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Review: Nova #12 (Duggan)

Posted by: Timelord, Columnist
01/16/2014 - 11:11am | Updated: 48 weeks 2 days Ago
Writer: 
Gerry Duggan,
Art: 
Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco,
Colors: 
David Curiel,
Letterer: 
Comicraft - Albert Deschesne,
Cover: 
Ed McGuinness and Marte Gracia,
Publisher: 
Marvel Comics
Price: 
$3.99
Release Date: 
January 15, 2014

The cover gave me a moment of false hope that NINO would finally get what was coming to him and we’d be mercifully spared any more issues of this ongoing insult to intelligence, plausibility, and the Nova mythos.  Sadly – the annoying little “idiot” survives.

Once again NINO proves to be a disgrace to the Nova uniform and the Nova Corps.  He makes light of the deaths of true Corpsmen – something a true soldier would never do.  He is easily bested by a lame bounty hunter.  He is easily fooled by a pirate/slaver into saving the pirate/slaver from Korbinite justice, and then repairs the pirate/slaver’s ship.  Of course, he skips school to do all of this – and once again his ineffective mother is just fine with that.

I am shaking my head in wonderment at the level of suspension of plausibility that is required for any normal adult to read this book and actually be entertained by it.   It is truly too juvenile and too puerile for most 10-year-olds.  Maybe particularly immature 7-year-olds are dumb enough to enjoy it – but how many of them are buying comic books?  I guess that’s why the latest sales numbers for this rag are well under 30K.

This comic book is proof positive that Earthbound super-hero writers should just stick to writing Earthbound super-hero stories – and leave the writing of cosmic heroes to true science-fiction writers.  That’s right Duggan.  Just go back to writing Deadpool.  Cosmic isn’t your thing.

Let’s talk about some of the particularly asinine weaknesses of the entire NINO concept as perfectly illustrated by this issue.  Some lame bounty hunter just snatches NINO’s helmet off and NINO immediately becomes powerless and helpless.  A Nova is supposed to be a living weapon.  What weapon designer would design a living weapon with such a glaring weakness?   None would.  In fact, in the entire history of Nova mythos, no Nova has been portrayed as being powerless while their helmet was off.  It defeats the entire purpose of having a living weapon to make the power dependent on the helmet.  Other (better) writers recognized that – but not our boy Loeb.  That entire “magic helmet” concept is just another “Lo(e)botomization (i.e. a dumbing-down or juvenilization) of the Nova concepts and mythos.

Since Xandar is presumably still inactive or stone cold dead in the Loeb/Brevoort/Alonso-perpetrated hack-job on the Nova mythos – on whose authority is NINO acting when he puts on his father’s uniform, usurps powers not granted to him by any authority and goes about enforcing pan-galactic law?   Nobody’s authority of course.  He’s immature, untrained to use powers that could level a city, and irresponsible as lavishly portrayed in this issue where he frustrates the efforts of empowered law enforcers and aids/abets criminals.  I liken it to a 15-year-old putting on his father’s police uniform, strapping on a gun, getting into a patrol car, and driving down the Interstate Highway enforcing the law with the same level of seriousness as he would approach a video game.  Would any responsible adult be just fine with that or would responsible adults put a stop to it?

And what is it with the Marvel/Disney glorification of truancy from school, irresponsible use of vast powers, child soldiering, and irresponsible parenting?  Is that really the message Marvel/Disney is sending to the particularly dumb, immature, and therefore especially impressionable 7-year-olds at whom this comic book is presumably aimed?  Heck – this book is even insulting to the single-moms – portraying them as weak, irresponsible, and ineffective.   Tell me – what responsible parent would encourage a minor child to skip school to travel light-years away from home to risk his life using powers he’s not trained to use?

The only highlights of this waste of time, money, and paper are Medina’s art and Curiel’s colors.  Too bad their efforts are wasted on this NINO tripe.  They deserve better material to highlight their skills.

It makes me angry to know that the mature, effective, powerful, decisive, and heroic true Nova, Rich Rider, was replaced by the immature, ineffective, un-heroic, and “idiotic” (Loeb’s own words) NINO due to the misguided decision of Marvel Editorial staff to try to re-capture the magic of 60’s-era teen Peter Parker.  It isn’t working guys.  It’ll never work.  It isn’t the 60’s anymore and that story concept has been overdone from then to present.  It’s hackneyed.  Falling sales are proving that.  Do the smart thing and Nix NINO!

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