Richard Rider

Why you should buy: Nova 2016-2017

The Nova Corps, if you don’t know, were basically the intergalactic police force of old. Powered by their technologically advanced helmets and armor, the Corps are now nonexistent except for two Novas of Earth: Richard Rider and Sam Alexander. Marvel’s 2016 series Nova, by Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez, is essentially a buddy cop series in space. Comedy, adventure, drama, family, friendship, romance, and more, Nova has something for everyone, and is (for me) one of the best ongoing comics hitting the shelves.

This comic really compliments Marvel’s more comedic yet heartwarming tone that they’re implementing in their cosmic/space adventure genre. If you like Guardians of the Galaxy in any form, Nova is definitely for you! Some other reasons to read Nova: 

1. Captivating Characters and POC lead

Richard Rider was the original Nova, who died a hero by sacrificing his life for the galaxy, but mysteriously returned to life. Sam Alexander is a mixed Mexican teenager from Arizona who inherited his Nova helmet from his missing father, who was a part of the Nova Corps. While Sam’s character is more focussed in growing up, high school, and family, Richard’s is completely different, tackling issues of life, the difficulties of moving on, and trauma. The contrast between the Novas of new and old also add to why the comic is so diverse when it comes to genres, but instead of feeling convoluted, the narratives compliment each other extremely well. The bond that builds between Richard and Sam create a really interesting and fun dynamic that’s less of a typical mentor/mentee relationship then something much more complex and personal. They both learn from each other and grow through their friendship, which makes their character development intriguing and appealing.

The artist and co-writer, Ramon Perez, is also Latino, and he’s made it clear how much he loves Sam (lol), and is keen on depicting him and his family very visibly Not White. So you’re also supporting creators of color by buying this series! 

(There’s also a talking Russian astronaut telepath dog, Cosmo, who’s a friend of the Novas and a very cute and hilarious addition to the cast) 

2. Gorgeous Art/Colors

Ramon Perez’s art style is extremely dynamic and beautiful, and Ian Herring’s bright color palette full of pinks, purples, and blues create a visually stunning comic. Fight scenes are thrilling, and alien and enemy designs are completely lovely. 

My favorite parts of the comic art-wise is of Richard and the demons that torment and infect him (no spoilers…) These depictions are mind-blowingly gorgeous and haunting. Not much else to say other then to take a look for yourself! 

3. Its Pretty Fucking Funny/Endearing 

Jeff Loveness is a Emmy and WGA nominated comedic writer for Jimmy Kimmel, The Onion, and more. His extremely well-crafted dialogue is full of humor and fun, and the comedy makes the characters even more charming. He also enjoys poking fun at the ridiculousness of the comic world: 

(This scene has like 20,000 notes so why did none of ya’ll actually buy the comic)

I also love how the humor in Sam’s scenes make him a very endearing kid you really want to root for. Sam’s self-doubt and typical teenage insecurity is very relatable and always depicted in the best ways: 

Unfortunately, despite all the good reviews and positive fan feedback, this comic is getting cancelled after 7 issues, which is a huge mistake on Marvel’s part. Nova really feels like its just starting on something big, and it was heartbreaking for me to hear about its cancellationI really wish I wrote this sooner (Loveness and Perez were so bummed out about it, I feel like I personally failed them) but I’ll still do anything to promote this comic as much as possible, the creators deserve that much. Its a very charming and entertaining series, and I love this hidden gem with all my heart! I hope this convinced you to read Nova!

Definitely check out if you like: Starlord, Guardians of the Galaxy, Power-Man and Iron Fist, Ms. Marvel, Green Lanterns, and Blue Beetle. Tbh i’d even say space dramas like Voltron and Cowboy Bebop have a similar vibe.

If you enjoy the comic, please support these creators and sales by buying the comic instead of torrenting! Check out your nearest comic book store, or buy digital issues on Marvel.com or Comixology.com for #1-5!