Posts Tagged ‘ Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes ’

Richard Rider Is Not Dead

Nova (comics)

Nova (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been an exciting week for fans of Marvel’s cosmic universe. First, Marvel announce a brand-new Guardians of the Galaxy film heading to cinemas in 2014, and now it looks like cosmic hero Nova will play a huge part on the comic side of things as Marvel is set to include him in their new initiative ‘Marvel Now’. Could this be the return of Richard Rider?

When Marvel announced Nova would show up in their 2011 cross-over preview book ‘Point One‘, most fans assumed it was the return of fan-favourite Richard Rider. This was not the case as the book paved way for a new Nova known as Sam Alexander. Created by Jeph Loeb, it looks as if Nova has been reverted back to a teen-hero status in order to make the character more of an underdog as well as relatable.

Before his demise, Richard Rider’s abilities as Nova had risen to a level where he could pretty much take on Silver Surfer or a whole Kree fleet and hold his own. While Rider was incredibly powerful, it was the sentimental moments between Nova and his brother/parents that defined Dan Abnett/ Andy Lanning‘s run on Nova for me. At one point, Rider was essentially the Peter Parker of the cosmic universe.

With the real integrity of Rider’s story previously covered, what else is there for a writer to cover with Richard Rider? It could be argued when Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning finished with Nova during the 2010 cosmic event  ‘The Thanos Imperative‘ they killed off Richard Rider as a testament to their own work. After all, DnA’s run on Nova had taken Richard Rider from a teen-hero with confidence issues, to one of the most popular powerhouses in the Marvel Universe. Like Ed Brubaker had done with Bucky, DnA had pretty much made Richard Rider their own.

For a new Nova to work however, Rider simply has to be either alive or resurrected. When him and Guardians of the Galaxy leader, Star-Lord made their last stand against Thanos in ‘The Thanos Imperative’ Nova was left trapped in an alternative universe with the whole Nova Force (the energy that powers the Nova Corps) inside as well. Sam Alexander has to be drawing his power from some where, so it’s likely Richard Rider escaped the Cancer Verse, and just hasn’t made his return as of yet.

To further prove Sam Alexander is the new Nova for good, the character has recently debuted in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man television show. While the show hasn’t proved popular with fans, Marvel seem intent on making the show fall inline with their comic universe as much as possible highlighting that the new Nova is here to stay. What this could also suggest is that if there are any Nova plans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I wouldn’t be surprised if they involved Sam Alexander and not Richard Rider.

With a new Nova, Loeb and Marvel have a chance to take the character back to his underdog roots, and make Nova relatable again. It also provides a welcome opportunity for Richard Rider to receive some new character development. With Sam Alexander being a teenager, Rider will probably act as a mentor for him and any other Nova corps that appear. Speaking of which, with Marvel’s new found importance on their cosmic universe, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marvel launch a Nova Corps to rival DC’s extensive Green Lantern Corps.

I feel as if Jeph Loeb is coming under unfair criticism from Nova fans. Creatively, Nova is a hot property and taking on a character that was defined by Abnett and Lanning could see his project fail before it has even started. It’s also unfair to judge Loeb on making the new Nova in memory of his late son Sam Loeb, as all writers have to draw their stories from somewhere. While risky, it might give Loeb to motivation to put his recent poor form behind him and tell a good story.

While the rest of Marvel seems to have completely ignored Abnett and Lanning’s cosmic run, I will give Loeb or whatever writer who tries to reason the resurrection of The Guardians, Nova and Thanos enormous credit. We haven’t seen the last of Richard Rider. His time as Nova may be finished but for now, lets give Sam Alexander a chance.

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The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Thoughts

Screen capture from The Avengers: Earth's Migh...

Screen capture from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode, "Breakout". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a while, but The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes has finally returned to our TV screens, debuting its second season with an impressive episode, bringing classic characters such as Dr Doom and The Fantastic Four into the animated universe. With an impressive season behind it already, I believe Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is well on its way to becoming one of the best-animated superhero shows of all time!

What separates EMH from other animated comic book shows, is that is has the potential to benefit the comic book industry in a huge way. Several legendary story arcs from the comic books such as ‘Ultron Unlimited’ and ‘The Kang Dynasty‘ have already been spectacularly featured in season one, which is great for introducing some of the older Avengers stories that modern fans may not have seen before.

For example, after viewing the fantastic ‘Kang Dynasty’ arc in season one, I went out and purchased the book that influenced the show, The Kang Dynasty’ by long-term Avengers writer Kurt Busiek. While for new readers, the book may be a bit long, I found it to be an example of how to do a comic book event right, with effective characterisation, and a fantastic level of unpredictability. Hopefully the show can influence more viewers to pick up the comic books, which would be a huge bonus for the comic book industry, as well as perhaps leading to some of the classic storylines receiving re-prints, which is a benefit for long-term Avengers readers.

One of the strongest features of the show in no doubt is its ability to build up future storylines. In season one, we received hints at The Kree-Srull War, Secret Invasion, and The Ultron War. While this doesn’t some please some fans (particularly those who didn’t like Brian Bendis’s New Avengers series), I find it captivating to watch future storylines unravel. Especially now Spider-Man and The X-Men are set to feature. For comic book adaptations, the difference between an animated television show and a blockbuster movie, is that a television show has the time and the audience to develop more intricate storylines, and introduce far more characters. For instance, a Marvel Civil War movie would never work as a feature film, but it fits perfectly for an animated television show with the rights to a whole host of characters and the time to build it conflict. Judging by a season 2 preview, the show is set to feature the Civil War storyline sometime in the future!

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is a comic book fan’s dream. Unlike many animated comic book television shows, it takes itself and the source material extremely seriously. With a full second season to look forward to, I can’t wait to see where the show is heading. I just hope it doesn’t reach the same fate as Spectacular: Spider-Man and Wolverine and the X-Men.