COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Nova: After Burn
By The Masked Medic
After a few weeks of reading novels about the high profile comic book teams, I was a little bit inclined to return to some solo novels and thought that I’d return to Marvel’s Nova series. Nova was a hero that I didn’t know very much about and came to learn that actually, it’s a title and they’re essentially an intergalactic corps that are responsible for bringing order to the universe. Sound familiar? Yeah, I also drew the parallels between them and DC’s Green Lantern Corps.
‘After Burn’ continues the story that was started in ‘Burnout’ with the young Nova, Sam Alexander still attempting to look for his father. After the clone of his father leaves for space, vowing to bring back the original, Sam, gets a distress beacon emanating from space one day. There he finds a lab containing many clones of his father and the original clone who had helped him. He told Sam to keep looking, and in a desperate act of heroism, blows up the entire facility. Sam, now with no leads, heads back to Earth, to ask the Avengers for help. However, unlike in the previous novel, Sam finds that this time, his teammates are less than receptive, and he’s unable to get any help. In addition to that, he’s finding his personal life difficult as his mother is constantly worrying about him and his friends are upset because he won’t tell them the truth as they suspect he is Nova. When Sam then has to do a solo mission by himself, he realizes that he needs to discover how his helmet truly works and decides that he must go to space to find the mystical “Worldmind”, a sentient supercomputer composed of all the consciousnesses of deceased Nova Corps members. To do this, he has to help a criminal named Monark, who knows this “Worldmind” location. Will Sam find this sentient force? Will he be able to find his father? And just what are the Avengers playing at? Well, obviously you have to read the novel, can’t ruin everything for you.
I have to say, I thought the progression from ‘Burnout’ to ‘After Burn’ felt like an extremely natural one. The first novel in the series introduced us to the character and also gave us insight into his place in the wider Marvel Universe. This novel, however, sees Sam venture out on his own out of necessity and we see that despite his young age he’s a pretty capable young man. I thought the scene with him at Iron Man’s party was pretty sad, because, even though he’s in the Avengers, he’s still looked down at by other heroes. The one negative that I do have about this novel, was that it did feel a little repetitive. Sam goes to space. His mum gets worried. He does a mission. His mum gets worried. And each time there’s a scene where he has to justify him doing what he does. I understand that he’s a kid, but still! Ahaha!
The artwork was pretty good and I think that the style was crisp which I’m usually a fan of. The covers were not bad either, but this one above I thought was perfect for the theme of this novel: Sam as a hero in his own right and the larger picture. Overall, this was a good novel and I’m looking forward to continuing reading it!
Oof. This happens even at Superhero parties?
I don’t really know any of the other people who have carried Nova's mantle, but Sam has a good heart!
Story Arc: ★★★
Character Development: ★★★½