Review: Nova #36 & Guardians of the Galaxy #25

Published on April 28th, 2010

Having missed out on the Pick Of The Week podcast this week due to technical difficulties, I have taken the liberty of writing a review of two comics that came out on the week just gone of April 21st. These two comics are closely linked in many ways, more so at this precise moment in their continuity, than ever before. These are also the two comics that very rarely fail to leave me entertained, and utterly ‘star‘-struck whenever I read a new issue, and put quite simply, the issues released this week were no exception to that rarity.

Guardians of the Galaxy #25, and Nova #36 are the comics I will be reviewing this week, which according to the banners on their covers (and as far as the average punter is concerned), lead into an exciting new story-arc called ‘The Thanos Imperative’. Having read the title of this article, I’m sure that unless you have been keeping in touch with these two series over the past few months (or if you have not been listening to the POW podcasts), then you may have been a bit confused. But fear not dear readers, I aim to explain all, and hopefully bring out the appealing side of the events in these comics, that will gain the attention of you readers not so familiar with the goings-on in the cosmos of the Marvel 616 Universe.

First of all, let’s recap a little on what is going on right now in the Cosmos, away from the events on Earth (if you thought Siege was bad, take a look at this mess). There are the two main threats to the cosmos in play right now. The first is a gigantic crack in time and space called The Fault that has opened, and it is posing as a colossal danger to the galaxy, or even the Universe as some claim! Inside The Fault, we were shown in the ‘Realm of Kings: One Shot’, that there was another reality where all the superheroes are demons, and had all been turned evil by these huge cancerous blobs of angry brown stuff (believe me, it’s hard to describe their ugliness). Quasar was the person who went into The Fault and saw all this madness, and later escaped after he realised he was way out of his depth in terms of fighting the evil within. Now, the evil inside The Fault is currently trying to break out, and into our universe, to pretty much take it from us. I mean come on, it’s what evil monsters and shit do right? Whilst that was happening, there is the business of this second threat that is also posing a threat to the cosmos. This is Adam Warlock’s evil alter-ego, The Magus, who has returned and is yet again causing grief for the Guardians of the Galaxy, and is as always, posing a threat to just about everything else at the same time.

Now, with those two major threats going on at the moment. The last thing that either Nova (who is primarily involved with this business of The Fault) and the Guardians of the Galaxy (who are involved with The Magus) want, is yet another threat to existance to deal with.

Now, this is the part where you were expecting me to open my next paragraph with the sentense, “And guess what, they got it!”, but alas, I would have only been saying it half-heartedly. As in truth, only one of the books in question was directly related with ‘The Thanos Imperative’, (which is quite simply the return of the rather portly and overweight Thanos) and that was Guardians of the Galaxy.

guardiansofthegalaxy25So therefore I shall start with reviewing  Guardians of the Galaxy #25. When we left off in the previous issue, we saw half of the team who had been captured and tortured by The Magus escape, and send out a distress signal to Starlord where they were, and that they were in great danger. Not to mention that Martyr went all doolally, and broke away from the group whilst making their escape, and ended up releasing Thanos from his suspicious looking cocoon. In this issue we find out that Martyr was actually killed by Thanos, and that he is now running riot around Sacrosanct, killing and destroying everything he sees. Typical Thanos, because you see, Thanos apparantly did not want to come back to life, it’s just that The Magus made him come back. Gee, thanks pal. So Starlord and company luckily recieved the distress signal, and teleported to Sacrosanct to find it in this terrible state. They eventually bump into the other half of their team, minus Martyr. They then have a very brief hug and a chit-chat, when they are rudely interupted by Thanos and try and take him down. Everything gets a little heated and hectic in what is a valiant effort at taking down Thanos, but it all gets too much, and Starlord ends up pulling some last resort tactics which involve cosmic cubes, a couple of well placed cuss words, and the surprising submission of a big naked bastard by the name of Thanos.

For a first issue of what can safely be called the rebirth of Thanos, this was pretty outstanding, because it was great to see the fear in everyone’s hearts and minds at the thought of Thanos having even returned. It really gives you a perspective as to the colossal danger he poses to them all. I thought it was written very well, and as confusing as it may sound, once you get into it, it’s very hard to not see the greatness in this story. The artist has changed back to Brad Walker, who draws Thanos ever so well, just as he does all the other characters, so it was refreshing to see his return to the series. I was a little concerned with the lack of attention payed to the death of Martyr though, who has undergone a lot of identity changes through out the course of this series. It seemed as if none of the Guardians really gave a damn about her death (aside from her lover, Moondragon, who had a little bit of an emotional outburst at Thanos, which was almost as effective as a 3 year old trying to knock over The Hulk), which I found odd given how she has been a key character in this series, and in the cosmic comics since the start of Annihilation Conquest. Starlord gave a toast to her at the end of the issue, but it still seemed quite forced. But to be honest, I think Starlord hated her anyway, so I don’t blame him, as I think she was a douche as well.

So with respects payed to Guardians of the Galaxy #25 for being a good read, and for being a definate tie-in with ‘The Thanos Imperative’, let’s take a look at Nova #36. is a comic with a pretty bad-ass front cover this month, and it’s a comic that pretty much rejects any recognition of the return of Thanos as of right now, and I honestly doubt that Nova will even do anything about his return until ‘The Thanos Imperative‘ mini series launches. Because Nova is still dealing with The Fault, and the creatures from inside it as they are trying to break their way out. Abnett and Lanning (as much as I love them) are big fans of putting banners on their Nova series, claiming it to be related to a story-arc, when in actual fact, it will either has very little relation to it, or none at all. Still, we shall see, and I shall continue my review..

This issue sees Richie (Nova Prime) and his friend Chris (Darkhawk) going back to Earth for once! Damn, I was worried the two of them even remembered Earth still existed! But we see them both heading back to P.E.G.A.S.U.S compound in upstate New York, because they’ve caught on that the Quasar who is stationed there, claiming he has just returned from The Fault, is actually an imposter. Because earlier on that day, when they were on their new Nova Corps Headquaters ship, positioned just outside The Fault deep in space, they recieved word that the real Quasar had contacted them, saying he was actually on the other side of the galaxy with the Shi’ Ar having returned from The Fault.

nova36

When they get there though, Richie is quick to interrogate the false Quasar, asking questions that force him to reveal himself for the demon he is. We soon find out that this monster from The Fault has opened a gateway to The Fault on sublevel 77 of the station, and called it ‘The Horrorscope’. Chris goes down there to investigate what’s going on, and upon finding a massive monster (looking a little like Staro covered in poo) on guard as the gatekeeper to the realm of The Fault, he is confronted by guards and scientists of the station who have little aliens on the backs of their necks, causing them to act under the control of the monster. These aliens look exactly like the facehuggers from the Alien films, which I found pretty cool. Richie later finds out that the false Quasar was sent into our realm to gather information (the likes of which is still unknown) and to bring it back into The Fault for a reason we can only assume is world domination, and the issue ends with Riche jetting off on the trail of the demon Quasar, and I’m assuming, he’ll follow him into The Fault.

Now, while this is gripping stuff, it does not have anything to do with ‘The Thanos Imperative’, as the banner suggests it does on the front cover. I do not mind about this as such, as I have faith Nova will tie in with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and their confrontation with Thanos at some point, but not anytime over the next few issues of this series. It was a decent read, and while I have a lot questions that I want answers to, I cannot deny that I know I’ll get them sooner or later. Andrea DiVito’s artwork is still fairly run of the mill, it’s not terrible, it’s just rather lifeless a lot of the time, but I can live with that, as long as the story keeps the good pace it’s been maintaining for a while. One thing I do want to know, and hopefully have it explained to me at some point in the next few months, is how does Richie get himself into the Secret Avengers? This is one of the key questions I’m asking as a Nova fan.

So in toto, both Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy were good reads this week. Guardians is certainly carrying a lot of weight at the moment with Thanos and The Magus. I read somewhere that Thanos is going to take down The Magus, which will be awesome, but we shall have to wait stewing in our own anticipation for that one. Nova on the other hand is still promising in it’s plot with creatures from The Fault, it’s just I’d perhaps urge Abnett and Lanning to give it that little nudge in the right direction towards having more of an input with Thanos. A Guardians of the Galaxy/Nova team up is something I’ve not seen in a long time, so let’s see one of those again!

Rob Andrews
Rob@comicimpact.com