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Nova #6

by Alan Rapp on July 22, 2013

in Comics

Nova #6Nova #6 marks Sam‘s return home from his battle with Titus and fighting the Phoenix Force with the Avengers (which the comic alludes to but doesn’t explain for those of us not reading whatever Avengers title this took place in). With an offer to join the Avengers and a new personal relationship with Thor, Nova returns home to a very concerned mother, school bullies, and the consequences of leaving his life behind for weeks at a time.

Zeb Wells does a pretty job stepping in for Jeph Loeb and keeping the tone and humor of the title consistent with the previous issues. Although I like Paco Medina’s art (even if Sam appears to be a tad bit older for some reason) I’m definitely going to miss Ed McGuinness whose work on the first arc of the series did quite a bit to sell me on the character.

There’s some nice moments here between Sam and his mother as well as the foreshadowing of just how screwed up the young man’s life will become the longer he plays super-hero. It’s a nice issue, but it’s certainly not a must-read. For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Guardians of the Galaxy #4

by Alan Rapp on July 3, 2013

in Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy #4Following their escape from the Spartax forces, the Guardians of the Galaxy celebrate in an alien bar, Tony Stark makes a move on Gamora (and gets insulted again by Rocket Raccoon), and when more Spartax soldiers show up looking for them they get into a bar-clearing brawl.

As the rest of the Guardians enjoy their fun, Gamora sneaks out only to be attacked by a bounty hunter looking to cash in on the not inconsiderate price on her head (and that of her teammates). Thankfully the bounty hunter underestimates both Gamora and the speed which her friends show up to help.

Guardians of the Galaxy continues to mix wild space action with some great humor (although I’d prefer more Rocket Raccoon and Groot and less Tony Stark). The art of the comic does take a hit with Sara Pichelli stepping in to replace Steve McNiven. It’s not a badly drawn book by any means, and I do like Pichelli’s take on Gamora specifically, but the art isn’t up to the par of the first handful of issues. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Nova #5

by Alan Rapp on July 1, 2013

in Comics

Nova #5Followed back to Earth by Titus, the disgraced former member of the Nova Corps now working for the Chitauri, Sam Alexander must protect his home, his mother (who we will learn knew far more about her husband’s galactic adventures than she ever let on), and even the bullies from school who give him a hard time, from the one-eyed space tiger’s wrath.

Flying Titus back into space, the new Nova uses the Ultimate Nullifier to present a stalemate that the villain refuses to accept. Forcing its activation, Titus and the entire Chitauri fleet are sucked into a black hole. Only after the young man single-handedly saves Earth do we get cameos from Rocket Racoon, Gamora, and the Watcher (as well as one more important character in the issue’s epilogue).

Writer Jeph Loeb and artist Ed McGuinness deliver a fun wrap-up the series’ first story arc that cements Sam as the new Nova, a hero with some powerful friends but one who is also willing and able to stand-up to world-threatening threats on his own. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Uncanny X-Men #7

by Alan Rapp on June 29, 2013

in Comics

Uncanny X-Men #7Following the events in Limbo, the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men #6 picks up with Magik visiting a slightly younger version of Doctor Strange. The events which caused her to seek out the former Sorcerer Supreme are covered in an extended flashback narrated by Magik and the monumentous choice she makes to save her friends and finally take control of her life for good.

The choice to close the Limbo arc in an extended flashback that focuses more on Magik than the rest of the team works, but it also means we get far less of all the young women’s teammates fighting for their lives. This issue better explains Magik’s ties to Limbo and how her unintended damage to the realm (it appears her powers were also effected by the return of the Phoenix) caused Dormammu to reach out and grab the X-Men and pull them into Limbo.

The choice to visit a pre-Avenger version of Doctor Strange for assistance is well thought out, although even with his help it will be interesting to see what lasting effects Magik has after swallowing the entire Limbo dimension into herself. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Deadpool #11

by Alan Rapp on June 22, 2013

in Comics

Deadpool #11Jumping into the middle of a Deadpool arc after basically ignoring the title for months is always a risky business. Deadpool #11 features a story involving the Merc with a Mouth fighting Daredevil on the streets of New York, seeing Jessica Jones mostly naked, and talking to the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. Oh, and he also has the personality of a female agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stuck in his head.

From what I can piece together the basic story involves Deadpool doublecrossing a demon who hired/blackmailed the mercenary to kill a list of people who sold their souls to him in exchange for super-powers. After killing the man the demon wanted kept alive (because, um, he’s Deadpool), the hero continues tracking down various targets including a shapeshifter who takes the form of Luke Cage and comes home to a randy Jessica Jones.

The logic of a good Daredevil story has never been as important and the humor and wackiness, and this issue has both in spades. I particularly like the instance where Daredevil calls out Matt Murdock on labeling anyone else crazy based on Daredevil’s own questionable decisions. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $2.99]

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