Tag Archives: Beta Ray Bill

Comic Book Review – Nova #15


Nova battles mercenary robots, avoids detention and reunites with Beta Ray Bill all in one issue!

Stan Lee reputedly hates teen sidekicks. Bucky Barnes will attest to that. For this reason, the Marvel Universe never had a Teen Titans type book until a new wave of creators developed titles like the New Mutants and Young Avengers. Instead, Stan made the teenage sidekick the star of the show – see a little title called the Amazing Spider-man. Even though Peter Parker was the foundation of the Marvel Universe, teenage heroes rarely followed in Spidey’s webbed footsteps. The current version of Nova is a welcome addition to the teen hero model for Marvel.

This issue picks up in mid story arc with Nova, 15 year old Sam Alexander, trying to get to a slave trader named Skaarn (not to be confused with the Hulk offspring, Skaar). The characters he encounters in this issue are very imaginative and I really like them individually. Cosmo the talking, psychic watchdog and a trio of mercenary robots are particular stand outs. I absolutely love it when robots speak in a human way. These guys all had personality and humor while being a legit threat to our young hero.

The big bad (Skaarn) did not get much “screen time” so he did not blow me away. His background was perhaps fleshed out in a prior issue. I was also a little confused as to the power set involved with being a Nova. I admit I haven’t read much about the Nova Corps. As expected, the teen hero uses his abilities by instinct and achieves victories by almost pure luck so, perhaps as a reader, I can fumble along with the main character. The sudden return to high school life was a very cool idea at first but in the end it really derailed the momentum the issue had. Nothing terribly wrong here with Duggan’s work and I love the fast pace but I think a little more detail and depth would take this story to the next level.

The art is the star of the show for me. David Baldeon’s pencils are clearly manga infused but he adds in comic book solidity and a depth of detail that make the figures look less cartoony. He easily moves from bug eyed aliens, to animals, to teenagers, to adults, to robots all the while bringing individuality and distinctiveness to each character. Nova’s emotional ride during the battle is well portrayed in the character’s positioning and facial expressions. He can confidently attack or lash out by instinct and you know exactly how well the battle is going at that moment.

Terry Pallot’s inks are a great compliment here from the classic dark navy blacks on Nova’s uniform to the singular but detailed line work throughout the different environments contained in Knowhere. The colors do a good job in addressing all of the different alien components while helping Nova to stand apart from this world by staying true to his primary color togs. The computerized effects are used sparingly and when needed without being a distraction.

In all, I am very interested to watch the development of this art. Although I have nothing against manga style comic book art, I think Baldeon is well on his way to creating something unique here. He shows a good blend of artistic elements and I want to see what he will throw into the mix next!

What to look for
I am interested to see if the big bad is a worthy villain or just another puffed up Mongul/Thanos/Darkseid wannabe. I also can’t wait to see Beta Ray Bill in action. All this plus more Baldeon art.

What might put you off
The breakneck pace may make you long for more character development.

This title wasn’t on my pull list but I will definitely be adding it. The art alone is worth the risk of the title being a little shallow. My bet is that this issue was built to be fast and furious and I will get the depth I need in future issues.


Title Nova
Issue Number
Release Date
Gerry Duggan
David Baldeon
Terry Pallot
David Curiel
Albert Deschesne
Ellie Pyle
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff

Omega Flight Reborn From Civil War

Following the team’s introduction in Civil War: The Initiative, Canada once again has its own super hero team in the pages of Omega Flight #1.

The destruction of Alpha Flight at the hands of the Collective has left a gaping hole in Canada’s line of defense as its greatest heroes were struck down. Now, the last surviving Alpha Flight member Sasquatch joins an all-new team of heroes in Omega Flight!

This isn’t your father’s Flight! This new team of Canuck heroes includes the Asgardian-powered Beta Ray Bill, former Avengers U.S. Agent and Arachne, Alpha Flight legacy Talisman, and a new hero in the Guardian suit!