Jeph Loeb

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Can We Thank Jeph Loeb For No Nova In Guardians of the Galaxy?

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Both Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and director James Gunn have consistently stated the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was inspired by the 2008 comic book of the same name by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

DnA, as the Marvel Cosmic duo are known to their fans, even visited the set of the Guardians and got an invite to the world premiere.

So the movie part of Marvel and Disney give Abnett and Lanning a lot of kudos (rightfully so). James Gunn even got DnA back on the comic book movie adaptation.

The same can’t be said for the Marvel Comics side of things as DnA were taken off the Guardians of the Galaxy comic in 2010 (when the movie was greenlit), the series was cancelled, and all their other Marvel Cosmic books were stopped as well, which included Nova, the character that spearheaded the Guardians of the Galaxy team book.

Nova was eventually highjacked by Jeph Loeb, who replaced the character with an idiot (his own words), which has been described as a Spider-Man Luke Skywalker character by Marvel Comics EIC Axel Alonso. Brian Michael Bendis highjacked the Guardians of the Galaxy concept, which arguably has been a consistent seller, but as #2 at Marvel, Tom Brevoort, stated: It has nothing to do with Bendis, but everything to do with interest in the movie.

And it’s gotten so bad, that shortly after Loeb’s Nova (nicknamed NINO – Nova In Name Only – by fans) was launched, Loeb was announced off the book with the publication of the second issue. Sales for the book as of issue #3 were already below the previous Abnett and Lanning run, and the DnA Nova (as well as Guardians of the Galaxy) didn’t get any attention by Marvel PR.

On the comic book sales charts, NINO has already fallen below the top 100 mark as well — even though Marvel has given NINO everything that Richard Rider did not: appearances in big crossovers, multiple variant covers, A-list artists and writers, cartoon appearances, etc.

It’s pretty simple: NINO is a failure.

What’s this all leading to?

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Well, it has become known that Richard Rider Nova was in early drafts of the Guardians of the Galaxy script.

Kevin Feige recently told Screen Crush that Richard Rider was a part of Guardians of the Galaxy, but due to a “fork in the road,” they didn’t use him.

There were some thoughts to it, yes, back in early drafts in the early development stage. But, there was a fork in the road that we came to at one point in the development process where we decided to eliminate Nova and go full-on with Peter Quill’s story.

It’s possible the fork in the road may have been a result of Jeph Loeb, Axel Alonso, Tom Brevoort and Joe Quesada replacing Richard Rider with NINO.

And a big problem for Loeb – assuming he is trying to push NINO into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – is that Marvel Studios follows a specific plan in that they feel if they can please the Marvel loyalists, the movies will follow suit and do well

Ironically enough, check out Joe Quesada’s own words:

“Really, you have to start with the loyalists,” Quesada said. “If the loyalists reject it, then we feel that everyone is going to reject it.”

Looking at the big picture, if NINO is already selling less than Richard Rider, and the fans aren’t happy – and Gunn and Feige are well aware of it – the loyalists have rejected it and a movie with NINO wouldn’t be the way to go.

Long live Richard Rider.

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Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 In Question? Calling For Fans To Contact ABC

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For fans of the Marvel Cosmic character Nova, this is sort of an ironic twist…

Head of Marvel TV, Jeph Loeb, made a comment in a recent interview that fans should contact ABC regarding a season 2 for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Loeb and executive producer Jeffrey Bell were questioned by Marvel.com about seeing more from Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in future episodes.

Bell comments, “In our world, we’re for it. [But first] we need a second season.”

Loeb adds that fans should send in their S.H.I.E.L.D. badges to ABC.

“Let’s start with everyone who’s reading this, please take your S.H.I.E.L.D. badge and mail it to ABC and tell them that you want more S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Loeb said.

It was learned earlier today that ratings were down with a new series low following the heavily hyped and promoted recent episode of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. that tied into Captain America 2.

The series has seen ratings plummet following the month-long break between February and March that has seen close to 2 million viewers exit the show.

Currently, the number of viewers is hovering around the 5 million mark, down more than 7 million from its season premiere of 12 million plus.

For fans that really want to send in their S.H.I.E.L.D. badges, you can head on over to: agentsofshield.com/getyourbadge to create your own.

(Regarding the reference to Nova, Loeb was responsible in part for cancelling the 2007 Richard Rider Nova comic book series and relaunching with another that is selling less –  fans aren’t happy. Loeb also axed the popular Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series as well.)

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Clark Gregg Calls 6 Million People A Loser Because They Stopped Watching Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Clark Gregg – Agent Phil Coulson – has gone on record calling about 6 million people losers for having stopped their watching of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The series has seen about a loss of 6 million viewers from the record numbers that the premiere episode boasted.

“If you’ve given up on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., those aren’t geeks. Those are losers,” Clark Gregg told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Likewise, Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb tells the fanboys straight up that Iron Man won’t be appearing on the series, and that Robert Downey Jr. is not coming anytime soon.

“But there are still people online who go, ‘We don’t understand why Iron Man isn’t on the show!’ ” Loeb said. “You know what? He’s not. I love Robert [Downey Jr.] — not coming by anytime soon.”

When Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was first launched it was described as “not all heroes are super,” but that is exactly the problem most seem to have with the show as it is called “Marvel,” and Marvel is known for their superhero universe.

The good news is that the series seems to be going in the direction the fans want, though admittedly it’s been a slow start. 

“You start to have people like Deathlok showing up,” Clark Gregg said. “You start to understand that a bunch of these different episodes were connected. A lot of the geeks that I respect most … are very excited about where we’re going. So I’m going to choose to work for them.”

In addition to Deathlok, Jaimie Alexander will be reprising as Sif from the Thor movies in an episode of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as she is set to do battle against another Asgardian from the Marvel Comics. Stan Lee will also appear on the next episode with Deathlok, and it’s been announced that fan-favorite actor Bill Paxton will be in the series for an arc.

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Cosmic Book News EIC Matt McGloin Responds To Tom Brevoort About Nova (Video)

Tom Brevoort is back at it again, answering fan questions on his Tumblr account about Richard Rider and Marvel Cosmic.

As it’s Tom’s account, he tends to be choosey about how and what he answers.

The latest has Tom and myself getting into it about how Marvel Cosmic and Nova was promoted compared to Loeb’s NINO Nova.

Tom wonders how Marvel treated them differently.

CBN:
How come Rider was never promoted like Loeb’s? And you were the head Marvel Cosmic editor, too. 

Brevoort:
Sorry, but how was the current Nova promoted better than the previous Nova, apart from launching during Marvel Now? 

For a change, I decided to throw the following video up on YouTube with some of my thoughts.

We’ll see how this works out. Maybe there will be more.

Head on over to our Marvel Cosmic forums for more.

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Op-Ed: The Lo(e)botomization of Nova

The Cosmic Triune

An Opinion-Editorial

“The Lo(e)botomization of Nova”

 

Lobotomization:  to deprive of intelligence, vitality, or sensitivity.

                                                     -Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

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According to Marvel Editorial, Issue #10 of NINO is the 100-issue mark of “Nova” comic books published.  I dis-respectfully disagree.  I count 90 issues of true Nova comic books and 10 issues of Nova In Name Only comic books.   It’s insulting to equate Nova with NINO in any way, but Marvel Editorial’s whole approach to the Nova fans since the “hiatus” of Volume IV has been insulting.  They frequently talk about Rich and NINO in the same breath as if there’s no difference between the history of the two.  Hey Marvel Editorial – they’re not interchangeable.  Rich was great.  NINO is a farce.  And a sub-standard farce at that.

Sure I know it’s just a marketing gimmick to try to improve the rapidly declining sales of the ongoing insult to and dis-respect of true Nova fans that is NINO, but I think this “occasion” calls for an analysis of how the “creative team” of Loeb, Wacker, Bendis, Brevoort, and Alonso took a good concept and ruined it for all the wrong reasons.  I liken their process of turning Nova into NINO to the above defined dis-credited Neurosurgical procedure of lobotomization as popularly portrayed in such movies as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sucker Punch – and I refer to their process as “Lo(e)botomization.”

 

The Deprivation of Intelligence:

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Loeb himself has been directly quoted in various articles saying NINO should be written as an “idiot.”  I could stop writing this section directly after such a quote, but I think it’s important to detail how this Lo(e)botomization is made a reality and how it affects fans of the true Nova concepts.

Let’s start with a little Nova history.  In 1976, Rich Rider was created and portrayed as a late teen/young adult struggling to learn how to control and use the powers he had been granted by an emergency deputization.  Finally, in the Annihilation event, he was transformed into a powerful and mature leader of men.  Fans both old and new praised this metamorphosis, and Nova Volume IV became the best Nova series to date with its imaginative, intelligent, action-packed storylines and its new and improved hero.  Of course, it received none of the marketing hype and support that NINO has enjoyed, and it was eventually placed on “hiatus.”  What we didn’t know is that prior to “hiatus” it was apparently decided by Alonso et al to declare Rich “dead” even though Volume IV writers, Abnett and Lanning, have been quoted as saying that in their storyline Rich was never dead but merely temporarily “marooned” in the Cancerverse.  Obviously, Rich was declared “dead via editorial fiat” in order to create room for Loeb’s new “idiot” character, Sam Alexander (aka NINO).

Setting aside Alonso’s disrespect for and disregard of Rich Rider fans for a moment, his decision marks the beginning of the “deprivation of intelligence” aspect of the Lo(e)botomization of Nova.  Loeb immediately created a 14-year-old Peter Parker-ish character (without the Parker intellect), hi-jacked and watered-down the look and concepts of the Nova mythos, eliminated all true cosmic elements by plopping the little “idiot” on Earth in a one-horse town, and set out to appeal to a pre-pubescent audience (and to a small post-pubescent audience who just can’t seem to get enough of hackneyed teen angst storylines) with silly, implausible stories involving the “idiot,” NINO, blundering and cheating his way through every situation.  To say that the NINO storylines are juvenile, puerile, un-imaginative, boring, and intelligence-insulting in comparison to Volume IV would be an understatement.

To make matters worse, Loeb has presented no reason why NINO deserves to have or keep the powers other than that the powers are “inherited” by NINO from his drunken father’s “magic helmet.”  Even worse, 14-year-old NINO has had no training to use powers equivalent to the power of a tactical- nuclear-weapon-carrying fighter jet and is continually put in kill-or-be-killed combat situations with the full knowledge and consent of his (apparently negligent and unfit) parents.

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So readers are expected to believe that an “idiot” child can responsibly confront situations on Earth and in space for which he has no prior experience/training; that he can safely handle powers that could level a city without endangering himself and the public; that his parents have no problem with him constantly risking his life sometimes light years from home, and that everyone in the Marvel Universe is completely fine with it?  I don’t know about other people, but I like a modicum of plausibility in cosmic stories.   Loeb’s scenario for NINO is intelligence insultingly implausible.

And there’s a moral issue, too.  Why does Marvel/Disney believe it is perfectly moral to un-willingly induct a minor child into a para-military organization and place said child in kill-or-be-killed combat situations?  The rest of Western Civilization would disagree on moral grounds, and even as this article is being written the United Nations is forming a resolution condemning use of child combatants.  Since Disney makes its money selling entertainment to kiddies, do they really want to send the message that minor children performing combat operations is perfectly acceptable to their company?  If so, I can’t wait to read their official explanation justifying their position.

 

The Deprivation of Vitality

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In Annihilation, Nova Volume IV, and The Thanos Imperative, Giffen and DnA gave us a true Nova – a mature, powerful, effective, true leader of men actually leading other powerful beings to confront and overcome universal threats.   These were big stories with edge-of-your-seat excitement that left the reader anxiously anticipating the release of the next issue.  These stories talked up to their readership with adult themes and high-stakes situations where literally anything might happen.

In contrast, we have NINO stuck in a small town dealing with schoolyard bullies and blundering/cheating his way through the occasional boring confrontation with a super-villain.  Yawn.  Have you read that teen super-hero story somewhere before?  How many times?  Yeah – me too.  Loeb, Brevoort, and Wacker present this hackneyed, puerile non-sense that talks down to readers as if it’s something new and special.  In actuality, it’s old, boring, listless, clichéd, and utterly predictable.  Loeb even made sure to kill off all the “Black Novas,” the only truly innovative and exciting idea he had in putting together the ongoing travesty that is NINO.  Those characters were much more interesting than NINO – and readers said so.  Once again, Marvel Editorial ignored the readership and retreated to the clichéd old angst-ridden teen superhero formula.

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What was vital about Rich Rider’s Nova, and potentially vital about the “Black Novas” had they been developed, was the “military science-fiction” aspect of the characters/storylines.  What made modern Marvel Cosmic (i.e. the Marvel Cosmic of the Annihilation event forward until hi-jacked by Loeb and Bendis) vital, new and interesting were the elements incorporated from both popular military science-fiction/science-fantasy (e.g. Star Trek and Star Wars), hard-core classic written military science-fiction (e.g. Lensmen and Starship Troopers) and written heroic fantasy (e.g. John Carter of Mars).  This was made possible because the pre-Loeb/Bendis Marvel Cosmic was niche-audience focused and largely ignored by the “super-heroic fantasy” selling, mainstream-oriented Marvel Editorial staff.  Once a Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced and expected to be a big hit, Cosmic suddenly moved from “neglected niche” to the forefront.  It then, of course, had to be made to conform to the “super-heroic fantasy” formula that Marvel sells, so the very essence or vitality of what made Volume IV of Nova and Volume II of Guardians of the Galaxy was discarded and replaced.  In the case of Star-Lord, we went from the Giffen/DnA  “approaching middle-aged,” scruffy Han Solo-ish characterization to a 20-something feckless dream-boat-ish characterization.  In the case of Nova, the powerful, mature, leader of men that was Rich Rider was replaced by an “idiotic,” blundering, immature, obnoxious, teen Peter Parker-ish character sans the saving grace of the Parker intellect.  In both cases, the Cosmic aspects of the characters were made incidental rather than central, and we’re left with un-interesting characters obsessed with the petty and parochial problems of Earth.  Jeez, Marvel Editorial!  Don’t you have enough Earthbound super-heroes to deal with Earth’s petty problems without sucking away the vitality of the cosmic heroes just to make them conform to your comic book selling formula?  Ever consider maybe actually promoting a different approach?  Maybe if you’d supported DnA’s efforts the way you’ve supported Loeb and Bendis’, this article would never have had to be written.

 

The Deprivation of Sensitivity

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I’m not using sensitivity to mean “emotionality.”  Everyone knows Loeb has loaded NINO with enough smarmy, maudlin, and/or puerile sugar-sweet moments to send diabetic readers into a coma.  I know Disney loves that garbage – just watch any of their child-oriented movies if you don’t believe me.  For those of us over the age of 8 though – it just comes across as corny and annoying.

I’m using sensitivity as it’s used in a medical-scientific context to mean “reactivity to external forces.”  I’ve already discussed how NINO reacts to the external forces of plausibility and morality.  NINO gets a grade of “F” in reaction to those two external forces, and I needn’t re-iterate the ground already covered in previous sections of this article.  I touched upon what the fans really want under the vitality section and will cover it in more detail now in this section.

Brevoort has made it clear over on his Tumblr page that Marvel Editorial expected a backlash from Rich Rider fans once it was clear that Rich was to be replaced with NINO.  He has also made it clear that he thinks Rich had so few fans that the backlash would be of no consequence to Marvel or to NINO’s sales.  Alonso made it clear in several interviews that he thought Nova fans would buy ANYTHING with the word “Nova” smeared across the cover and he expected Rich Rider fans to “embrace” NINO.  Loeb simply said Rich’s story was “over.”  And Wacker has never missed an opportunity to insult, denigrate, and otherwise disrespect the Rich Rider character and Rich Rider fans in general over at a Certain Boot-lickingly Repellant website’s forums where he is given free rein to do so and where the moderators protect him from any fan talk-back.  Does that sound like sensitivity to a set of fans many of whom loyal Nova readers since Rich Rider’s premiere in 1976?  Heck – that doesn’t even conform to Disney’s model of hospitality.  Marvel Editorial Staff – you need to go on down to Orlando and undergo Disney’s Hospitality Training course.  You should probably send Wacker and Brevoort two weeks early since they’ll need the remedial (i.e. “slow learner”) version.

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Fact is, NINO is a failure.  It’s a failure conceptually, morally, in entertainment value, and – increasingly – in sales.  Potential buyers are voting with their dollars and for the most part they’re voting thumbs down.  NINO sells less than Volume IV sold without all the hype.  NINO has failed to be embraced in large part by the Rich Rider fans who feel insulted and alienated by the treatment shown them by Marvel’s Editorial staff.  Heck – even the cover to NINO #10 lavishly portrays an insult to long-term Nova fans with “idiot” NINO standing in a pose of defiant triumph with his foot on Rich’s helmet.  There’s a reason why something similar is NOT seen on any of our actual war memorials.  It’s because that’s a universal sign of disrespect to a fallen enemy.  Apparently that’s how Wacker et al view the Rich Rider fans and they’ve not so subtly made that clear with NINO #10’s cover.  If they wanted to show respect, NINO should have been placed standing behind his fallen BETTERS with his head bowed and his hands folded in front of him.  In a way though, NINO #10’s cover sums it all up.  Marvel Editorial isn’t sensitive to the desires of the Rider Nova fans.  Heck – they didn’t even care what we wanted.  They just wanted to dish up some warmed-over and “Lo(e)botomized” Spider-man.

Suggested further reading:

Marvel Editorial to Cosmic Fans:  “We’re just not that into you.”
 

Article by Timelord

Dedicated to Loeb, Bendis, Wacker, Brevoort, and Alonso for their tireless efforts toward making Marvel Cosmic mundane enough to appeal to the lowest common denominator of comic book reader.

The opinions reflected herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of CosmicBookNews.

Discuss This In The Cosmic Book News Marvel Comics Forums

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Marvel Studios Looking To Release 4 New Series Through Cable & Video-On-Demand

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It’s being reported that four new potential series and a mini-series are in early stages of development at Marvel as the studio is aiming for a release through cable or video-on-demand.

Deadline has details that 60 episodes are being ordered for something, but no further information is known.

All that is really known is that Marvel is looking to release the four new series and min-series through either cable channels and/or WGN America, Netflix, Amazon and WGN America. No actors are attached.

We can speculate that the cable or VOD release means the potential new series would mean a more serious and graphic approach than say something like Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.

It’s possible Marvel could be going for something like The Walking Dead, which saw record ratings last night to the tune of 16.1 million viewers. AMC’s The Walking Dead is based on the comic book and includes graphic violence and a serious approach to the story.

While S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be doing okay through DVR’s and such, the live audience has dropped upwards of around 40% in only three episodes.

Cable television seems where most of the new TV series “are at,” as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story are all popular shows. In addition, Netflix has seen a great response to their own VOD series with House of Cards.

It will be interesting to see which characters Marvel chooses to use to go this route. Black Panther? Heroes For Hire, which Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb previously mentioned was being looked at? Or how about The Punisher? Perhaps a female centric series such as the Agent Carter series said to be in development?

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Coming To NYCC For Signing

Press Release

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New York Comic Con is here—and it’s your chance to meet the stars of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in an exclusive signing event! Come by the Marvel booth (#1354) when the doors open on Saturday, October 12th and line up for your chance to get a special ticket to the super spy team of FitzSimmons from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at noon! That’s right, meet Iain De Caestecker (Agent Leo Fitz) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Jemma Simmons) in their only signing event of the season, along with series Executive Producer and Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb! This special event is your only chance to get your favorite piece of S.H.I.E.L.D. merchandise signed by Loeb, De Caestecker and Henstridge!

Then, don’t miss the biggest panel of New York Comic Con at the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC panel at 5pm at the Main Stage (1-D). Join Jeph Loeb, Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge for your first look at new footage from the series and access to exclusive news before anyone else!

Plus, all weekend, visit the Marvel booth for a chance to (almost) touch Lola! That’s right- the iconic vehicle of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) will be on display for the first time ever to the public and this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to see- and be photographed with- a piece of Marvel history! Fans can pick up an exclusive Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mini-poster (while supplies last) in the Marvel Booth to show their support for everyone’s favorite elite international agents.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the first live-action television series from the House of Ideas, airs TUESDAYS, 8|7con the ABC Television Network. This dynamic, action-packed one-hour drama brings back Agent Phil Coulson to lead a team of highly skilled agents with one mission: To investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Can’t make it to the convention? Follow along on the Marvel Events App & events.marvel.com, the best way to get exclusive videos, real-time announcements from the convention floor and up-to-the-minute panel, in-booth, and signing schedules of all your favorite Marvel creators!

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Review: Nova #8 (Wells)

Medina and Curiel deliver some eye-catching art and coloring in this issue. Too bad their talents are wasted on such a sub-par concept, storyline, and leading character. If you like puerile comic book clichés, slapsticky silliness, and all the awe and wonder of an episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” – then you’ll absolutely love issue #8. 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when Thanos began his Snidely Whiplash routine. I was just waiting for him to don a handlebar mustache and begin twisting it in glee as he contemplated destroying Dudley Do-Right….er….I mean, NINO. Then, Dudley……..er……I mean, NINO, bumbles through the rest of the issue. My favorite cock-up was his taking off his “magic” helmet in mid-flight and losing his powers in a move worthy of Wily Coyote. I swear, you could substitute Snidely Whiplash for Thanos and Dudley Do-Right (or Wily Coyote) for NINO and this story would read the same. I hoped against hope that he wouldn’t catch that helmet before hitting the ground – but alas, no such luck as the little twerp defies physics once again.

What are the writers/editors trying to accomplish? Making the legacy of the Nova concepts an object of ridicule? They’re succeeding.

The much touted return of “The New Warriors” was also underwhelming as the characterization for Speedball and Justice was totally off the mark. And why would NINO hit someone who is not threatening him? Not very heroic.

I’m definitely rooting for Thanos and his minions to put NINO out of our misery – but sadly I know it’ll never happen. The powers at Marvel are stupidly determined to continue the Lo(e)botomization of the Nova concepts.

There was one bright spot. At least we didn’t have to suffer through another letters page from Carnival Barker…..er….I mean “editor” Wacker. Hey Wacker, make that a habit. You weren’t missed. So once again Wacker et al deliver a puerile, hackneyed, and thoroughly uninteresting issue aimed squarely at the 8-year-old crowd who watch NINO on the USM cartoon. If you’re over the age of 8, don’t bother with this book. It’s not for you. And it’s definitely not for cosmic fans of any age. 

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PBS Announces Superheroes Night With Stan Lee, Geoff Johns, Jeph Loeb and More

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Below you can check out an official announcement from PBS for a 3-hour “Supeheroes Night” program set to feature Stan Lee, Geoff Johns, Jeph Loeb and lots more.

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle will air Tuesday, October 15th at 8pm ET.

For some PBS super villain action check out a rather entertaining video featuring Tom Hiddleston and Cookie Monster that was released yesterday.

 

Press Release

PBS announced today that Tuesday, October 15, 2013, is “Superheroes Night,” featuring a three-hour block dedicated to the groundbreaking program SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE. The newest film from Emmy Award-winning producer/director Michael Kantor (BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL; MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: THE FUNNY BUSINESS OF AMERICA) will premiere at 8:00 p.m. ET and include insightful interviews from Stan Lee; actors Adam West (TV’s “Batman”) and Lynda Carter (“Wonder Woman”); Geoff Johns (chief creative officer, DC Comics), Jeph Loeb (head of television for Marvel Entertainment); Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) and cartoonist/author Jules Feiffer (the long-running strip “Feiffer”), as well as appearances by the late comic book icons Joe Simon (co-creator of Captain America) and Jerry Robinson (who helped create the Joker). A full list of interviewees who appear in the show is located at the end of the release.
 
SUPERHEROES, cowritten by Kantor and Laurence Maslon, was initially to premiere October 8 and play over three weeks, but the series will now be a one-evening event of super entertainment.
 
Narrated and hosted by Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Showtime’s Ray Donovan), SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE is the first documentary to examine the dawn of the comic book genre and its powerful legacy, as well as the evolution of the characters who leapt from the pages over the last 75 years and their ongoing worldwide cultural impact. It chronicles how these “disposable diversions” were subject to intense government scrutiny for their influence on American children and how they were created, in large part, by the children of immigrants whose fierce loyalty to a new homeland laid the foundation for a multi-billion-dollar industry that is now an influential part of our national identity.
 
“SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE is one of the most comprehensive surveys of the vibrant comic book industry ever created; it explores cultural histories in an entertaining and educational way – just as PBS viewers have come to expect,” said Donald Thoms, Vice President, Programming and Talent Management for PBS.
 
SUPERHEROES will be presented in three one-hour parts:
 
PART ONE, 8 PM: “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” (1938-1958)
 
During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, superheroes are caught in the fire of government scrutiny and regulation. When the thrilling “Adventures of Superman” is broadcast on the new medium of television, America’s first and greatest superhero leads the entire comic book industry to renewed strength.
 
PART TWO, 9 PM: “Great Power, Great Responsibility” (1959-1977)
 
In the 1960s, a new breed of superhero emerges in the pages of Marvel Comics, inspired by the age of atomic energy and space travel and, in turn, inspiring the pop culture and pop artists of the time. Spider-Man, the Hulk and others are the first to have “problems” with which an adult audience can identify, and contemporary social issues make their way into comic books. Black powerhouses such as the Black Panther and Luke Cage appear on the scene, and the pages of “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” explode with relevant storylines as comic books are forced to confront the reality of an increasingly complex world.
 
PART THREE, 10 PM “A Hero Can Be Anyone” (1978-Present)
 
Modern enthusiasm for superheroes has been embraced in all forms of media and by all demographics, beginning with the historic Superman movie featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. In 1986, Batman is overhauled as The Dark Knight to reflect the nocturnal underside of his character, and Watchmen bring new sophistication to comic book narratives, illuminating a violent and politicized world. In the burgeoning new millennium, superheroes have taken over popular culture with feature films, television shows and video games complementing a new generation of web-based comics that bring superhero adventures to every corner of the world.
 
A new book based on SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE, titled Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture and penned by series co-writer Laurence Maslon and filmmaker Michael Kantor, will be available October 1, 2013, from Crown Archetype, a division of Random House. This stunning companion volume tells the story of the superhero in American pop culture, with interviews, character biographies and more than 500 illustrations both essential and rare.
 
PBS Distribution will release the DVD and Blu-ray version of SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE on October 15, 2013, coinciding with the PBS broadcast. The DVD will be available for a suggested retail price of $24.99 and the Blu-ray will be available for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The running time is 180 minutes and will include exclusive extra features.
 
SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE is produced by Ghost Light Films in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting. Along with PBS, major funding for the series was supplied by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Founded in 1996, Ghost Light Films created the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated six-part PBS series Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, which was hosted by Billy Crystal and produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with BBC-TV. In 2005, Ghost Light Films produced three hours of documentary material to accompany the 40th anniversary re-release of the film The Sound of Music, including a documentary hosted by Julie Andrews. That same year, Ghost Light garnered the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction series for Broadway: The American Musical with Thirteen/WNET New York, NHK Japan and BBC in association with Carlton International. Most recently Ghost Light created Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (narrated by Joel Grey) for the GREAT PERFORMANCES series on PBS.
 
In addition to the names listed earlier in this release, the full list of interviewees who appear in SUPERHEROES includes: artist Neal Adams, Ed Catto (Bonfire Agency), writer Chris Claremont, writer Gerry Conway, writer Paul Dini, writer Mark Evanier, writer and editor Danny Fingeroth, historian William Foster, artist Ramona Fradon, artist Irwin Hasen, the late artist Carmine Infantino, writer and artist Phil Jiminez, writer Gerard Jones, publisher Jenette Kahn, the late artist Joe Kubert, artist and co-publisher of DC Comics Jim Lee, comic store owner Mike Malve, artist/writer Todd McFarlane, screenwriter Ashley Miller, writer Grant Morrison, writer Gary Phillips, writer/editor Denny O’Neil, writer Trina Robbins, chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada, casting director Andrea Romano, artist/designer Arlen Schumer, writer Louise Simonson, writer/artist Walt Simonson, Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, artist/writer Jim Steranko, writer J. Michael Straczynski, colorist Christina Strain, writer/editor Mark Waid, writer/editor Len Wein, writer Marv Wolfman and author Bradford Wright.
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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To Screen At D23 Expo Hosted By Jeph Loeb

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ABC announced that this Sunday, Jeph Loeb will screen the premiere episode for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the Disney D23 Expo.

Loeb, head of Marvel TV, will be on hand to introduce the special screening.

See below for futher details.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiers Tuesday, September 24th at 8pm ET on ABC.

Press Release

The ABC Television Network & Marvel Entertainment Network Presents a Special Screening of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at D23 Expo 2013

Executive Producer Jeph Loeb hosts viewing event of the upcoming action-packed drama on August 11 in the D23 Expo Arena

 

Guests at the D23 Expo will be among the first to see the highly anticipated one-hour drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Sunday, August 11 at 3:00 p.m. in the D23 Expo Arena. Marvel’s Head of Television & Series executive producer Jeph Loeb will introduce the screening, taking place during the ultimate Disney fan event, August 9 — 11, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The series begins where Marvel’s The Avengers left off. It’s just after the battle of New York, and now that the existence of Super Heroes and the incredible has become public knowledge, the world is trying to come to grips with this new reality. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is back in action and now has his eye on a mysterious group called The Rising Tide. In order to track this unseen, unknown enemy, he has assembled a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). The S.H.I.E.L.D. team has a mission: To investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres on ABC September 24 at 8:00 p.m., ET, but guests at the D23 Expo have the opportunity to see this dynamic show over a month before it debuts.

About D23 Expo 2013

The D23 Expo–The Ultimate Disney Fan Event–brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, and theme parks. For the latest D23 Expo 2013 news, visit D23Expo.com. To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo.

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s nearly 90-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; and member-exclusive discounts and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, August 9–11, 2013.

About Marvel

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

Fans can join D23 at Gold, Silver, and Free Membership levels at D23.com and at www.DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

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Peter Serafinowicz Is John C. Reilly’s Superior Nova Corps Officer In Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Says James Gunn

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About a week ago, Peter Serafinowicz took to his Twitter to confirm reports that he is in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Serafinowicz stated he is a Nova Corps officer along side John C. Reilly.

Now we learn that Peter Serafinowicz is actually Reilly’s superior officer in the Nova Corps as director James Gunn let the news be known on his QnA FormSpring.

“He is telling the truth,” Gunn confirmed. “It’s not a secret as he was very prominent in the footage shown at Comicon. He’s John C Reilly’s superior and he’s awesome!”

Glenn Close has also been confirmed to be playing the leader of the Nova Corps as Nova Prime.

It’s unknown if the Nova from the Marvel comics will be appearing with Richard Rider, or if his replacement, Sam Alexander, will be featured.

The Sam Alexander Nova hasn’t been as well received by fans compared to the original Richard Rider as the new series, which had head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb attached, is selling less than the 2007 series.

Nova fans also seem to be displeased by what they saw at Comic-Con with the Nova Corps costumes at the Marvel Studios booth leading some to speculate that – similar to the overused plot device in the comics – the Nova Corps will be cannon fodder and decimated for the benefit of the bad guys. It’s unknown if the costumes are specifically from the movie or just for the convention.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy movie has an August 1, 2014 release directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt as Peter Quill Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer and Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Lee Pace as Ronan, Djimon Hounsu as Korath the Pursuer, with John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey and Glen Close as Nova Prime.

Also rumored for the movie are Ophelia Lovibond and Enzo Cilenti.

For news, images and more head on over to the Cosmic Book News Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Hub.

Synopsis:

Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the Marvel comic books of the same name, features an unlikely cast of characters who must team up in order to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions.

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Marvel Television Presents Comic-Con Panel: Follow Along Live

Below you can follow along live the Marvel Television Presents Comic-Con Panel which kicks off at 1:30pm ET.

 

Marvel Television Presents

It’s the biggest, most animated Marvel Television panel ever! Join Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, for the latest from inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD, including what’s next for “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” a brand-new episode of the hit series “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” and the World Premiere of “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”

10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. PDT
Room 6BCF

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SDCC 2013: Hulk TV Series Put On Hold Says Jeph Loeb

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The Hulk TV series that has been said to be “waiting for the correct writer” for I don’t know how long has now been put on indefinite hold.

Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb let the news be known while speaking to MTV earlier today.

Loeb is quoted as saying the Hulk TV series is “on pause” and that “the world of TV is about timing.”

The Hulk TV series was originally being developed by Guillermo Del Toro who most recently seemed to say that The Avengers movie may have changed plans.

It’s always possible that ABC could order a Hulk series “when the timing is right,” but it looks like we shouldn’t hold our breath.

Perhaps in it’s place, a Hulk movie is being developed?

In the meantime, the new Marvel Studios series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., debuts next Fall on ABC.

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Jeph Loeb And Zeb Wells Think Nova Is An Idiot

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With sales on the new Nova dropping issue to issue, it’s really no wonder why as we see the reason right in comments from the new writer, Zebb Wells.

Wells is taking over writing chores for Nova as of issue 6, with Loeb and McGuinness bailing thought mostly due to low sales on the title (under 40K).

We see in the following comments that Loeb thinks Nova is an idiot and that Wells is continuing with that direction.

On taking over Marvel’s “Nova” ongoing title from departing writer Jeph Loeb: I got the job because [editor] Steve Wacker caught me at a point where I had some time off. He had been sending me the “Nova” comics because he was just proud of them, and I had just fallen in love with them. So I’m kind of coming at it as a fan of what Jeph did. Jeph has been great, and we’ve had a few long conversations about the character. I was kind of going down one direction and I had a conversation with him, and he said he wanted to make sure that Nova remains an idiot. [>Laughter He wants it to be clear that Nova’s a 14-year-old kid, he is not competent at what he’s doing — he makes foolish decisions. There was something about him saying that that kind of solidified my take on the character.

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Dear Ike Perlmutter: Bring Back Richard Rider As Nova

I think Marvel Cosmic fans have had enough of the Axel Alonso, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb and the Stephen Wacker nonsense that we have been force fed since 2011.

The new Sam Alexander Nova as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy is a complete insult to any fan that read the previous run.

And what’s also an insult is the way that Marvel reacts to the fans that actually want to spend their hard earned money on a Marvel comic.

Case in point, is Marvel Editor Stephen Wacker who regularly harasses fans at the ComicBookResources message boards.

I can’t understand how someone is his position acts so unprofessional and rude toward comic book enthusiasts.

I also can’t understand how any of the fans would continue to buy anything he edits (Spider-Man, Nova, Daredevil, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos).

I know I don’t and haven’t for over a year.

Well, Wacker has been at it again, in a thread over at CBR, attacking people and their conversations about Richard Rider.

Not sure what the guy is thinking as with all the money Marvel did spent on promotion hasn’t paid off as the current Nova series is actually selling less than the previous Abnett and Lanning run, which didn’t get the costly writer, artist and PR campaign. 

From a business perspective, the new Nova by Stephen Wacker can’t be looked at anything other than a big-time failure.

DnA had a loyal following; just think with all the money Marvel spent on Wacker’s book, how well it may have done, and how successful it would have been.

Discuss This In The Cosmic Book News Forums

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Review: Nova #5 (Loeb)

No surprises here. The tragic descent of the Nova concepts and legacy into silly, child-oriented cutesiness continues.

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Jeph Loeb’s Nova Falls Under 40,000; Selling Less Than DnA Again

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8601:]]We now get the May 2013 numbers for Jeph Loeb’s Nova #4, and it’s selling under 40,000.

Nova #4 is listed at selling 38,151 on the ICv2 sales charts.

Nova #4 comes in at #57 for the month of May, down 6 spots from April where it landed at #51.

This is also the first time that Loeb’s Nova has sold under the 40K mark as April’s third issue sold 40,548.

This also marks the second consecutive month that Loeb’s Nova (dubbed “Nova In Name Only” – NINO – by the fans) has under performed compared to the previous run by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

DnA’s Nova #4 sold 40,159 back in 2007 coming off the hit Marvel Comics event Annihilation.

As of the second issue’s publication it was announced that both Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness were replaced by Zeb Wells and Paco Medina with July’s #6.

This can’t be looked at as anything but a major failure by Marvel who promoted the new Sam Alexander with two of their biggest creators, Loeb and McGuinness, in addition to the special Marvel Point One issue, the first ever Marvel Infinite comic book by superstar writer Mark Waid and artist Stuart Immonen, and the inclusion in Avengers Vs. X-Men, not to mention the Disney XD Ultimate Spider-Man animated show.

Marvel will attempt to give “NINO” a boost yet again with September’s Infinity.

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Top 100 Comic Books For May 2013; Jeph Loeb Nova Below 40K?

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Diamond released the top 100 comic books for the month of May where we see Jeph Loeb’s Nova #4 coming in at #57.

That’s down six spots from April.

Looking at the surrounding titles’ previous issues from April it seems as if Nova is hovering around the 40,000 mark, quite possibly below that as April’s Fantastic Four #7 came in at under 40K.

April’s Nova #3 actually came in at #51 with 40, 548, which was below the same issue number from the previous run by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning that was swept under the rug to make way for the new direction.

A new creative team comes on board the title with issue six as Zeb Wells and Paco Medina take over.

DnA’s Nova #4 back in 2007 sold 40,159.

On the plus side, Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi’s Thanos Rising # 3 makes the chart at #20, most likely somewhere around the 70,000 mark.

(April numbers via ComicChron)

Update: Loeb’s Nova #4 sells under 40K.

 

TOP 100 COMIC BOOKS FOR MAY 2013

QTY
RANK
DOLLAR
RANK
INDEX   DESCRIPTION PRICE VENDOR
1 1 137.66   X-MEN #1 $3.99 MAR
2 3 100.00   BATMAN #20 $3.99 DC
3 4 75.69   JUSTICE LEAGUE #20 $3.99 DC
4 5 74.91   AGE OF ULTRON #7 $3.99 MAR
5 6 74.03   AGE OF ULTRON #8 $3.99 MAR
6 7 72.58   SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #9 $3.99 MAR
7 8 66.14   SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #10 $3.99 MAR
8 9 64.54   JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3 $3.99 DC
9 10 62.45   ALL NEW X-MEN #11 $3.99 MAR
10 12 60.64   DETECTIVE COMICS #20 $3.99 DC
11 11 60.45   IRON MAN #9 $3.99 MAR
12 13 60.34   JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #4 $3.99 DC
13 21 59.25   WALKING DEAD #110 (MR) $2.99 IMA
14 14 58.63   UNCANNY AVENGERS #8 $3.99 MAR
15 15 58.10   AVENGERS #12 $3.99 MAR
16 16 57.05   UNCANNY X-MEN #6 $3.99 MAR
17 17 56.20   UNCANNY AVENGERS #8AU $3.99 MAR
18 18 54.78   AVENGERS #11 $3.99 MAR
19 2 52.24   GREEN LANTERN #20 $7.99 DC
20 19 52.13   THANOS RISING #2 $3.99 MAR
21 25 50.54   BATMAN AND RED HOOD #20 $2.99 DC
22 20 46.00   NEW AVENGERS #6 $3.99 MAR
23 35 44.40   BATMAN INCORPORATED #11 $2.99 DC
24 31 44.34   TEN GRAND #1 (MR) [*] $2.99 IMA
25 39 41.39   AQUAMAN #19 $2.99 DC
26 43 39.75   DEADPOOL #9 $2.99 MAR
27 46 39.11   DEADPOOL #10 $2.99 MAR
28 44 39.08   BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #20 $2.99 DC
29 24 38.71   INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #7 $3.99 MAR
30 48 38.51   AQUAMAN #20 $2.99 DC
31 26 38.46   WOLVERINE #3 $3.99 MAR
32 27 37.87   INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #8 $3.99 MAR
33 29 37.68   THOR GOD OF THUNDER #8 $3.99 MAR
34 28 37.45   ACTION COMICS #20 $3.99 DC
35 30 36.99   UNCANNY X-FORCE #4 $3.99 MAR
36 32 35.40   UNCANNY X-FORCE #5 $3.99 MAR
37 51 35.23   SUPERMAN #20 $2.99 DC
38 33 35.20   IRON MAN #10 $3.99 MAR
39 53 34.90   NIGHTWING #20 $2.99 DC
40 54 34.77   WAKE #1 (MR) $2.99 DC
41 52 34.34   STAR WARS #5 $2.99 DAR
42 34 34.12   CAPTAIN AMERICA #7 $3.99 MAR
43 57 34.09   EARTH 2 #12 $2.99 DC
44 22 33.46   BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL #1 $4.99 DC
45 58 33.34   GREEN LANTERN CORPS #20 $2.99 DC
46 59 33.01   BATGIRL #20 $2.99 DC
47 36 32.80   SAVAGE WOLVERINE #5 $3.99 MAR
48 60 32.62   HAWKEYE #10 $2.99 MAR
49 23 32.03   EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1 $4.99 DC
50 63 31.44   GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #20 $2.99 DC
51 38 31.35   WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #29 $3.99 MAR
52 40 31.01   WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #30 $3.99 MAR
53 41 30.83   DAREDEVIL #26 $3.99 MAR
54 65 30.74   FLASH #20 $2.99 DC
55 42 30.26   CABLE AND X-FORCE #8 $3.99 MAR
56 37 29.81   REGULAR SHOW #1 $3.99 BOO
57 45 29.57   NOVA #4 $3.99 MAR
58 69 28.91   FANTASTIC FOUR #8 $2.99 MAR
59 68 28.78   WONDER WOMAN #20 $2.99 DC
60 71 28.20   TEEN TITANS #20 $2.99 DC
61 50 27.57   ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #23 $3.99 MAR
62 73 26.77   RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #20 $2.99 DC
63 74 26.51   AVENGERS ENEMY WITHIN #1 $2.99 MAR
64 75 26.29   RED LANTERNS #20 $2.99 DC
65 55 25.91   SECRET AVENGERS #4 $3.99 MAR
66 56 25.72   AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #15AU $3.99 MAR
67 79 25.46   THUNDERBOLTS #9 $2.99 MAR
68 49 24.94   MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #7 $3.99 IDW
69 84 24.92   YOUNG AVENGERS #5 $2.99 MAR
70 61 24.02   ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #1 $3.99 DC
71 86 23.99   FF #7 $2.99 MAR
72 47 23.37   RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ANNUAL #1 $4.99 DC
73 87 23.01   BATWOMAN #20 $2.99 DC
74 88 22.66   MOVEMENT #1 $2.99 DC
75 89 22.56   CONSTANTINE #3 $2.99 DC
76 67 21.67   A PLUS X #8 $3.99 MAR
77 92 21.52   GREEN TEAM #1 $2.99 DC
78 62 21.51   TMNT ONGOING #22 $3.99 IDW
79 70 21.40   AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #20 $3.99 MAR
80 94 21.34   GREEN ARROW #20 $2.99 DC
81 93 21.32   SUPERGIRL #20 $2.99 DC
82 95 21.19   SWAMP THING #20 $2.99 DC
83 72 21.12   AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #21 $3.99 MAR
84 97 20.98   WORLDS FINEST #12 $2.99 DC
85 99 20.84   CATWOMAN #20 $2.99 DC
86 100 20.83   AVENGERS ARENA #9 $2.99 MAR
87 101 20.08   X-MEN LEGACY #10 $2.99 MAR
88 102 20.00   ANIMAL MAN #20 $2.99 DC
89 76 19.54   INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US #5 $3.99 DC
90 254 19.54   CHARISMAGIC VOL 2 #1 $1.00 ASP
91 103 19.41   X-MEN LEGACY #11 $2.99 MAR
92 78 19.36   FEARLESS DEFENDERS #4AU $3.99 MAR
93 104 19.14   JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #20 $2.99 DC
94 109 18.82   SCARLET SPIDER #17 $2.99 MAR
95 121 18.80   BOUNCE #1 (MR) $2.99 IMA
96 64 18.78   CATWOMAN ANNUAL #1 $4.99 DC
97 82 18.69   ASTONISHING X-MEN #62 $3.99 MAR
98 66 18.42   SESAME STREET #1 $3.99 APE
99 112 18.24   SUICIDE SQUAD #20 $2.99 DC
100 85 18.19   IRON MAN #258.1 $3.99 MAR

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Review: Nova #4 (Loeb & McGuinness)

Hear those wails of agony when you open issue #4? It’s the sound of Wolfman, Abnett, Lanning, Giffen, and everyone else who has ever written a good Nova story screaming their rage at what has been done to the Nova concepts. You don’t hear Loeb’s voice because he’s never written a Nova story. He’s only written bad NINO stories – and issue #4 continues that sad trend.

Remember when Star Trek fans hated Wesley Crusher because he detracted from the adult orientation of the show? Some writers just couldn’t resist the cutesy, silly, child oriented, hackneyed writing device where Wesley was smarter than all the adults, wiser than all the adults even though he had no actual experience/training, and “saved the ship” while all the experienced adults just fell all over themselves lost in their own incompetence. Yes, that only happened in a couple of episodes – mainly because fans loudly expressed their outrage about being talked down to and refused to accept the degradation or juvenilization of the concepts that made Star Trek great. Thanks to fan rejection, Wesley was eventually written out of the show. Too bad comic book fans won’t demand the same quality Star Trek fans demanded when faced with a similar situation.

Enter Loeb’s NINO to “Wesley Crusher-ize” the Nova concepts (thus the figurative screaming of all the writers who wrote Nova well in the past). Unfortunately, NINO survived the blast from the Chitauri warship that concluded issue #3. He was just “playing possum” to fool the lamest villains in the cosmic rogue’s gallery. After being inspired to attack the lead warship by his experiences playing video games and watching Star Wars (I’m not being sarcastic here – this is actually part of the little twerp’s “reasoning”), NINO is captured by fallen Black Nova, Titus, who is now in league with the Chitauri. Together, Titus and the Chitauri have managed to construct an Ultimate Nullifier and for some reason they want to use it on Earth. I guess they didn’t read the part of the instruction manual where the user is destroyed, too? Anyway – Titus explains how all the Black Novas were killed, NINO outsmarts Titus and grabs the nullifier, then stupidly takes the nullifier back to Earth and hides it in a garbage can outside his home. Of course, Titus follows and threatens to kill everybody NINO holds dear. We’re promised that the story will be concluded next issue. If only that meant that next issue would be the last ever – we could all stop screaming in agony. Sadly, there will be more NINO to further sully the Nova concepts and legacy.

Just when I thought this storyline couldn’t possibly get any more silly and child-oriented – Loeb ups the level of stupid juvenility and proves me wrong. Leaving aside the implausibility, recklessness, and immorality of sending an untrained and inexperienced 15-year-old child into kill-or-be-killed combat, how is it that NINO is able to fool and overpower an experienced Black Nova like Titus? Why would NINO bring an Ultimate Nullifier back to Earth where it could be used to destroy the planet rather than take it into deep space and destroy it? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And speaking of stupid – why would Loeb kill off the only compelling characters he has created in this sorry excuse for a cosmic comic book? The Black Nova Corps was really the only partially interesting and innovative thing about Loeb’s hijacking of the Nova legacy and concepts. He kills all of them in this issue. What a stupid decision. But, of course, the “architects” mistakenly believe that “Nova” works best as a Spiderman-ish powered-down angsty teenage “Lone Ranger” flying around Long Island and hanging out with Daredevil.

Yup – I said Daredevil. “Cosmic” is now to visit Hell’s Kitchen – reduced to as street level as you can get. Editor Stephen Wacker thinks that a NINO and Daredevil team-up would be a grand idea as he falls all over himself in the letters page pretending like that (wink) “fan-suggested” story idea wasn’t already in the works. Wacker then condescendingly dismisses another fan’s complaint about alienation of the established Rider Nova fan base as essentially fanboy whining. This from an editor who regularly appears on forums to insult and otherwise antagonize the Rider Nova fan base. Here’s another idea Wacker: Team NINO with Casper the Friendly Ghost. Maybe do a cross-over with Archie and Jughead, too. That would help capture the demographic you’re aiming for with NINO wouldn’t it?

Of course, McGuinness’ art and Gracia’s coloring remain at their expected first-rate level. The art and coloring are really the only interesting thing about this book. The storyline is just hackneyed child-oriented fantasy that you’ve seen in other comic books many times in the past. So save your money and avoid this sad degradation of the once great Marvel Cosmic line. Vote with your dollars and bring this cutesy, child-oriented, insultingly bad book to its deserved end. That’s the only way to show the “architects” how wrong they are. Let’s show the “architects” that we want a mature, powerful, badass Rich Rider Nova continuing the Nova legacy – not a silly, cutesy, angsty, immature, annoying little twerp sullying the Nova legacy.

Let’s show them that we want Nova – not NINO.