Marvel Comics’ first Nova, Richard Rider, has been dead for the last few years, but like most superheroes, his death was just a temporary condition. Richard returns under mysterious circumstances in the new Nova ongoing series, and he’s joining forces with the current Nova, teenager Sam Alexander, to protect the universe as a team of living rockets.
Ramón Pérez has done exceptional work as the artist on Marvel titles like Wolverine & The X-Men and All-New Hawkeye, but the Eisner Award-winning cartoonist has a bigger role in Nova, co-writing the series with Jeff Loveness, who penned last year’s delightful Groot series. Giving Pérez more input on the storytelling is a smart decision considering the power of his 2011 adaptation of Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand, and Nova gives Pérez the opportunity to return to that previous project’s desert environment (Sam lives in Arizona) while taking him in a cosmic direction that he hasn’t explored much in his work. These preview pages from Nova #1 highlight the differences between Sam and Richard, and there’s a sense of melancholy in Richard’s scene that isn’t found in Sam’s, which has the excited urgency of adolescence.
That melancholy atmosphere is punctured by the arrival of Richard’s Nova helmet, and his mood immediately lightens up when takes to sky. Ian Herring’s coloring accentuates this emotional shift by surrounding Richard with a dull, faded palette that becomes stronger and brighter once Richard’s back in the air, and the kinetic energy of Pérez’s linework is amplified by Herring’s vibrant colors. This book is sure to be a stunner with Pérez and Herring on board, and given that Loveness was able to tell a personal, introspective story with a talking tree, readers can expect a touching narrative to go with spectacular artwork.