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Nova #15

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

Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Wellington Alves, Geraldo Burges
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Nova #15 arrives in stores Thursday, July 10.

Previously: Richard Rider, a.k.a. Nova, has helped the population of Orbucen escape the hungry clutches of Galactus, The Devourer of Worlds, with the help of his herald the Silver Surfer. But the doom-reveling Harrow has escaped Nova's arrest, leaving the galactic cop on the planet's surface to be devoured.

And Now: Nova discovers a risky escape route. Will he survive? Can he catch up to Harrow? And what exactly is waiting for him deep inside the Great Devourer's ship?

On Story and Dialogue: It's great to open up a comic and so readily enjoy the adventure being told to you. Abnett and Lanning are working with characters that everyone may not know or whose story is too convoluted to comprehend, but their story and characters, as well as their significance therein, are undemanding and appealing. The characters and their journey are paramount, and the predicament itself is simply a background for the drama and action. This makes Nova not only accessible but also refreshing to continuity heavy books.

Nova's struggle to survive the ingestion of Orbucen highlights the character's reliance on his wits and willingness to take chances.

These characteristics become the focus rather than the structure of Galactus's ship or the nature in which he ingests worlds. By making the character's decisions and their consequences the center of this space adventure, Abnett and Lanning indicate who this character is and why you should invest your concern in his survival and triumph, or even death and failure. They do this without captions explaining his valor and bravado, or some observer's expository lines.

The writers let Nova be that daring and courageous hero, and do so in combination with his humanity. "I'm going to make Galactus see you," Nova screams as battles the dread-siphon Harrow. "I'm going to make Galactus notice the thing that's been hitching a ride on his ship… And I'm betting you're going to disgust him as much as you disgust me!" Nova is so catalyzed by the repulsiveness of his enemy that he is willing to face the deathly gaze of the Great Devourer to show him the truth. He's a hero with integrity and the gumption to see it through, even to his own end.

On Art: Alves and Burges do a terrific job in the massive design of Galactus and his ship. For instance, both artists keep the character's size and grandeur in perspective to the other characters and scenes around him. He is above and yet watchful of what is around him. His gaze is intense, and his decisions unquestionable, but his eyes are aloof and knowing. He need not demand reason or explain himself. Alves and Burges expertly convey this silent and powerful character visually.

Final Word: Awesome!








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