The early issues of Nova are all done-in-ones. You couldn’t ask for a better creative team, so they’re fine for what they are. We learn more about Richard Rider’s family (his brother is a high school genius, like Peter Parker without powers), Nova starts learning about his new abilities by stopping street crimes and a bank robbery, as well as a generic dude-with-wings named Condor in issue #2 and a dude with a diamond head named Diamondhead in #3.
Marv waits until #4 to introduce Nova to the shared universe, and he uses Thor to do it. It’s a good choice. Nova has still-largely-undefined powers, so having him pair off against Thor shows that Nova’s abilities are probably a lot stronger than we might think. It also gives the character three issues to establish himself before trying to broaden him a bit.
There’s also a nice social commentary in issue #4, where Rich and his friends are in a soda shop and the price on the wall increases by one cent between panels. Inflation was rampant in 1976, so this was a–. Oh, it’s just a typographical error? Sorry.
Issue #5 has a cute bullpen sequence. Nova goes to the Marvel offices to interview with Marv Wolfman and Sal Buscema about getting his own comic. John Verpoorten makes a unflattering appearance (nicknamed “Jumbo John”), Marv namedrops another book he writes (Tomb of Dracula), Archie Goodwin stops by, and we see the names of all the Editors-in-Chief crossed out on Archie’s door. Also, Nova asks about necking.
Creators: Marv Wolfman and John Buscema (#2-4), Sal Buscema (#5), with Irving Forbush credited as Bird Watcher for #2.
Grade: C+, bordering close on a B-.
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
CREATORS, GUESET THOR