Writer: Sean Ryan
Artist: Cory Smith
Colorist: Andres Mossa
SPOILER WARNING: I’m far too excited about this issue and am unable to clearly justify my score without spoiling the big reveal at the beginning of the issue which persists until the end. If you haven’t read the issue and want to, please don’t after the jump with the knowledge that it’s a damn fine issue and worth picking up for all fans of Nova.
I’ve been patiently waiting – for over half a decade mind you – for my absolute favorite Marvel hero to return to the comic book pages. Two years ago Bendis got my hopes up that maybe Richard Rider, The Man Called Nova, would actually still have been alive following the events of The Thanos Imperative, but he quickly shattered those hopes with a disappointing story. But once more the hope has returned due to an announcement a few months back about Rich’s return; and in Nova #11 we begin to see the hope springing into reality. Ladies and Gentlemen… the “Rich” is back.
After Nova #10’s cliffhanger, Sam confronted by the actual Worldmind, this week’s issue takes us through a fun and revealing “therapy session” between Sam and his new acquaintance. Although, Worldmind isn’t exactly just the Worldmind… apparently Richard Rider and Worldmind have become one being. This was the case ever since Rich absorbed all of Worldmind into his being, but the two have always been clearly separate entities within Richard’s head. That does not seem the case anymore. Nevertheless, Richard’s persona comes forward to help Sam with all of the issues he’s been going through during this volume of Nova; especially the issue of whether or not he should give up being Nova.
The writing in this issue by Sean Ryan is spot on and fulfilled almost everything I was hoping for when we saw Rich last in Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy Original Sin issues. The Thanos Imperative was alluded to and the gaps in time were filled seamlessly with just a few panels of monologue. Cory Smith’s art was extremely well done considering how much detail and effort there is on each page. Sam’s trip inside The Worldmind is filled with a gorgeous almost cathedral-esque décor and backdrop. As a Rich fan, I’m not one hundred percent sure I like the look Rich had within the Worldmind, but I do get that Cory was trying to not only hide Rich’s identity until the reveal, but had to make Rich and Worldmind look properly melded together. Andres Mossa did the colors which made the Worldmind scenes really stand out, I just wish Richard/Worldmind had a gold helmet like they’re supposed to. The black spec-ops helmets are unique to a few Novas; so there isn’t much reason why Rich/Worldmind would have a black helmet too. Other than that, this is one of the best looking issues of Nova this run.
The one thing I won’t spoil is the very last page of the book; as it sets up the future of where this Nova book is headed, but what I will say is that the book ends in a very gratifying way. With my favorite character slowly coming back onto the scene, having been one of the longest dead cult favorite heroes in Marvel history, I’m excited for the future of the Nova character(s). Sam is slowly evolving into the hero that he’s supposed to be, and the whole Marvel Universe is going to be affected by the events that began in this issue.