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 square 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.
Oh, and this is the first appearance of the minor villain Corruptor.
Creators: Marv Wolfman and John Buscema
Grade: C+, bordering close on a B-.
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.