Nova is back this week and he’s going on a date. Well, not just Sam, but Rich Ryder too! We delve into Nova #4’s pages to determine…is it good?
Nova #4 (Marvel Comics)
Is it just me, or is it weird Sam is so shocked here?
So what’s it about? Read the preview.
Why does this book matter?
This is just good superhero comics. Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez are showing how to do a kid superhero book that’s relevant and fun. Add in Rich Ryder’s mysterious return tied to a dark nasty monster and you have a rather cool dynamic.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
When do we get a Nova movie already?!
The book opens well, with Sam asking a girl on a date and Rich doing the same more or less. Rich’s date is a bit more serious since it’s with ex-girlfriend Gamora (also because Sam’s mom has to drive him…ugh). Both stories end up falling into some conflict, both at random, both showcasing how our Nova’s are true heroes without the helmet. Essentially both characters have a secret, Sam’s crushing fear of not being accepted and Sam’s whole monster thing. Overall the issue flows nicely and is well paced.
A key scene between Sam and his sister goes a long way in showing their relationship. I’m sure anyone with a younger sibling will relate to this scene–Sam is shaving for his date as his sister barges in–and it sets up the emotional element that’ll lead to the next issue.
Perez kills it on art once again. It’s becoming a broken record at this point, but his art is seriously good. A lot of the issue’s beauty has to do with the choice of panels which help slow down action and make it that much more exciting. The flashback is all kinds of trippy weird too (you’ve never seen a pile of dead heroes like this) and there’s a great double page layout of Sam and Rich’s dates going well. Opening the book, Rich Ryder swoops into an old haunt as Nova and I particularly liked how Perez used white space. It gives the page a bit of symmetry that shows Perez puts quite a bit of thought into his layouts.
Cool use of white space.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The ending doesn’t quite do the cliffhanger justice. In part because it’s unclear how Rich is involved, but also because we see the result of whatever happened, but no clear idea of how it happened. The teaser image to close the book actually does this, but the issue itself leaves you with too much suspense and not enough detail.
Is It Good?
Another excellent Nova issue as the heroes dip their toe in the waters of love. This is what a duo-team book should look like.