Nova #1 - 11

(This is a Long Catch Up Review)

If you have not been collecting comic books for the past year, you have missed out on some seriously exciting and amazing things in the Marvel Universe. In 2006 readers flipped through dozens of pages of Annihilation, a crossover series (Marvel Loves These!) that featured the likes of Galactus and his Heralds, both former and current. Along for the ride were; Nova, Ronan, Super Skrull, Silver Surfer and members of the Infinity Watch battling against the Negative Zone forces led by Annihilus as the United Front. It was an Epic Event in the Marvel Cosmos. In 2007 when readers were still praising the Annihilation series they received news that it would not end there. Annihilation: Conquest began. The characters readers loved in Annihilation returned this time fighting against the Phalanx, which is now being led by Ultron. Yes, one of the many things I hate about Marvel and their crossover series is all the retconning and out of timestamp driven events.

For instance, and as a prelude to my X-Men reviews coming up soon as part of the United We Stand series, how is it that Wolverine is in two places at once? If you are flipping the pages of X-Men he is somewhere off in Russia with Colossus and Nightcrawler. Open the pages of X-Force and he is playing father and death dealer along with X-23 and Warpath back in America. Both are events that take place after the events of Messiah complex. Either way I’ll divert back on course from this tangent.

Readers could not rejoice more strongly with responses to the Annihilation series. After having Galactus and his Heralds fighting against a Negative Zone invasion what could the minds at Marvel do to trump that?

Add a protagonist named Wraith, return Adam Warlock to the Marvel Universe, give us the High Evolutionary and give Nova his own series. Which bring us to our new monthly series; The Human Rocket: Nova!

The reason I give you all this background information is because the events of Annihilation shaped the events of Annihilation Conquest, which runs concurrent to the Nova series. Richard Rider’s actions are happening away from the Kree home world, but still in Kree space, which is being isolated from the rest of the universe by the Phalanx. It’s a very interesting dynamic, especially when you consider some of the events going on in the pages of Annihilation Conquest. J Michael Straczynski could have wrote some of this stuff for Babylon 5.


Nova #1 picked up right off the heels of Annihilation. Richard Rider, the last surviving Nova centurion, who aided in forming the United front in order to defeat the Annihilation Wave led by Annihilus is the soul Nova Centurion left in the Galaxy. Richard Rider is in a role of host and protector of the entire Nova Force and host to the Xanadarian Worldmind. Worldmind is an AI that houses centuries of Xanadarian knowledge, the race that created the Nova Corps. Affected by the fact that he is the last remaining Nova Centurion Rider is traversing the universe doing what used to take a corps of Nova Centurions to do, policing the universe.

(When you think of the Nova Corps, if you are a DC fan think Green Lanterns.)

This first issue does what first are supposed to do, introduce the character to the reader and, Dan Abnett and Sean Chen do this effectively with writing. The issue leaves off with Richard Rider taking his journey back to Earth to relax and remember why he became a Nova Centurion. The main thing here is we get the comedic relief in the relationship between the AI Worldmind and Richard Rider. Worldmind advising and Rider ignoring, it makes for good reading in between the action, even funnier during.

During Richard’s trips home in Nova #2, which is in the aftermath of the Civil War series, Richard’s signature is picked up on satellite as he enters Earth’s atmosphere, which means an a face-to-face with Tony Stark. Stark is reminded that the events and problems of Earth do not outweigh the Universe. This falls on deaf ears apparently as Stark gives Rider 24 hours to register. Nova has no worries in his head about registering, it isn’t happening! Tony Stark should be humbled by this event, but he really isn’t. It was another reason I was so happy to see Thor whoop Tony’s ass later on. More importantly Nova learns of the Stamford incident and the New Warriors involvement.

Nova #3 had a lot of bang. Nova faces off against a former teammate, Penance, and the Thunderbolts. After learning of what is going on Earth Nova decides to leave. His destiny is amongst the cosmos dealing with issues he feels far outweigh the squabbles of mankind. Nova receives a distress call from Kree space and immediately departs. This is where issue #4 and the events of Annihilation Conquest series begin.

In issues #4 to #11 a lot of interesting events take a turn for our hero. We will do the rundown:


1. Entering Kree space Nova is attacked by Kree Sentries that are infected with the Phalanx Transmode Virus. Nova is thus infected while battling the sentries. Worldmind does all he can to protect Nova from the viruses progression.

This is an important turn of events for Richard as it plays out through the entire series thus far as a constant drawback for Richard Rider. Remember he has the entire Nova Force within him and we saw some pretty powerful abilities from him in the pages of Annihilation. The character obviously needed to be reigned in just a bit. Helps so he doesn’t become the quintessential Superman.

Now infected Rider can not use the entirety of the Nova Force to battle as Worldmind must use large parts to keep the transmode virus in remission. Nova uses a stargate to get out of the battle with the sentries. Worldmind being affected by the transmode virus is not able to properly calculate a stargate exit. This is where the problem begins as Nova realizes the Phalanx have cutoff Kree space with an energy barrier he crashes right into. It hurts him pretty bad.

NOVA #5 and #6

2. Richard has to be placed in Stasis to heal his injuries as he crash lands on a world occupied by Kree refugees. Worldmind Deputizes a Kree woman in order to protect Richard through this process. What is really important is that Gamora is now hunting Richard Rider. Gamora has become a Phalanx Select. The Select are those infected with the transmode virus.

Gamora giving chase opens up a whole new dynamic for the series as Richard and she once were involved. Either way the series meets some what of an “I don’t really care” feeling for me as Nova isn’t even in these issues unless you are getting panels of his crisp body.

Instead we get what we think might be the rebirth of the Nova Corps in Ko-Rell, but ultimately she is killed by Gamora. Nova #6 what we did get was the transmode virus infecting Richard and making him a select. Ko-Rell was dispatched by Worldmind to kill Richard, but she didn’t have it in her.


Nothing really exciting happens in this issue. We get some good artwork with Gamora and Nova entwined in embraces of passion as Phalanx Selects. They are also carrying out the will of the Phalanx, but nothing to make you really get going about. It still gets good reviews because it does flesh out the character a lot more. And the panels of Gamora were awesome.

3. Richard does manage to send the transmode virus into remission, which is the important part. As I said this issue slows down the story seemingly to keep on track with the events in the pages of Annihilation Conquest.

NOVA #8 and #9

Nova takes a turn for the weird, but not the worst, not entirely anyway. Gamora and Drax are chasing after Nova and they end up on the fringes of the Universe inside the decapitated head of a Celestial, which also happens to be swarming with zombies.

For those of you who do not know about the Celestials, read the Eternals by Neil Gaiman.

While inside the head of the Celestial strange things are happening. Richard meets up with a dog that can speak telepathically named Cosmos. Someone needs to stop penning issues of the Legion of Super-Pets before brainstorming. Gamora, Drax and Nova have to team up in order to beat back their new zombie-foes, Xarth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avenger-like heroes of another world. Nova #8 and 9 is a funny breather from the serious melodramatic chase story that has been written up until this point and definitely serves as a story arc ending and beginning. My only problem is that it definitely takes Nova away from the Conquest storyline and that was just a bit unsatisfactory. It also begs to question the Annihilation Conquest Series. Who is more powerful, Nova or Warlock?

If you are reading Annihilation then you know Ultron has been revealed to be the Brain of the Phalanx operations and he wants control of Adam Warlock.

NOVA #10 and #11

Richard reaches the Technarchy homeworld to discover it is completely deserted. Still hanging around is some remnants of the Technarchy, the former X-Man Warlock. Warlock has injected Tyro, his adopted son with his non-aggressive form of the transmode virus and teaching him to fight.

Two big things happen in these issues

4. Richard learns that there is no cure on the Technarchy home world for his infection.
5. Gamora and Drax are transformed into a Babel Spire on the Technarchy home world and summon an adult technarch.

The reader is left wondering how will Nova’s drama play out. How is he, a non-aggressive Technarch Warlock and his adolescent adopted son going to combat this adult Technarch. Tie-in the fact that in the pages of Annihilation Conquest Adam Warlock has been fused with Ultron creating a Tech-Organic life form with the aide of the High Evolutionary and that Ultron is reproducing the results in his Phalanx Army.

Until next time Enjoy the Ride!

Coming Soon: United We Stand! I hate the X-Men, but not reviewing this series would just be dreadful as it is perhaps the biggest impact on the X-Men universe in years.



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