By Gerry Duggan and Paco Medina
For new readers, Nova #12 is a great place to start. With a decent explanation of what has happened in previous issues, it’s a nice place to pick up and go. Unfortunately for long-term readers, this issue gives the feeling of spinning tires and is treated mostly as a set up for future story lines.
Despite the fact that the issue is essentially a set-up issue, writer Gerry Dugan continues to nail the voice of Sam Alexander. The relatively new, young hero is still cocky when it comes to his superhero duties and often acts on events without thinking first. Duggan’s character work with Sam is the high point of this issue.
Paco Medina’s art continues to be a good fit for the tone of the book. Nova might be the closest book in Marvel’s 616 continuity that fits the profile of an all-ages book. Medina’s art has a bit of a cartoonish vibe to it while also being able to portray some of the darker scenes, like the dead Nova, that it is still effective.
Thanks to Duggan and Medina, Sam Alexander is finding his place in the Marvel Universe and he continues to be a fun character to follow. That said, issue 12 is mainly a set-up issue for the upcoming storyline with Beta Ray Bill. There are still moments that inform the reader where Sam is mentally on his heroic journey but story-wise, there’s not much here but set up.