Issue(s): Nova #22, Nova #23, Nova #24, Nova #25
Meanwhile, the Comet becomes active in the hospital thanks to the X-Rays that were being used to investigate his injuries. Later, Nova gets into a fight with Diamondhead and the Comet shows up to help out.
The Comet, supposedly around since the 1950s, is seemingly presented as a sort of mentor figure for Nova, but he's a bit flat.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sun, the vampiric brain in a robot's body from Tomb of Dracula of all places (written by Wolfman, ofc and a few pages of Dr. Sun's origin are reprinted here), is observing the fight with Diamondhead and helps keep it going.
Diamondhead, being essentially indestructible, is able to defeat Nova and the Comet, and after Nova is knocked out Dr. Sun collects his body. Sun also activates Robbie's Sherlock robot, which it turns out was actually built by Dr. Sun, and it knocks out Robbie...
...and tricks Rich's friends into thinking he's sick.
Sun then teleports Nova to Nova Prime's spaceship, only to find that the Sphinx is waiting there.
Both are interested in accessing the Xandarian Worldmind, but for different reasons. Dr. Sun wants to learn how to preserve his artificial life, since the Worldmind is composed of actual brains. The Sphinx wants the knowledge to end his own life.
Back on Earth, the Comet meets up with another loser supporting super-hero called the Crime Buster.
Crime Buster turns out to be the Comet's long lost son. No effort is really made to make us care about these characters, who i think along with Nova were all part of a fan fiction comic that Marv Wolfman used to publish before his professional career. I'm sure they had nostalgic value for him, but they are terrible cheesy super-heroes.
The Sphinx forces Nova to go and capture Powerhouse, who turns out to be a Xandarian, which is the same race as Nova Prime. The Comet and Crime Buster show up as well and all four are teleported back onto the Nova Prime ship. Diamondhead somehow winds up there as well. Together (not counting the Sphinx or Doctor Sun), this collection of losers is billed as the New Champions on the letter page, although they are never officially made a team. The one nice touch about this is that Diamondhead is of course a villain, and is therefore not a very cooperative member of the team.
The Sphinx directs the spaceship back to Xandar, but on the way there they are attacked by Skrulls (Supposedly. The battle is very poorly drawn, and the Skrulls hardly look like Skrulls).
The "New Champions" fight them off, but the attack is part of a larger Skrull/Xandarian war.
Unfortunately (?) that war will not be depicted in Nova because it is being canceled. The story will be picked up in Fantastic Four.
This series had potential as the 70s version of Spider-Man, but Wolfman just wasn't a good enough writer to pull it off. The book also started going off in a number of weird directions at the end; not sure if that was due to trying to quickly find something that would help sales or if it's just Wolfman. The idea of Nova's family knowing his secret identity was a good development, but the implications weren't explored. Then we have the introduction of the Comet and the idea that he might serve as a sort of father-figure to Nova, but nothing really came of that either. And then Doctor Sun, a castaway from a horror series, whose plot is quickly derailed by the appearance of the Sphinx and his space odyssey plot. In any event, Nova himself will prove to be a very durable character (thanks, in my opinion, to the John Romita Sr. design).
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's a bit of a cheat for me to not include Nova #20-21 in this arc as well since issue #21 ends with the Comet being hit with x-rays and getting re-activated and he's essentially in the same state here. However, Nova's family has had time to go home, eat a meal, and then travel to their Aunt's summer house in Long Island before the Comet becomes fully activated, so i'm saying this takes place over the course of days, not minutes, despite what the Comet scenes seem to depict. The Xandar/Skrull War continues in Fantastic Four #206.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBernie Dillon, Charles Rider, Comet, Crimebuster, Diamondhead, Doctor Sun, Ginger Jaye-Firestone, Gloria Rider, Mike Burley, Nova (Rich Rider), Powerhouse, Robbie Rider, Sphinx
The Comet was supposed to be an avatar of The Flash, who was co-created by Carmine Infantino in 1956.
I think the Colan/Palmer pages were new ones, not reprints.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 17, 2011 9:02 PM
The title to #25 is a reference to the 1956/1978 film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 29, 2011 1:47 PM
FOOM#22 stated that #23 was supposed to be an outright crossover with Tomb of Dracula, and that we'd find out that Nova bought the "Champions" name from the Angel for nothing because Warren Worthington was already rich.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 14, 2013 7:46 PM
The Carmine Infantino Flash was the "Silver Age" version; since the original Flash was around since the 1940s.
Posted by: Ataru320 | December 21, 2016 11:52 AM
True, but the Barry Allen Flash is a distinct character from the Jay Garrick Flash both in personality and appearance, and he was undeniably co-created by Infantino... And the Comet is clearly a homage to Barry, not Jay.
Posted by: Tuomas | December 26, 2016 6:40 AM
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