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 5

nova 5

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Nova 5, originally released June 27th, 2013.

Beru: Owen, he can’t stay here forever. Most of his friends have gone. It means so much to him.

Owen: I’ll make it up to him next year, I promise.

Beru: Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.

Owen: That’s what I’m afraid of.

-Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope

Patrick: It’s not uncommon for our space heroes to have impossible family legacies to live up to. Luke Skywalker would come to define himself by how he chose to respond his father’s every action. Darth Vader isn’t evil — he’s over zealous, he gets in over his head and uses his considerable powers to get what he wants. He’s an old man in need of redemption, and Luke’s the only person to see that — because they’re so much alike. This conversation between Luke’s adopted aunt and uncle holds the perfect amount of mystery and specificity to tease some meaningful depth about the character. In Nova, Sam’s father’s reputation looms similarly large, but no one has anything nearly so interesting to say about him. Continue reading

Nova 4

nova 4

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Nova 4, originally released May 15th, 2013.

Shelby: In the pilot episode of Firefly, we meet the ship’s pilot Wash as he is playing with some toy dinosaurs. As the T-Rex and his veggie-saurus friend survey their new home, the Rex turns on his friend, prompting the delightful line, “Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!” In last month’s look at issues 1-3 of Nova, Patrick and Drew discussed Jeff Loeb’s penchant for cliches; they assumed Young Sam would be betrayed by Rocket and Gamorra, but because it seemed so obvious, they also assumed it was a fake-out. They weren’t totally wrong; Loeb gives us our inevitable betrayal this issue, but it comes from a completely unexpected direction.  Continue reading