I have to hand it to Sean McKeever, because I think with almost any other writer “Nomad: Girl Without a World” would be thoroughly confusing. Dredging up an alternate-universe character from a decade ago, bringing her into the Marvel Universe, and having her hang out with her brother’s counterpart in the Marvel Universe? While trying to be a superhero? I know, it sounds bad when you write it out like that. Fortunately, McKeever’s script actually makes it feel natural.
It helps a great deal that Rikki Barnes, the Bucky from the “Heroes Reborn” event back in the mid-90s, is a likable character. McKeever makes her fun to read about, even when she’s going through rough times at school, as a hero, or just trying to survive on her own. After all, she’s in a world where she literally knows no one, even while some of them are the same yet different from the people she grew up with. She’s got an upbeat attitude throughout the comic, though, and without becoming a Pollyanna. You want to not only see Rikki succeed, but to do so with flying colors. It also helps that McKeever writes her as a smart and resourceful character; her comments to the Falcon about feeling like she’s being steered in the Nomad direction and not liking it is a perceptive look at the situation, for example. At the same time, though, Rikki can make mistakes. Her misunderstanding of John’s emotions, for instance, comes across as a natural and realistic error on her part. It’s something I feel that McKeever is succeeding at where the “Supergirl” comic over at DC is falling down lately: the title character can make a big mistake without coming across as a blithering idiot.
David Baldeon’s art is new to me, but it’s enjoyable. It reminds me a bit of Pat Oliffe’s and Barry Kitson’s pencils back in the day, with rich, thick faces and torsos on the characters. It walks a fine line between cartoonish and realistic, but I think Baldeon’s able to bring in the best of both of those styles into his art. He’s quite good with the action sequences, too; I’d never thought I’d say how good a panel of a female Nomad scooting across the edge of a rooftop looks, but these are exciting and interesting times that we live in.
If you’d read McKeever’s older comics and were a little disconcerted by his “Teen Titans” run, have no fear, the McKeever whose writing style you liked is back. “Nomad: Girl Without a World” is enjoyable (a pity about the extra dollar tacked onto the price tag, since I fear it will discourage people from trying it on a whim) and I’d definitely buy more McKeever “Nomad” comics down the line. Check it out.