Writer: Jeff Loveness, Ramon Perez / Artist: Ramon Perez / Marvel Comics
Now this is the shit I been talking about! Anytime a hero comes back from the dead and meets the person that’s been carrying on their legacy or their fight, it’s gotta be monumental. Richard Rider has been gone for eleven years. The status quo for a hero’s death, being replaced, then returning from the dead is usually like two years (Superior Spider-Man/Ultimate Spider-Man, anyone?) but Rider been out the game for a fucking decade. I know nobody stays dead, but damn. That being said, I was really happy to see the actual meeting between Richard Rider and Sam Alexander taking place this issue.
Rich is dealing with some entity attacking him from out of nowhere, it seems he’s been followed from the Cancerverse, enter Sam Alexander coming to save the day. One of my favorite parts of this issue is the name Sam comes up with in dealing with this giant monster.
Sam sees the Nova he came to rescue wasn’t his father but actually the original last Nova, Richard Rider. We seem same question if this is really Rich after the alien is defeated then after the confirmation (and Rich meeting all the new legacy heroes) we get the best part of this issue in these two bonding. I am such a huge fan of characters actually staying dead in comic books and the fandom moving on to embrace the new blood… but I have t admit I love seeing the mentor come back and meet the new young gun that stepped up and took their spot. We see Rich realize how old he is now, thanks to the Champions as well as how much the world around him has changed. The dope part is the last Nova and the original last Nova now have each other. There’s so many stories that can be told here and it feels like we could see the makings of the return of the Nova Corps (since Sam shows Rich the helmets of previous dead Novas that he’s retrieved).
Perez and Loveness tell a great story of Rich’s return and how he’s remembered, as well as Sam Alexander now seeing The G.O.A.T. live in in the flesh. There is going to be a lot of story to tell between these two and this issue feels way stronger than the first one and rightfully so. We had to get the set up before the payoff and this is a big payoff. Perez does incredible on the art again, in showing the mechanics of what the visuals look like for Sam inside the Nova helmet as well as Rich’s reaction meeting the younger generation (and his visualization of the Cancerverse coming back to haunt him).
I’m really liking the direction of this Nova book, Sam and Rich together, and Rich still keeping what’s happening to him since being back from the cancerverse a secret form everyone. Ya hero ain’t perfect and I’m excited to see how that plays out for this iteration of the Nova corps.
Reading Nova? You can find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.