out great. It’s the culmination of my first months and I’m very excited. I hope that long-time Nova fans latch on, because the things that they liked about Rider as a high-school kid, we’re telling another generation through a new kid with the same powers.

I know that Sam Alexander has a lot of fans, because I’ve been hearing from them. The folks that would protest the book, I am aware, I get people tweeting me all the time about different things. I’m not really out to win anyone over, other than write good stories. Sometimes mysteries with long tales, they can lead to some pretty wonderful stories someday.

UTF: So with the New Warrior series that’s coming, I have to ask what do you think about Sam getting his first team?

Nova and his dadGerry Duggan: He deserves it after his mom put the kibosh on the Avengers membership. Look, these are young friends of Sam‘s. I’m really looking forward to what those guys are doing with the book. We won’t necessarily cross over right away. I know that they’re looking forward to establishing themselves, and then maybe something fun down the line. it’s interesting. I’m excited as a fan to see how this Nova responds in a group dynamic.

UTF: It’s definitely going to be interesting. Another question I wanted to ask is, we have the Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming and in my craziest fanboy dreams I never thought that would happen… but it’s happening. And there are Novas in it. Have you seen their suit design? If so do you like it?

Nova emotions and heartGerry Duggan: Here’s the thing. They had a lot of the stuff on display at Comic-Con, and I really liked what I saw. I’m excited about the movie. I think James Gunn is an inspired choice. I’m like you. I never thought that we’d ever see the films that we’ve seen, let alone get to the point where we’re going to have a Guardians movie. That said, I liked everything I’ve seen but I haven’t read the script. I don’t know too much about really what goes on. That’s deliberate, because I don’t need to know. I’d rather not have it spoiled for me, which is the real and honest answer.

I want to take the time to thank Mr. Gerry Duggan for chatting with me. It was a pleasure to speak with him and I can easily say that the work he’s done continues to make NOVA a must read every single month!

So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?

Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!