Well I finally got my hands on issue 3 of the new Nova series, so lets get right back it and look at
When we last left Sam Alexander had had been trying to teach himself to use the helmet that his father had left him (via Gamora and Rocket Raccoon) and had accidentally launched himself to the moon where he came face to face with The Watcher.
That is where this issue begins.
While trying to apologize to the 'Moon Man' (Sam is not yet aware that he is called Uatu, The Watcher) for bumping into his foot Sam is met with total silence. Instead The Watcher simply points towards outer space which Sam takes to mean "..look out there." Sam does but sees nothing, that is until the Watcher's eyes light up and in them Sam can finally see what the Watcher is pointing at.
A large amount of alien spacecraft coming towards them (and earth)
Realizing that this can't be good Sam says he will go and find some help from the Avengers or something, before informing the Watcher that his name is Sam Alexander, but then states that "(Watcher) already knew."
As Sam then flies back to earth, the Watcher simply smiles.
With a brief worry about crashing, Sam lands safely back at his house and removes the helmet. He wanders back inside and finds his mother waiting for him. Sam lies to her and says he had been in his dad's (Jesse Alexander) garage to look for clues as to what happened to him and had fallen asleep. His mother appears to buy this and reminds Sam that his dad tried to be there for him, but before he was born he sometimes used to go away for a while. Both Sam and his mother ask each other if there is something they are not telling the other and that Jesse always told his mother and that Sam can to.
With his mother gone Sam returns to the helmet to see if it holds any more secrets. Just then Gamora and Rocket Raccoon reappear. Sam doesn't seem happy to see them and attacks Rocket, who effortlessly dodges Sam's attack and aims a gun at him. He then reveals that he is also the reason Sam's dad is gone and that he is "stuck here talking to (Sam) ".
Rocket goes on to say how he and Gamora had been giving the helmet by Jesse to give to Sam and that it had instructions only for him. Rocket then says that three billion people are now relying on Sam, but there is no pressure. Sam tells them that until a day ago he thought his dad had made all his Nova stories up and that they should look for help elsewhere such as from the other earth based Nova. Gamora tells Sam that he was named Richard Rider and indicates, tho doesn't out right say it, that he and the rest of the Nova corps are dead and that Sam's behaviour is an insult to the memory.
Now considering what Sam had been through, his father disappearing, ending up in hospital, being shot at by a talking raccoon from outer space and flying to the moon...I think his "behaviour" seems pretty adequate.
Anyway Rocket and Gamora tell Sam that he is the last best hope and that they are there to train him. Training of course means being shot at by Rocket while Gamora uses her awesome martial arts ability (which make her "the most dangerous woman in the universe") to attack Sam all the while telling him that if he fails the earth will be destroyed and that they themselves don't believe in him, but his dad did and that is good enough for them.
Gamora and Rocket then tell Sam that the reason he is going through all this training is because the Chitauri are coming to destroy the earth. Their reason for doing so is that whenever a big hostile takeover happens in the universe heroes from Earth are always there to stop it. The Chitauri are coming to destroy the earth to stop that from ever happening again.
Sam then reveals that the "Pointer" on the moon had shown him a large fleet of Whale like ships flying towards earth. He is quickly informed that the "Pointer" is really named "The Watcher" and that he also should not have been able to see the Chitauri ships as they are "cloaked". Rocket then remarks that the Helmet allowed Nova's to see things in space other people couldn't so that it is possible Sam could have seen them and that the helmet may have recorded their position.
So they change plans. Instead of being a warrior they decide that Sam would best work as a scout. Using the suits power to 'Space Jump' to the Chitauri ships so he can mark their location for Rocket and Gamora to send help.
Sam is happy that he doesn't have to fight or kill anyone and agrees to this new plan.
He flies into space and 'jumps' to where the Chitauri are, which turns out to be next to Jupiter, and says it is "like really bad".
The comic ends with a Chitauri ship seemingly firing upon Sam who is engulfed in a blinding flash of light.
Jeph Loeb's comic is finally getting moving and we are now getting to the action. The enemy of this new story has finally been revealed and it is a great one for our new Nova to fight. Instead of starting off easy with a few street thugs or something, Sam has been thrown straight into the deep end and tasked with stopping a Chitauri Armada, which I think makes a great change of pace and hopefully this will mean we get to see the full range of the Helmet's powers, and for Sam to shine using them, sooner rather then later.
The characters are as great as ever. Sam is still trying to come to terms with everything that has happened in the last few days and so his emotions are running high. This of course is not helped by the arrival of Rocket Raccoon and Gamora who basically tell him that he is useless and not the man his father was but that it is still up to him to save the day.
It is a shame that we don't get to see a bit more of Sam's family life in this comic, especially considering that it is hinted that Sam's mother was aware Jesse was a Nova and possibly that she also knows Sam is following in his footsteps. Now I love action and as I said it is nice to finally get the story moving and actually introduce the villains for this particular story, but I also like family dynamic Loeb has going on in the Alexander household and am interested to learn just how much his mother actually knows about stuff.
Still that is just a minor nitpick because overall the story is just as great as ever. Sam is still a great character to read and I absolutely love the straight faced Gamora and the more humorous Rocket and their attempts to train Sam to be a half decent Nova. Sure their method of training seems a bit dangerous and their constant put downs are a bit demeaning (they remind me of drill sergeants from basically every army movie I have ever glanced at) but this method really suits the characters and makes for some great scenes in the comic.
The comic continues to be well paced with exciting action and touching emotional moments that really help pull the reader into Sam's world and make you care about the character and want to see what is next for him.
The art, once again provided by Ed McGuiness, with inking by Dexter Vines and colors by Marte Gracia still make this comic really stand out amongst the others. The line work is still nice and clear with the colors being bright and colorful and yet not being too cartoony. Really if you read my review of Nova #1 & #2 I don't have much more to add to what I said about the excellent art then.
To sum up
Nova continues to be an awesome read and should be on everyone's must read list. The story continues to be good and the art is just as magnificent as ever.
4 Howling Wolves
Damn Good Read