Thursday, December 05, 2013

Sorry, Wrong Number! Nova

So, let's talk about Nova. I'm a big fan, actually, It's a fine science show and continues to be as educational and entertaining as it was the day it debuted in 1974.

Also debuting during the sassy seventies: the Man Comic Book Called Nova, or as I like to call him, "Spider-Man of the Seventies."

Cover of Nova (1976 series) #1 (September 1976), pencils by Rich Buckler, inks by Joe Sinnott, letters by Dan Crespi

Just this month, Nova published its 100th issue.

Cover of Nova (2103 series) #10/100 (December 2013)

Now, as opposed to Daredevil which we were all discussing just the other week, Nova has not been published more-or-less concurrently—when one volume of Nova ended, it would often be months or years until a new volume started, unlike Daredevil, which was pretty much published month to month. That's why Nova isn't actually being renumbered at #100; next month's issue will retain this new volume's numbering of #11. Marvel has done this once before, for She-Hulk 100th issue (volume 3, #3), and the following issue returned to its regular numbering.

Cover of She-Hulk (2005 series) #3/100 (February 2006), painted cover by Greg Horn

This definitely then isn't the same case as Daredevil and most other rebooted and renumbered comic book series. As opposed to my argument that Daredevil should return its original true numbering, I'm just fine with Nova and She-Hulk celebrating their 100th issue and then returning to that volume's numbering. Now, don't get me started on X-Factor, which I'll no doubt grumble about in this feature one of these days.

So, how do Nova's various volumes add up to 100? Let's take a look at the series' five different volumes:
  • 1976: Nova v.1 (25 issues)
  • 1994: Nova v.2 (18 issues)
  • 1999: Nova v.3 (7 issues)
  • 2007: Nova v.4 (36 issues)
  • 2013: Nova v.5 (10 issues to date)

(Click picture to super-Nova-size)

Wow, that second one, Nova #1 from 1994, is, in all it's metallic-bronze-covered glory, the most ninetiest cover ever.
Anyway, if you can do math, and I'm sure you can, 25+18+7+36+10 all adds up to...



Now, wait just one doggone minute, Mister Nova (I say, in my Jimmy Stewart voice). There's four issues missing! Let's go to the pie chart (mmmm, pie) just to make sure:

Well, that's not gone right.

However, four issues? Hmm, that's the length of a standard Marvel limited series, isn't it? (Answer: Yes.) And sure 'nuff, there is a four-issue Nova limited series: Annihilation: Nova.

Cover of Annihilation: Nova #1 (June 2006), painted cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto

Hmmmm. Well, that fills in the missing gap, but I'm not entirely certain whether a comic book that isn't even alphabetically called Nova to begin its title. But hey, whatever it takes to count up to 100, that's okay with me, Marvel. After all, the indicia of Annihilation: Nova #1 actually does give its title as Nova:

Wouldn't you know, if you flip to the letters column of the "100th" issue of Nova, that's exactly the way they're counting it.

And it's shown in its proper historical sequence in the book's big montage of all 100 issues (red highlighting mine):

With this knowledge, let's revise our delicious handy pie chart. Now it does add up to 100! Math FTW!

I'd like point out that there was also an Annihilation: Silver Surfer limited series...

Cover of Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 (June 2006), painted cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto, Marvel: you have set a precedent by counting the Annihilation miniseries as part of a character's various comics runs. So next time you revive Silver Surfer and give it a number (which will likely be #1, but should be #189), you had better be counting these four, right? Right.

So there you have it! One hundred issues of Nova!! And yes, that includes the Flashdance issue.


Delta said...

Let's go silver surfing now, everybody's learning how... and my hand is also on fire.

Charles Akins said...

Not that it really matters, but is Nova a man or woman now? I can't really tell from the covers.

Jamie Rosen said...

Charles - Nova was the inheritor of the power of the Nova Corps, defenders of the planet Xandar. He was a dude, but I think that his power may have changed hands for a while (hence the lady-Nova) and the Corps was at least briefly brought back.

Charles Akins said...

Thanks Jamie!

Chance said...

That "Human Rocket" run looks kind of fun.

Blam said...

There was a female Nova, Frankie Raye, a girlfriend of Johnny Storm's who became a herald of Galactus. I don't know enough about the past decade-plus or so of Marvel to say whether there's been also an Earthwoman as member of the Nova Corps too.

Nova — the original (publication order, anyway) Richard Ryder version created by Marv Wolfman — is basically an attempt to do a Spider-Man for the '70s, except instead of being bitten by a radioactive solar flare or something he basically had Green Lantern's origin.

Also, Bully: You have "1976: Nova v.4 (36 issues)" in your bullet-point list. Cut-and-paste gremlin or wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey retroactive publication?

Blam said...

Wow. "there's been also an Earthwoman as member of the Nova Corps too" ???

Bully said...

Cut 'n' paste is where I always foul up, Blam! It's a bit difficult with hooves. Thank you for your eagle eye and i've corrected it. Please consider yourself the recipient of a Bully-Prize, Outer-Space Big Gold Helmet Division!