New Warriors #40-42
Issue(s): New Warriors #40, New Warriors #41, New Warriors #42
In a major switch in theme from the last set of "street level" issues, we are off to space for some cosmic stuff. That's one of the benefits of this cast of characters, that you can do such diverse stories. This story does have an ulterior motive, though: it's setting up for a Nova solo series. But regardless it's a fun story that uses a lot of Xandarian continuity, from the surviving Xandarians who happen to be heralds of Galactus to the Super-Nova character that appeared in some fill-in issues of Avengers.
After a quick fight with Asylum alongside the other New Warriors...
...Rich Rider goes on a date with Laura Dunham. During the date, Super-Nova returns to Earth.
Super-Nova has learned that Rich has a portion of the Nova force, and he wants it. Rich leaves Laura to contact the rest of the New Warriors (although she's still unaware that he's Nova) while he confronts Super-Nova alone.
Super-Nova is impressed that Nova is able to do a gravimetric pulse attack, but he's able to grab Nova, draining his energy and seemingly killing him.
The return of Super-Nova is detected by Air-Walker. So he and Firelord make sure that Galactus is well fed and then head to Earth.
They meet up with the other New Warriors and head to where Nova has fallen. Air Walker says that vessels for the Nova Force (or at least this Terran vessel) cannot truly die, and he's able to provide Nova with some Xandarian energy that brings him back.
Still trying to maintain his secret identity with Laura, Rich tells her nothing and leaves with the New Warriors and the heralds.
It's said that gaining the remaining piece of the Nova force has caused Super-Nova to completely lose it. Instead of seeking vengeance against Nebula he now just wants to destroy all that lives.
The Shi'ar detect the Nova force and go after Super-Nova, who is destroying space ships left and right.
There a bit of goofy fun while Hindsight Lad tries to debrief the team.
Using data from the heralds' ship, Silhouette figures out that Super-Nova's energy can be used to restore Xandar, and of course doing that would also end Super-Nova's threat. The downside of that is that Rich will lose his ability to become Nova.
All this is happening interspersed with scenes of Xandar already repairing itself and initiating a cloning program that results in the return of Queen Adora.
The New Warriors (sans Hindsight Lad) head into space with the heralds. They encounter Super-Nova, and Night Thrasher says that Firestar should go up against him one on one. Apparently out in space she has no need to hold back and can actually be extremely powerful.
The rest of the team join in the fight...
...but don't make much headway. Super-Nova grabs Nova and teleports away.
Firestar's power level is further demonstrated by showing that she can open a star gate (like Binary!) so that the heroes can pursue Super-Nova. Meanwhile, Nova merges with Super-Nova and takes control, sort of. He's aware but still not really able to stop himself from causing damage. He fights off attacks from the heralds and then a Shi'ar force led by Gladiator.
He's eventually convinced by Adora to release the energy to fully restore Xandar.
In the end it turns out that the Worldmind is able to give him power back, so that he can still be Nova. Just in time for his own series.
In one subplot scene Vance Astro is told that he's getting out of jail early. In another, Namorita tries to go to Atlantis but is told that she's banned for being a clone, and then she passes out. She's put in an Atlantean tube, and it's said that she'll never be the same again. An ad in the same issue promoting the upcoming New Warriors/X-Force Child's Play crossover spoils it, showing a blue Namorita and saying very explicitly "Namorita turned blue".
Very big panels make these issues pretty light on content (i'm saying that more and more, aren't i?) but it's a fun story.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Galactus is behind the scenes in a way that counts as an appearance, since it's said that his heralds contact him before leaving for Earth. Nova gets a new costume (with red arm bands), so any appearances in his old costume (like Amazing Spider-Man #383) should take place prior to this.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAdora, Air-Walker, Asylum, Firelord, Firestar, Galactus, Gladiator (Shiar), Hindsight Lad, Justice, Laura Dunham, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Nova (Rich Rider), Protector, Rage, Silhouette, Speedball, Sprocket, Super-Nova, Vashti, Xandarian Worldmind
Note that Speedball uses his expanded control over his powers to seemingly destroy Asylum, leaving only her mask behind. This is important because it sets up how Darkling becomes the new Asylum.
Posted by: Michael | March 1, 2017 8:29 PM
I'm disagreeing with FNORD12's assessment of the series. Fabian Nicieza had lost the purpose of the book by this time. The New Warriors works as a book about new heroes finding their way in the Marvel Universe. While not allowed at the big boy's table, they were still powerful enough to be successful. The villains they fight should not necessarily be the obvious ones, but the ones that best match their passions of idealistic youth. In that group, Nova actually had an important role - as the most experienced member among them he should be a mentoring figure (even if it is only by example).
However, it is a very fragile dynamic the book needs to maintain. The New Warriors are actually quite powerful. This is not a group of people fighting street crime. However, nor are they people who should be out in space fighting aliens. But it is easy to fall into that trap with members as powerful as these. The selection of villains need to be better. Much better.
After a really good first year and a half, I think this book started to decline around the drama of Vance's dad. At this point, it's getting diverted from the qualities I liked about the title earlier. Also not all the costume changes have been for the better.
Posted by: Chris | October 18, 2017 12:52 AM
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