Awhile back, I told you about my journey across San Diego to complete the missing chapters in Sam Humphries' Black Vortex saga. This journey was sparked because my wife and I were reading Humphries' Legendary Star Lord series, and the Black Vortex storyline spun out from that title. The Black Vortex was an ancient artifact that could imbue any person with extraordinary powers. Once it is discovered, many super heroes and villains learn of its power, and succumb to the temptation to amplify their abilities. Some of the heroes who end up permanently changed by the Black Vortex include members of the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thus, the Black Vortex saga continued through Legendary Star Lord, Guardians of the Galaxy, and several other titles. We had already picked up a few of these other titles in the discount box of our local comic book store. One of the issues we needed to complete the Black Vortex story was Nova Issue 28.
My wife and I grew acquainted with the former Nova, Richard Rider, when we read some of the 1970s The Man Called Nova series, written by Marv Wolfman. After the last surviving member of the intergalactic Nova Corps bequeaths his helmet to Richard, this ordinary human teenager gains extraordinary powers. He uses them to defeat villains, team up with other superheroes, and save the Earth numerous times.
After reading the recent Nova issue 28, and completing Sam Humphries' Black Vortex 13 issue story, I found myself intrigued by this new Nova, a young boy from Earth named Sam Alexander. So I gradually began assembling a collection from the discount racks of local comic book stores. Unlike most series, this time I didn't wait until I had nearly every issue to start reading. I dived right in, on whatever issue I picked up. Even though I was reading them out of order, I was gaining an understanding of Sam's life, and the scope of his adventures. So after awhile, I had to go out and pick up Issue 1. Even if it wasn't available in the discount section.
In Nova issue 1, written by Jeph Loeb, we meet an agent of the Nova Corps. His name is Jesse Alexander. He fights alongside people from other races who have pledged their lives in service to others. One thing he shares with his band of brothers is bravery.
He risks certain death, time and time again, for his fellow Nova officers. Unlike them, however, Jesse has, in one way, betrayed his calling. He's fallen in love with a woman, and married her. So after one particular battle, their ship takes them as close to Earth as they're likely to get, and the team drops him off, so Jesse can be a husband to the wife he loves, and a father to the child she's expecting.
Imagine leaving behind a high-flying life of sailing through interstellar space, saving people, civilizations and worlds again and again, to return home to live a normal existence as a husband and father. No matter how much Jesse loves his wife, that sacrifice will take its toll on him. I'll talk about that, how that effects young Sam's view of his father, and how I've fallen in love with this new Nova in the next post.