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Nova’s Back… But For How Long?

Essential The Man Called NovaBlue Blazes! (Sorry, couldn’t resist) Nova’s back and once again front and center in his own book. In the aftermath of the Annihilation saga, Nova will be starring in his own on-going series beginning in April. I’m approaching this news with cautious excitement. See, Nova has always been a sentimental favorite of mine. It all began with The Man Called Nova #19 from the original 70′s series. I was seven years old and it was one of the first comics I ever bought. I read it over and over again until I finally lost it somewhere. But the character stuck with me and I’ve watched him evolve from a wide-eyed rookie to a brash punk and now as a seasoned war veteran with Annihilation. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed some of his incarnations (original series, New Warriors) others I’ve enjoyed.. well… not so much. I have high hopes for this latest book, but history has shown Nova, as a headliner, is a tough sell.

The set up for the new series is decent. Nova, at the end of Annihilation, finds himself amped up in power and with a new mission – police the universe. While away, some of his friends in the New Warriors were killed and he’ll have to deal with this issue when he returns to Earth. His new power levels means heroes (and villains) who previously scoffed at him will now be forced to acknowledge him. All this holds promise and provides a solid foundation to build the new series.

The creative team announced to shepherd in the new book all sport strong resumes. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning crafting the words with Sean Chen penciling, not to mention Adi Granov doing covers, is a potent combination. So, Marvel has pieced together the necessary parts to launch the series – good lead in (Annihilation), interesting conflicts for the hero and a talented creative team. But… will this be enough?

Nova belongs to that special group of characters that enjoys a passionate core group of fans, but can’t seem to parlay this into leading man success. And, like many characters in this group, these same fans tend to be very opinionated when it comes to how they think the character should be portrayed. Deviate from this, and you push them away and pretty much kill any chance of a successful relaunch. This the dilemma – keep the base fans happy, but also appeal to new readers. It’s not easy, but the recent success of Moon Knight and Iron Fist proves it can be done. So, for all us Nova fans out there, here’s hoping we can finally have a book that shows everyone what we already know – the Human Rocket is actually a pretty cool character.

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