Andrea DiVito and Bruno Hang prove to be quite a formidable creative duo, filling this issue with detail and charm. The panels of talking heads are given greater significance and depth through use of mottled backgrounds instead of a solid color or even a gradient. This makes those panels seem just as detailed as the rest of the issue when DiVito’s backgrounds are filled with detail. One additional, but no less significant, example of the duo’s ability is manifest in the starfield pattern on Quasar’s outfit. It is among the best starfield uniform I’ve ever seen in comics, reminding me just how far comic art has come in the time I’ve been reading.
Abnett and Lanning have done a thorough job of making the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe feel like a separate comic book universe in and of itself. This issue drops in pieces and names from the whole gamut of their books: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “War of Kings,” “Realm of Kings,” and the upcoming Thanos storyline. Unfortunately, the writing partners have crafted such a closely knit universe that titles of books just seem to get in the way as the conclusion from this issue is pointed to “The Thanos Imperative: Ignition,” rather than any further issue of “Nova.”
Under Abnett and Lanning, Nova has become an impressively stable, dynamic character, confident in his abilities and allies, but conscious of the impact his actions may have on others. While some may be quick to dismiss the Nova concept as a poor man’s Green Lantern, Abnett and Lanning prove this title — and Richard Ryder as a character — is anything but.
The Marvel Cosmic characters have been embroiled in event after event, from “Annihilation,” to the current “Thanos Imperative,” but to Abnett’s and Lanning’s credit, these characters don’t seem to be wearing thin, nor do the events seem to be events. What the duo — and all of the gifted artists they work with — has managed to do is deliver top-notch, enjoyable stories that are easily approachable despite the years of story layers put upon these characters. Abnett and Lanning never lose sight of the fact that the every issue (even this seemingly final issue of “Nova”) is someone’s first issue.
I started my reviewing career at CBR with an Abnett and Lanning written story, and as long as the writing tandem delivers stories of this caliber, I have no doubt I’ll be reviewing more from them in the months and years to come.