Nova #13.1 by Gerry Duggan & Paco Medina
This issue starts out with our young hero, Sam in a pretty good mood. His most recent Nova adventure, as seen last month, was a great success. He heeded a distress call, and rescued a spaceship, saving the lives of everyone on board. And so, for the whole first page of this week’s issue, everything seems to be coming up Milho—er, everything appears to be going great. Naturally, though, it doesn’t last.
First, he has a run in with school bully, Moffet. The fight between them is just escalating when Beta Ray Bill shows up proclaiming that someone must pay for their crimes. Moffet panics and flees as quickly as possible, right into a sign post. Human tormentor unconscious, Sam turns to Beta Ray. Having never met Beta Ray before, Sam does not know who this alien creature is. Sam does rush to Moffet’s side to make sure the boy is all right. See, Sam’s kind-hearted, always wanting to assist those in need, only, well, it turns out he helped the wrong person. Skaarn, the commander of the ship he rescued in the previous issue, is actually wanted by Beta Ray for grave crimes. It would seem that the learning curve for cosmic heroics is longer than Sam assumed. However, he volunteers to do the right thing, and help make his wrongs right. His determination to do the right thing, to live up to this legacy from his father, makes him a compelling character.
Sam and Beta Ray have a good dynamic together. (Also, Sam holds up pretty well against Beta Ray in a fight). Duggan also gives some time to Sam’s relationships with his family and classmate, Carrie, who I’m hoping to see more of as the series progresses. There are also some good uses of humor, which keeps the mood balanced. Overall, this is a promising start to the new arc.