Living in a town called Carefree, Arizona, life is anything but for Sam Alexander. He is at the stage in life for a teenager to truly feel like an outsider. But the biggest problem is his father Jesse. What Sam sees is a failure of a parent, barely able to fulfill his job as school janitor and glorifying stories of made-up adventures in space. Sam feels like he is the only one in the family to see his dad as the loser that he is. Until he gets a wake-up call that changes everything.
I find this to be a pretty good issue in setting up what is to come for the book, even if I’m still unsure of what direction it is going. All I know is that this is about the new Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy are involved. Jeph Loeb writes a fine introduction to the Alexander family, really getting a feel for what life is like for them and the struggles they are going through. He makes Sam Alexander into the kind of character we can sympathize with, reaching that stage as a teenager who feels alone in the world. Another plus for the book is how it is easily accessible for those not familiar with the Nova Corps as it is perceived through someone who believes they are just bedtime stories.
Ed McGuinness is a fine illustrator. He is generally known for drawing overly muscular heroes and has a good handle of what makes for great action scenes. Here he takes it down a notch, having to draw seemingly real people with body structures that are not unique. Sam certainly doesn’t look like he’s going to be a hero any time soon. I even like how ordinary and plan his mother appears, a woman who has aged from the stress of baring two children. What really makes the book look beautiful to me is the coloring by Marte Gracia. His colors give every illustration so much depth and definition that they spring to life.
Nova doesn’t necessarily offer anything groundbreaking, but then I don’t think it needs to be. It is a good book that is telling a story that makes me care about the characters, struggling to do something meaningful in life. Jeph Loeb has done a fine job in writing the introduction to such an appealing family and Ed McGuinness illustrates some wonderful drawings to further enhance the story. I like this book and I will gladly recommend readers to give it a shot. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but then it’s always fun to try something new from time to time.
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