Marvel has recently released one of its larger collections in the form of Nova by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection Vol. 1. I don’t have a lot of history reading Nova comics so I jumped at the chance to read this vast collection from the last decade.
This first volume of Abnett’s and Lanning’s Nova collection contains twenty issues, including the four issue Nova: Annihilation tie-in arc followed by the first fifteen issues (and one annual) in their 2008 series. While Abnett and Lanning are the head creative team members, there are a number of talented pencillers, inkers and guest artists featured throughout the volume including Adi Granov’s unbelievably beautiful cover art (my new life goal is to have all ten framed around my bedroom, just saying). The collection even features a remastering of Nova: The Origin of Richard Rider which, while brief, is a nice inclusion.
The volume begins with Nova’s role in the Annihilation event, which results in Rider assuming control of the entire Nova force. Equipped with near unlimited power and not a single other member of the Nova Corps, Abnett’s storyline follows Rider’s attempts to single-handedly bring order to a post-Annihilation universe. Abnett portrays Rider as a legitimate space cop, struggling between the crushing power of the Nova force and the self-inflicted guilt for not being able to help everyone. Worldmind, the omnipotent consciousness of the Nova force, assists Rider in both navigating his way through the universe and understanding his new role as the sole Nova. Richard’s interactions with Worldmind are one of the highlights of Abnett’s writing as the unlikely partnership evolves throughout the collection into a dynamic friendship.
Nova: The Complete Collection is one of the most exciting sci-fi superhero stories I’ve read in years. Abnett has a great take of Richard Rider and is able to write a gripping storyline and never lets his foot off the accelerator. The collection features a great cast of characters, whether it’s infamous villains, unpredictable superhero cameos or potential love interests. While most comics eventually have their “slower” moments towards beginning and ending story arcs, Abnett’s layered plots constantly have you furiously flipping the pages, which makes this complete collection a perfect medium for this comic.
This collection was such a fun read and that was largely due to the bold and colorful galactic scenery Lanning and his team of inkers created. Nova pencillers have a tall task creating a unique sci-fi aesthetic, but this team is successful in portraying a large array of exotic extraterrestrial environments such as Kree Outworlds, Kvch and, my personal favorite, Knowhere. However, there was one glaring problem I had and while it’s a minor issue, I feel like it’s my duty to comment on the completely ridiculous outfit Gamora is wearing the entire story arc. Absurd female attire has always existed in comics, but this is pretty distasteful for 2008. Barring her costume, the art is “out of this world” (get it?) and deserves praise.
Is it good?
Having never really read Nova before, I was blown away with what I found in this collection. Abnett’s talent is on full display and his ability to create fresh and exciting sci-fi stories in exemplified in every story arc. Fans of Nova and new readers alike are sure to find this collection thrilling to say the least; personally, I’m already waiting for the second complete volume.