The conference calls are back at The Beat! Last night Jeph Loeb participated in a phonecall with member of the comics press to discuss the coming launch of a new Nova series – starring a new Nova. The series will be drawn by Ed McGuinness, and here’s Marcos Martin’s cover for issue #1:
Sam Alexander, the new Nova, has appeared in a few comics over the last year, most notably his role in Marvel’s first-ever ‘Infinite Comics’ story by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen. He precipitated the Avengers Vs X-Men crossover, and was offered Avengers membership by Thor at the end of the series. But Loeb explained that this is the end-point for Nova’s story, and the new series will rewind back to before Sam even knows what a Nova is. The aim is to pitch Nova as a hero in the vein of Peter Parker – a young, inexperienced, but upbeat figure, who tries to use his new powers for good. He doesn’t even have the helmet yet.
The first issue will be set in a small town in Arizona, where the character lives, and will ultimately throw him into space to fight giant, overpowering threats far beyond his abilities – villains who will really test the character. Loeb noted the popularity of the Sam Alexander character in Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, saying that the journey for the comic character will ultimately lead him towards the same personality and confidence of his animated counterpart.
When I go to conventions now, the amount of young kids who talk about how they love the show. When I ask them who their favourite characters are, it always comes out as Spider-Man is their favourite, and Nova second.
I asked him about if this has made him consider the title in terms of an all-ages property:
I don’t know that it was as much in my mind as the fact we we were telling a story about a 15 to 16 year-old kid. Part of the Nova story from the beginning, is that he was a very fun character – Rich Rider loved being Nova. I don’t think we’re necessarily writing for an all-ages audience… we’re writing for the Marvel audience.
From Arizona, Nova will then be moving on to outer space, where he’ll come into contact with Brian Michael Bendis‘ Guardians of the Galaxy – Loeb says no plans for the Annihilators as yet, but they may well show up later – and this will be apparently a very important part of Marvel over the next few months. We’ve seen that Guardians of the Galaxy will interact with Iron Man, and that All-New X-Men’s story will have some kind of ramification for the team. This is all a deliberate way of meshing the Universe together, Loeb says – when attempting to establish a character like Nova, it’s important that they’re visible. We’ll likely be seeing the character show up in a variety of books over the next few months.
No plans yet for any more Infinite Comics ventures, but Loeb was very open to the idea.
Finally, in terms of established Nova concepts returning? Loeb was very careful not to give too much away, although there will be a new, rebuilt Nova corps (of a kind, anyway) coming back into the book eventually, as Sam gets used to his powers, the legacy he’s inheriting from Rich Rider, and the importance of the Nova Corps in the Universe. At all times, Loeb spoke glowingly of Rich Rider as a character, and how the shadow of the character will loom over Sam at all times, driving him to be a better Nova.
Nova #1 will be released by Marvel in February, from the creative team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness.