Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: David Baldeon
Nova gets some good news this issue as Steve Rogers steps in to save him a lecture from his mother. Sam gets the red carpet treatment from Steve as he brings him back to New York for a pleasant surprise. It’s fitting that this is the 25th issue as it marks a milestone for Nova, another milestone that occurs is Nova getting his Avengers card. Stopping the menace of the inverted Hulk from attacking carefree Arizona was a big enough significance for Sam to be recognized (and penalized for disobeying orders) by his peers. We get a mini adventure where same learns about teamwork in the field with everyone playing their part. Sam’s concussion from the hit by the inverted Hulk has him forgetting conversations and memories. We see pictures commemorating the event as Sam flips through them. Duggan really gives a sense of Sam being hurt in action and taken from the field of being ever being Nova again. However a surprise villain in the end makes that a decision Sam is going to have to reconsider.
Baldeon captures Sam as a kid/teen in a world of meeting his heroes. Through all the wonder and action we see Sam in the art keeps us grounded that this is a teen going through all this. That’s hitting close to the heart realizing that this injury he is suffering at such a young age in his hero career puts the danger of the Marvel universe in perspective as well.