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Nova #12

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Paul Pelletier
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Nova #12 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 9.

For a million generations, the beings known as the Technarchs have obeyed two rules for survival: Eat and Breed. But what happens when one rule challenges the other? What happens when your parent seeks to consume you? It's a fight for continued existence and, for an alien race of techno-humanoids, the consequences are more frightening than a future ruled by the past.

Nova #12 is an appealing and affecting story of courage, sacrifice and maturity. Immediately you are taken to this alien world and shown about the place. As doom knocks at the door, each character is portrayed vividly and thoughtfully. The Technarch Warlock of New Mutants fame urges his student Tyro to flee as the massive soul-consuming Technarch Siredam approaches. Meanwhile, Nova struggles to survive the transmode virus that is consuming his body and thereby connecting him to the evil Phalanx matrix.

Movingly, Abnett and Lanning give the unearthly-looking Warlock a very realistic heart. In issue #11, Warlock refuses to cure Nova and better utilize his energy to save Tyro and himself. As the monstrous Siredam makes his way toward the trio, Warlock is presented with a valiant choice and an opportunity to save his young ward. In doing so, the character exhibits unexpected heroism and tenderness.

Pelletier's pencils exceptionally express all of this, conveying the emotion as well as the explosive action. I really enjoyed Pelletier's layout and scope. It was panoramic and energetic, taking time to show the planet's terrain and Nova's speedy movement. Using diagonal and overlapping panels, Pelletier effectively depicts both the Nova's lively battle with Siredam as well as the intimacy between Warlock and Tyro.

Extraordinarily, this is my first issue of Nova and by the end of it, I was drawn into the vast universe by these intimate and relevant characters. They were heroic and engaging, but also very well defined. Warlock was quirky and humorous. Tyro had a youthful bravado coupled with genuine appreciation for what his teacher had taught him. Despite the fact that both of them are the most inhumanly designed aliens, they resonate with the reader and provide good reason for continued reading.







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