Before I get into the review, just a brief warning: Nova: Resurrection, by Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez, will make you want to seek out and read as much as you can about Nova. The two heroes in this book are just that likable. Loveness and Perez tell a great self-contained story that hints at some of the greater Nova mythos while still being accessible. It’s a bummer this was just the first arc of a canceled run, but what’s here is really fun.
This volume of Nova focuses on Sam Alexander, the new-ish Nova, and his relationship with the recently resurrected former-Nova Rich Rider. The two form a fast friendship, fighting space mercenaries and exchanging life advice. Everything isn’t perfect though, something’s up with Rich, and it has to do with his time spent in the Cancerverse.
Loveness does a great job juggling the different aspects of this book. It starts off with wide-eyed wonder as Sam zips around space fighting monsters and dealing with his civilian life. That’s balanced by Rich’s more somber reflection after his return to life, and the down-to-Earth civilian life sequences are countered by a fair amount of super heroics, even later in the collection as the danger ramps up. These elements combine to make the book feel very well-rounded and avoids some of the lopsidedness that can result from trying to cover too much ground.
Perez keeps the art energetic, a perfect fit for the script. His thin lines don’t bog down the action, and lots of dynamic posing help show off the power of the Novas, as they take on space mercenaries in Nowhere or fight in the Cancerverse. The relatively light color palette is nicely contrasted with the Cancerverse elements that have corrupted Rich and Sam’s world. One of the more interesting techniques Perez uses is a halftone dot effect. It is very subtle, and used mostly in the shadows and in backgrounds. It lends the book a kind of classic 4-color comic look.
Finally, in a couple of the real standout moments, Perez totally switches up his look for a couple Sam fantasy sequences. When Sam has trouble talking to a girl, he imagines some fantastic superhero situation to impress her. Perez makes it totally over the top hilarious, so much so that I actually laughed out loud. Really solid sequences that took me by surprise and not only endeared me more to the character, but are some of my favorite parts of the book.
If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced read, check out Nova: Resurrection. The two leads are super likable, the relationships feel real and grounded, the action is intense, and the story is compelling. What’s not to like? Loveness and Perez wrote a surprisingly deep and engaging book, and it’s too bad it didn’t get more attention, but don’t miss out on this collection.