Secret Invasion Review – “Nova #16-18”

This gets the event reviews caught up. I’m still behind on reviews of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Amazing Spider-Man,” but the former of those will get caught up tomorrow. There will also be reviews of tonight’s “Smallville” and “Quantum of Solace” before the weekend’s out.

General Information

Title: Nova #16-18

Author: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Illustrator(s): Wellington Alves and Geraldo Burges on pencils, Scott Hanna on inks, and Guru eFX on colours.

Cover Date: Range from October to December 2008

Cover Price: $2.99 US, with the final issue moving from $3.05 to $3.50 Can.

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.


Nova is lead into a trap, designed to take him out of the equation before he intervenes in the Skrull Invasion of Earth. Oddly enough, it was this attack that revealed the existence of the invasion to him, prompting him to go directly home and check up on family, one of whom works at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. The Skrulls are attacking the facility, to either capture or destroy the advanced weapons within.

High Point

Darkhawk’s reaction to post-Annihilation Nova.

Low Point

The timelines don’t mesh. Annihilation: Conquest was a direct result of Mighty Avengers #7, which takes place shortly before Secret Invasion. That would have taken a few months to play out, particularly when you include the “off panel” time it took Ultron to put the whole deal together. This takes place after Nova has dealt with Annhilation: Conquest and a little side adventure trying to save victims of Galactus. The timelines on Secret Invasion between Mighty Avengers #7 and Secret Invasion #1 do not permit that much time to pass.

The Scores

This is original in that it’s the only tie-in that indicates the Skrulls are concerned about anything other than the superhuman population. Humanity has a lot of advanced tech, much of which was “appropriated” from other races, and the Skrulls are here to take care of it. This also has some rather massive implications for the Nova title in the future. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is well done, particularly given that it had multiple pencillers. I honestly can’t see where one person stops and the other begins, which is a good thing. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story would be hard to follow at points if this was your jumping on point. As someone who has been following the title since “Annihilation,” I’m really pleased with it. There are three main reasons to include a comic as a tie-in to a major event. The first reason is to add details to the main event. This happens a lot in DC’s Final Crisis titles right now, which would make the main event hard to follow if you opt out of the tie-ins. The second reason is to find an excuse to add visibility to a title and try to bring in readers. This is where Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man seems to fall. The third reason is to show the impact the main event is going to have on this individual title, and that’s where this stands. The first issue and a portion of the second fill in details needed to figure out how Kl’rt arrived when and where he did in the She-Hulk crossover, but otherwise this is revealing the impact Secret Invasion will have for the Human Rocket. Those who have been following the title need to pick these up. It has some of the “lack of background” issues I griped about in yesterday’s review of Final Crisis: Resist, but I don’t think those are as significant for tie-in issues of an ongoing series as they are for a supposed “stand alone” one-shot. If you jump on with issue 16, some parts won’t make a lot of sense, but if you’ve been following for a while, you should have no trouble. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is solid for Nova and his supporting cast. This is Kl’rt as he is post-Annihilation, and Rich and Rob Rider are both simply nailed. The Worldmind is also well depicted, as is Nova’s reaction to events involving the Worldmind. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. As I said above, I’ve been following this title since Annihilation. Those of us who have know that one particular event was going to happen eventually. I haven’t been in a hurry to see it arrive, as the title has been quite enjoyable so far, but I’ve still been waiting for it. It happens here, in the middle of a Skrull attack that fits nicely into the Skrull agenda. I recommend reading the title, but I don’t recommend starting here. Start earlier in the run, and you’ll have a fun time. (I suggest starting either at the beginning or with issue 13.) The way this uses Kl’rt, and the way it ends both resound nicely for this reader. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is smooth for those of us familiar with the background. New readers may be confused at points, but long time readers will be doing well. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is an enjoyable tie-in to a consistently good series. Don’t read it for the Secret Invasion tie-in alone. Read it because it’s the next chapter in Marvel’s best “cosmic” book. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Nova #16-18 receive 36 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews (including date the last issue should be available):

Aftermath (Dark Reign) reviews:

  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-?
  • Dark Reign: New Nation
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-?
  • Ms. Marvel #34-?
  • New Avengers #48-?
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign: December 10
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1: December 24
  • War Machine #1-?
  • several unannounced titles, I’m sure

2 replies on “Secret Invasion Review – “Nova #16-18””

  1. Mmmm, cosmic…
    This sounds like a series I need to start collecting. This and JMS’s Thor.

    I see a couple of Nova trades out — Annihilation Conquest, and Knowhere. Is it true that there’s only one trade of JMS Thor out?

    • Re: Mmmm, cosmic…

      This sounds like a series I need to start collecting. This and JMS’s Thor.

      I see a couple of Nova trades out — Annihilation Conquest, and Knowhere. Is it true that there’s only one trade of JMS Thor out?

      Yes. JMS openly admits that Thor delays are due to his side of things. Issue 12 is the next one due out, and the second trade will follow shortly thereafter.

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