Ever since Gerry Duggan mentioned in our press call how important the Nova Corps would be I couldn’t stop thinking about it. That’s in part because the Nova Corps have been pretty much reduced to a bunch of wannabe cosmic police. Of all the characters to whip them into shape I never thought the Guardians would be the guys to do it, but here we are.
So what’s it about?
Why does this matter?
Marcus To is one of my favorite artists right now (he made it into Panels of Purpose for a reason) so I have high hopes for what he can do with the Guardians sporting Nova costumes. Duggan has written a compelling series with his All-New angle and each of the characters seems to have a secret that needs explaining. There’s also Gamora’s ties to an Infinity Stone, which is what this arc is all about.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This poor man.
Ant-Man adds something to this team that’s quite fun. He’s the only new character, which makes him feel extra special. This issue ends up giving him a personal angle as far as the villains go, but he also sports a sense of humor that suits this team. Duggan utilizes him well here and it’s a way to rejigger things nicely.
This issue sets in motion a few plots for different characters. Star-Lord, for instance, comes across new info on Rich Rider, while Rocket prods for info on how to steal things. Ant-Man and Gamora get the brunt of the adventuring in this issue and this pairing ends up getting them in a lot of trouble. Gamora thankfully is the stronger of the two and makes their dynamic even more interesting.
Marcus To has one shot at drawing a full page spread of the team in Nova helmets and I think he nails it. He captures the attitude of Rocket, the dismay of Gamora and Drax, and then hopefulness of Groot so well. A full-page spread of The Rock, Nova Corps new digs, is quite impressive too.
Impressive full page spread.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is one of those issues that’s in between the big climaxes that makes it feel special. Instead, it sets up plots and gets the ball rolling for just two of the characters on this team. You’ll feel like you’re waiting for the rest of the story once it’s over, especially since Drax and Groot seem to just disappear at one point. It could be a case where it’ll read great in a collected format, but I wasn’t even sure if the plot had a direction halfway through as Duggan thrust Ant-Man and Gamora on a mission. Splitting up the characters to get more done and touch on things is great, but there’s no cohesion here.
There’s also some clunky dialogue, in part because the art is doing too much (like two bits of dialogue doing more work than one panel can handle). I wonder if there’s a problem with splitting this team up when it comes to the dialogue too since Gamora isn’t the most talkative and Ant-Man isn’t that funny in this issue.
Is It Good?
The Nova Corps story is interesting, but this issue is clunky and seems to meander more than telling a strong story. It’s somewhat directionless and needs another issue to give the plot a purpose.