Our first issue begins like all of the new books in Marvel’s All-New, All-Different (and All Badly Scheduled) relaunch, with an eight month time skip. The new volume continues the ending of the previous one. Our hero, Sam, is now partnered with his father Jesse, who was previously a member of the Nova Corps before being captured and assumed dead. Now he’s back, with the two serving as a father and son Nova duo.
We begin with Sam being called away from a night at the movies with his friends when he finds out about a gas main explosion. Sam arrives to find his father already there. His dad tells him that tonight was supposed to be Sam’s night off, and that he already has the situation under control. Despite this, Sam insists on going, and the two head off into the burning houses to check for any stragglers. Unfortunately, Jesse’s Nova helmet shorts out, and he’s nearly killed before Sam swoops in and saves him.
Once outside, it’s revealed that this isn’t the first time Jesse’s helmet has done this. After saving the last remaining resident (an adorable kitten), the two head home. Sam’s mother is very alarmed to find out about what happened, but says that she’s glad the two of them can at least watch out for one another while in the field. In school the next day, we see that Sam is actually doing well in his classes, a sharp turn around from the previous volume (where he was frequently on the verge of being expelled due to constantly missing class and never having enough time to study).
At his mining job, Jesse is informed by his boss that a section of their facility is being temporarily shut down due to some weird movements nobody can find the source of. The boss thinks it’s nothing, but sends Jesse and a coworker into the mine to give it a quick inspection so the company can have it up and running soon. While inside, the two men encounter a bizzare tremor that unveils a huge subterranean tunnel.
After school, Sam dons his Nova gear and gives a quick run through of “the neighborhood” as he calls it; the various planets he and Jesse have been protecting. We see that during the eight month time skip, the two Novas have put together something of a routine when it comes to things like this. As he gets home, he finds Jesse once again trying to fix his helmet. Right after Sam leaves to go to bed, Jesse begins talking to some unseen stranger, and mentions that Sam still hasn’t suspected anything.
The last volume of Nova took a while to find its footing, but this volume seems to be starting off on the right foot. Like the other Marvel relaunch books, this one opens with a new status quo, but it’s one with some very interesting potential. I will say that while I liked Sam finally having a group of friends (he basically had one friend/love interest in the previous series), none of them really get fleshed out this issue. I hope we learn more about them as the series progresses.
The art by Cory Smith is solid, and reminds me somewhat of Marcus To’s style. Smith excells in particular during the action scenes. While Nova hasn’t quite hit the ground running for me like Captain America: Sam Wilson, it is nonetheless off to a strong start, and I hope it continues to improve in the coming months.
Written by Sean Ryan
Drawn and inked by Cory Smith
Colored by David Curiel
Lettered by Robert Deschesne
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A black, gay genderqueer nerd from New York who loves filmmaking and writing about comics and sci-fi.