Nova 7

Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing Nova 7, originally released June 7th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Add this volume of Nova to the list of great series that died too soon. Thankfully, Jeff Loveness, Ramón Pérez, and Ian Herring clearly know how to craft a powerful ending. Nova 7 loops back around to all the themes the creative team have been laying throughout their run — responsibility, friendship, teamwork, taking risks in life — and brings them to an explosive finale. It’s not just impressive how well it works, but that it works despite the fact that half the issue is drawn by a new addition to the creative team. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 4/5/17

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing All-New Wolverine 19, America 2, Captain America: Steve Rogers 15, Nova 5 and Royals 1. Also, we’re discussing Hawkeye 5 on Tuesday, so come back for that! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Nova 4

Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing Nova 14, originally released March 8, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Love is never easy, no matter what your age. Still, as you grow and your relationships develop, the problems you face tend to change. The issues you deal with on a first date in high school are usually far different from those you’d deal with as an adult. In Nova 4, Jeff Loveness, Ramón Pérez, and Ian Herring chronicle both those romantic phases, and the results are just as genuine and heartwarming — and instructive! — as I’ve come to expect from this creative team. Continue reading

Nova 3

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Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing Nova 3, originally released February 1st, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Partnerships are successful when two people compliment each other, when both parties have something to offer that the other needs. Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez’s run on Nova is absolutely a book about partners, and issue 3 further defines their relationship, showing that they’re good for each other both on and off the battlefield.  Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 1/4/17

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We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Deadpool the Duck 1, Hawkeye 2, Moon Knight 10, Nova 2, Old Man Logan 16 and Unworthy Thor 3. We discussed Captain America Sam Wilson 17 on Thursday and U.S.Avengers 1 today, and we’ll be discussing Unstoppable Wasp 1 on Tuesdayso come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Nova 1

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Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Nova 1, originally released December 7, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: Marvel has been particularly bold with its legacy heroes lately. Iron Man isn’t Tony Stark, Hulk isn’t Bruce Banner, Thor isn’t… Thor… Even when the originators do carry the mantle, their proteges are filling the role at the same time (like Sam Wilson and Miles Morales). That’s a powerful transfer of status because those originals are so beloved and so iconic. But what happens when the hero being replaced doesn’t have decades of history to lean on? Hell, what happens when he’s being replaced by an even more senior member of his legacy-line? Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez aren’t quite ready to bring their titular Novas in contact with each other, probably because they’re too busy making the case for how great a character Sam Alexander is. Just as Richard Rider is coming back into the fold, Sam is at is high-flying, awkward-flirting, Avenger-defying best. Continue reading

Nova 5

Alternating Currents: Nova 5, Drew and Ryan

Today, Drew and Ryan D are discussing Nova 5, originally released March 2nd, 2016. 

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Drew: I developed my love of analysis with music. I studied music at college, where we learned a number of analytical approaches, examining everything from harmony to orchestration to rhythmic saturation. My favorite, though, was always the study of formal structure — the shape a piece of music takes. What’s remarkable about form is that you experience differently in the moment than you can in hindsight. As a piece of music unfolds, you have no idea if this is really a repeat, or some kind of clever fake-out (don’t even get me started on sonata form), but it’s patently obvious after the music ends (or, if you happen to have the score in front of you). I believe narratives — and especially serialized narratives — have a similarly plastic form; it’s easy to break a television season into acts once the whole thing has unfolded, but picking THE inciting incident or THE lowest point might be a bit more difficult in-the-moment. This is even more true for superhero comics, where things can always get worse, often in totally unexpected, physics-defying ways. So it’s with some reservation that I call Nova 5 Sam Alexander’s lowest point (at least as far as this volume is concerned), but all signs point to this issue as the nadir of the pastoral life established in issue 1. Continue reading

Nova 13

nova 13Today, Spencer and Scott are discussing Nova 13, originally released February 19th, 2014.

Spencer: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: two heroes meet, but a misunderstanding causes them to fight for a while before they inevitably team-up. Wait, why didn’t you stop me? You’ve all heard this one before; TV Tropes calls it “Let’s You and Him Fight”, and it’s easily one of the best-known tropes in comics. Nova 13 is one large “Let’s You and Him Fight” scene between Sam and Beta Ray Bill, and while there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had with the fight, ultimately Gerry Duggan and Paco Medina don’t do anything interesting enough to justify devoting so much time to such a tired concept. Continue reading

Nova 12

nova 12Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Nova 12, originally released January 15th, 2014.

Spencer: Teenage superheroes are kind of my specialty. The many incarnations of the Teen Titans were my gateway into mainstream comics in general, and my undying affection for the recent Young Avengers series is well known around the metaphorical Retcon Punch offices. I feel like I know the structure and tropes of these stories like the back of my hand, which makes it even more surprising to me how effectively Nova subverts them. Nova isn’t a book full of teenage angst or love triangles, and it isn’t even a book about the exhilarating freedom of being a teenaged hero, not really. Instead, writer Gerry Duggan has crafted a book that shows the toll being Nova has taken on Sam Alexander’s personal life, a book about how handing ultimate cosmic power to a fifteen-year-old kid is probably a really bad decision, no matter how pure that kid’s intentions are. Continue reading

Nova 11

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Today, Patrick and Ethan are discussing Nova 11, originally released December 11th, 2013.

Patrick: When I was in Junior High School, I had to babysit for my little sister kind of a lot. It was fine – I think she’s one of the best people in the world, and we were friends even then. But it was something of a running joke with my friends: “Patrick can’t come to band practice because he’s got to babysit,” “Patrick can’t go roller skating because he’s got to babysit,” “Patrick can’t explore the starfield map in his brain because he has to babysit.” Oh, wait, that one’s not me. That one’s Nova. Continue reading