Writer: Jeff Loveness, Ramon Perez / Artist: Ramon Perez / Marvel Comics
I was really surprised with this issue of Nova as it follows up on not only Rider seeking out Gamora, but Sam immediately asking out the girl he’s been crushing on in school. We get a split screen on both of these meet-ups playing adjacent to one another, which offers a lot of character analysis upon both Novas. The main focus is they both need to get their hand-to-hand game up.
Perez depicts Sam on his date with the usual nervousness one would experience, especially with your mother laying out all the embarrassing stories of your childhood. What’s good about Sam is that he knows he isn’t the brightest by textbook standards, but his insight into situations (they start discussing immigration issues and the crazy times they’re in with this present world) mostly come off as simple yet speak volumes of wisdom.
On the flip side we got Richard Rider explaining to Gamora about his being away for a bit and then trying to admit what’s wrong with him before getting choked up, so to speak. Evidently these two were never great at conveying emotions. I liked this dynamic as Rider was telling Sam to shoot his shot from an older brother perspective, but then taking his own advice in his own life is quite hard for him.
The artwork here is really striking; it should be noted that this iteration of Sam Alexander is way more brown than his appearances elsewhere. Shout out to that. Perez does a great job of breaking up the serious notes with Sam’s imagination of events which are drawn more cartoonish.
There’s a huge setup involving Sam’s Sister and her sneaking into Sam’s shrine for the dead Nova helmets. This issue really left me with excitement and a different feeling of fulfillment I wasn’t expecting — Nova is still going strong as a series, and with this type of storytelling it can only get more trill from here.
Reading Nova? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.