Nova, the Jersey Rocket


I’m going balls to the wall with these New Jersey sketches for the Asbury Park Comic Con. I think there’s an audience there, and I’ve got a wedding to pay for, a house to find, a new car to buy and a daughter that grows out of something every day.

This one is of my current favorite hero, Nova. I’ve been high on the hog (terrible expression) on this character for about ten years now, when Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning took Marvel’s much-neglected cosmic characters – space farers like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Surfer, the Kree, Nova, etc – and thrust them to the forefront of Marvel’s storytelling with a series of events, starting with Annihilation and running through Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings, The Thanos Imperative and a bunch of other shit I already forgot.

I have my own theories as to why Marvel finally shone a much-needed light on its C and D-list characters, which, let’s be honest, is exactly what all the cosmic characters were.

1. The Disney Machine: No organization gets as much out of its properties as Disney. Now that Marvel is under the rat’s banner, the sky’s the limit for everyone from Moon Knight to Misty Knight to the Nightstalkers to Sleepwalker. It’s not just a Spider-Man/X-Men one-two punch at the House of Ideas anymore.

2. Hollywood: Speaking of Spidey and the X-Men, back when Marvel was broke as a joke in the late 90s, they sold the movie rights to those properties (as well as Blade, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, the Fantastic Four, and others). According to the agreement, the studios (Sony for Spidey, Fox for X-Men, FF) had a set amount of years to produce a new film for each respective franchise, or the rights would revert back to Marvel. That’s why we see shitty new Spider-Man, X-Men and Wolverine movies every 45 minutes. Those studios make too much money to ever let those cash cows go home, so as a result, Marvel is finally forced to elevate their lesser-known characters.*

This is why Iron Man is suddenly the cat’s meow. Ask any diehard comic book fan. In over 50 years of Iron Man comics, there are maybe two stories – the origin, “Demon in a Bottle” – worth mentioning from the 20th century. Captain America, Thor and the Avengers at large also rode in the back seat of the Spider-Man and X-Men money-making Mercedes for DECADES.

Now, with the two biggest properties off the table, Marvel is dusting off the rest of its spandex wardrobe. The Avengers will only go so far before its overkill, so here come the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and rumors of Dr. Strange, Black Panther and others. I think it’s only a matter of time before Nova hits the big screen, too. And the focus group for this and every other Marvel property will be the local comic shop. And let me tell you, they’re KILLING IT in the funnybooks.

RELATED: Check out this Nova gallery, courtesy of Longbox Graveyard.

*I do think that some day, maybe within the next 10 years or so, Marvel/Disney throws out some obscene number (a billion dollars? ten billion?) to buy out the other studios and retrieve the rights to their heroes, so we can finally see Peter Parker interact with the Fantastic Four, or Wolverine team up with Captain America in a World War II adventure.


7 thoughts on “Nova, the Jersey Rocket

  1. I love this one! Nova was on of my favorites too, along with Mister Miracle and Doctor Fate. I have all of the original run of Nova (minus the premier) in Mylar bags in my closet : )

    1. Didn’t even know you were a comics guy. That’s cool! I highly recommend you visit a Barnes & Noble and soft steal (read the book and put it back) some of the recent Nova adventures. It’s been awesome, and he feels like a big deal, and not just another shithead.

        1. Another great instance of soft stealing that I frequently use is when you’re at one of them buffets where you fill the plastic container and then get it weighed at the register for price. What I do is fill’er up, then eat as much as I can before getting to the register.

          This is probably closer to hard stealing but, whatever. Semantics.

          1. I like it!! Since, for some reason, we like to talk about poop. I just went downstairs on a break and the entire fucking first floor literally smells like someone took a shit on or near the A/C ventilation duct.

            1. Is this at home or work? Because that will dictate whether I think that’s awesome or awful.

              The lady in the apartment next to us lets her dog shit EVERYWHERE, and “everywhere” usually means my walkway. Every time it happens, I pick up the shit and put it on her doormat. Movie Squirrel is waiting for the lady to confront me about it, but I really think that not a single fuck is given on that old bag’s end.

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