Cover to cover catch-up: cosmic conflicts in comics

Welcome back to the blog, guys! I'm attempting to clean off my review pile, which includes all sorts of titles from Nova to Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters to Detective Comics to Wonder Woman.

Today, we're looking at Nova #1 and Wonder Woman #18. Yes, I really want to start the review at the first issue of Nova, because I think it deserves it, and statistically, a lot of people don't know who he is.

But before we get to Nova, let's chew the fat and review. . .

Wonder Woman #18
by Gail Simone and Bernard Chang

So this issue kicks off Gail Simone's second arc on Wondie.

This was a well-paced issue, but you can definitely tell that Wonder Woman isn't as fun a title as Simone's previous works (Birds of Prey, Secret Six). Simone's hilarious and overexaggerated YABS! articles still linger in my mind.

There's a somewhat annoying part at the beginning of the issue, in which Wonder Woman goes through a courtship ritual with Tom Tresser.

AKA Nemesis.
First of all, I don't know much about this guy, but I did read Picoult's run on Wonder Woman, and from that perspective, Nemesis is an immature child, and I really don't see what Wonder Woman sees in him.

But meh, she probably needs a love interest anyways. I'll give that much leeway to Simone.

Then the alien Khund visit her at the hospital -- TO BEAT HER UP.

Wonder Woman, without any hardship, wins, and I particularly like this panel:

Kho, meet Wonder Woman

This is nice, except this kind of hammers in the fact that Wonder Woman is a generally humorless character. So humorless, that she needs a strong supporting cast to bring in the laughs.

Yes, I really care about the humor, because I know that Simone rocks at it.

Some ANTI-rock would be Bernard Chang. He's an adequate penciller, but I' m really disappointed with the way he draws Wonder Woman:
Wonder Woman 18
Why is she so lanky! I wouldn't expect such a noble and graceful emissary-figure to have such a thin, tone-less body.

And the issue ends with a nice little Green Lantern getting territorial and about to attack Wonder Woman.

Overall, I'm kind of apathetic about this issue. Scant humor, weak art, unfamiliar background (am I supposed to know who the Khund are?) leaves me giving this book a two out of five Wonder Woman groupies.

Nova #1
By Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Sean Chen

Bursting from Annihilation as its stand-out hero, the adrenaline rush ends for Richard Rider (AKA Nova), as he must learn to cope with the fact that he's the last standing member of the Nova Corps.

. . .
By kicking some interstellar ass!

He runs across the universe, answering the calls of anyone who needs the Nova Corps., and he saves a planet from its own Doomsday machine.

I should note that Nova still isn't alone. Wired into his suit is the collective knowledge of all Xandarian culture: THE WORLDMIND. While Nova, human, acts occasionally on impulse and emotion-based, Worldmind is set on simple survival and tactics. They're great foils for each other.

In his errand-running, Nova over-exerts himself and --

Nova

At which point he decides to give himself a rest, and return to Earth. Coincidentally, Earth is just recently recovered from a certain Civil War.

See, this is how you launch a new ongoing book. You tie it in fluidly to larger events. At this time, Nova is just emerging from Annihilation, and the next few issues are going to be tangential The Initiative tie-ins.

Now that's smart marketing for a niche-ish book like Nova.

A four out of five grumpy Worldminds. Here's an example of how Nova does sci-fi justice:

NOVA hate bugs

and another:

NOVA AND ALIENS

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