I’ve called this series my favorite superhero comic of 2017 and I stand by that. That means I’m going in with high expectations this week with issue #3 hitting the stands. Is it good?
Nova #3 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
The Animals thought, spoke and took revenge. The dust has settled and the blood has dried, but a new force is rising in the West, ready to help Animal-kind seize power in the dark new world to come…”
Why does this book matter?
Ramón Pérez is drawing lights-out comics with this series and co-writing with Jeff Loveness while he does it. The series has a self-reflecting quality that’s straight out of the movies (Rich Ryder is confused by how young the Avengers recruit for instance) that’s hard not to love.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Dog vs. tiger, who ya got?
This issue opens where we left off as both Sam and Rich are confronted by some jerk alien bounty hunter types on Knowhere. The issue breaks down to be one action sequence, but feels like a cohesive bit of storytelling as it continues to reveal Rich’s dark secret and does well to drop references. The characters are incredibly genuine and realistic and much props go to the writing team to make them seem realistic. Their dynamic is intriguing too, as Sam is relatively new to this in comparison to Rich, but still can hold his own. It’s also nice to see the characters have a past with the villains which keeps their dynamics interesting as well. Add in some high stakes moments and you have yourself a fun issue.
Part of that fun comes from Rich and Sam speaking telekinetically through Cosmo which allows them to converse without the bad guys knowing. Speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy, Rich’s past with a certain member closes the issue and sets up the next quite well. The dynamic between Rich and Sam is already intriguing, but add a member of that team and we could have real sparks.
Pérez’s artwork is, as mentioned, top notch. The costumes of both Novas are fantastic and nice details are added to give them texture and depth. Energy and power looks cosmic and cool and when Rich taps into the darkness it’s very supernatural and evil looking. The book has a fun pop of color by Ian Herring, but isn’t afraid to let loose when it comes to gore either.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The characters spend nearly the entire issue in one room and to avoid getting stale Pérez uses a lot of close ups. Too many extreme closeups make the action feel a bit stuffy at times and it’s hard to place where characters are spatially from one another. This is increased when splashes of color make up the backgrounds more often than not. It gives the book a retro feel, but hinders the storytelling to some effect.
Words of wisdom.
Is It Good?
Retro, fun, and action-packed, this is the epitome of superhero comics. This issue might lack the storytelling punch of its action sequence, but it gets the job done and then some.