In ‘Nova’ #18, we saw young Sam deal with the fallout of The Watcher’s death. Not only is he grieving for his friend and fighting to help bring the killer to justice, but he is exposed to the wave of sharing of secrets that are unleashed upon the heroes who are in New York. The vision he sees? His father working with a Black Nova to kill another member of the Nova Corps.

While Duggan gives us more of a back story to Sam’s father, I just wasn’t drawn into this issue as much as some of the previous ones. I’m not sure if it was because of the writing or one piece of art. On the most part I quite enjoyed the visuals in this book but the best and worst parts were all in the guest appearance of a certain Rocket Raccoon! Rocket feels right and gives Sam advice is a way that only he can. My problem with him is the way he was drawn felt off the entire issue.

I was taken out of the story each time he was on panel and that is a shame since the two have always worked so entertainingly well together since they’ve been on page since this series started.

The two team up to take down the Black Nova that Rocket also had previous dealings with. Wait? A surviving Nova? How does that come to pass? Well he actually was an ex-Black Nova and was no longer involved with anything when the Nova Corps met their end. We do learn quite a bit more about the Black Novas in this issue as well as a bit more on Sam’s father.

Far from having the entire story told, we are left for at least one more issue stemming from ‘Original Sin’ as our two heroes get caught up in another round of intrigue that threatens not only Sam’s continuing ability to be a Nova but their very lives as well! While I was initially thinking this Original Sin tie-in might not work, I have to say they’ve been giving a lot of back story that I’ve been enjoying. It is also forcing Sam to question not only everything he knew about his father, again, but what his own place in the universe. You have to remember, at the start of this series Sam thought his father was just a janitor and didn’t believe his stories about being a super hero.

Now he has to question all those stories in a new way.

Since its inception I’ve wanted to love the new ‘Nova’ series and I feel it keeps falling a little short. I think the problem stems from trying to keep Sam grounded in Earth and young while still have his responsibilities as a super hero on a cosmic level. The two haven’t meshed well together and I think they either need to leave behind the cosmic level activities, which is what I want this comic for, or they need to give Sam a reason to stop being on Earth all of the time.


NOVA #19
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Paco Medina