February 1979: Nova 25 – In which we learn ‘Are we there yet?’ is worse in space.


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Synopsis: Nova 25 was written by Marv Wolfman, with pencils by legendary Flash penciller Carmine Infantino and opens with the Nova ship that gave Rich (Nova) Rider his powers, leaving the solar system.

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On board are vampiric supervillain Dr Sun, father & son Comet and Crimebuster, villain Diamondhead, sort of villain Powerhouse (now aware of his Xandarian heritage and status as a Syfon warrior), Nova himself and the man who made this voyage happen, the Sphinx. Comet and Crimebuster reunited after several years apart, take joy in this time together. Diamondhead just wants to go home, Dr Sun wants to take the ship over from Sphinx, Nova is crying about missing his family and Powerhouse is just happy to be going home. Sphinx gives a quick recap of his return from space, which is almost too boring to really go into right now.

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Back on Earth, Rich’s family fret about him and hope he comes back. There are two mutinies (one by Dr Sun and one by Diamondhead) before the ship is attacked by an armada of Skrull ships.

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Putting their differences aside, the crew of the Nova centurion ship get out into orbit and battle the Skrull. Crimebuster, Diamondhead and Dr Sun stay behind, leaving Powerhouse, Nova, Comet and the Sphinx to deal with the Skrulls, which they do with ease.  The ship then carries on with it’s journey to Xandar, to the Sphinx’s destiny.

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Notes: I loved Rich Rider as a character, really enjoyed this series and then we get to this. Nearly 20 pages of ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? I wanna go home!” This is a poor end to an enjoyable series and if this is the first one you read, you wouldn’t want to go back and read the rest. The story plods alone and the art doesn’t really suit the space battle scenes. This was a bit demoralising as  a single issue read. Low sales cost this series it’s own finale and the story carried on into Fantastic Four later in 1979, but to be honest I was just wish that we had a more fitting final issue. Nova was created as a Spider-Man for the 70’s and really didn’t do that, but there was an interesting character here. There was a few other characters of interest here including Sphinx, they deserved better.

Next Time: A better comic

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