By Jeff Loveness, Ramon Perez, and Ian Herring
Over the course of time, the Nova Corps have had tons of members in their ranks. We as comic books readers are really only familiar with a select few. The most popular of this group is Richard Rider. Richard has been out of the spotlight for a good long while now, and readers knew it was only a matter of time before he eventually made his triumphant return. Enter Nova #1, out this week by Ramon Perez, Jeff Loveness, and Ian Herring.
Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez are responsible for bringing Richard Rider to the forefront of the Nova Corps again. A big problem with this issue is that if you are new to reading Nova, you feel like you’re coming into an issue already in progress. Richard is at his mother’s house almost mid-conversation on page one. As a new reader, you feel like you’re missing something. For a book that is promoting the return of Richard Rider, there is also and imbalanced amount of Sam Alexander. Rider is the bookend of the issue, but the entire middle is devoted to Sam. You only get about six pages of actual Richard Rider. The pages with Sam are not terrible, but again, it feels like you are coming into this in the middle of a story arc. Sam is fighting Ego and making wise cracks, which is fine, but there is no build up, you’re just all of a sudden there. Loveness and Perez do a decent job of capturing the angst of being a teenager here though, as Sam tries to get the attention of a young female classmate. He over thinks things and day dreams about how he could be a hero in front of her; this is one of the more interesting parts of the issue. This wasn’t a bad book, but it tosses you into two different stories that seem to already be in progress. It’s not a great jumping on point and doesn’t make things easy on the reader.
The pencils are also handled by Ramon Perez with colors by Ian Herring. The art has a lighter tone to this book, which is fine as it is an attempt to lure in new and younger readers. Perez pulled double duty, with pencils and writing, but you honestly can’t tell because there isn’t a dip in quality in the art department. His style is similar to something Terry Dodson might draw, but it’s not quite as refined just yet; there are a couple of profile panels where foreheads seem too large. Perez does have a couple of pages during one of Sam’s dream sequences where the art looks exactly like a Sunday morning comic. If there were just some texture to the paper, it would be perfect. The colors by Ian Herring are great as usual. Herring uses a light color palette for this issue and it works really well. He almost gives this issue a pop arty feel, with pink mists on Ego to light red skies as Richard Rider speed off. The art this issue has a good feel to it and enhances the reading experience.
Nova #1 was a bit of a let down. This feels like the second issue of a story arc and not an introductory issue. New fans to the series will likely have no idea what is going on and question if they missed something. The art is decent and captures the feel of a fun and carefree series. There is some work to be done for this to be a title that sticks on the shelves.