Perhaps as recompense for Infantino’s run on his title, Nova gets to suck face with Namorita. EVEN-STEVEN. – The New Warriors #39
I’ve catalogued my love for Carmine Infantino’s artwork on a number of occasions, so I won’t belabor that amour again. I think his stuff is the cat’s meow, and let’s leave it at that. But a while ago I wrote about his run on Nova, during his brief 1970s sojourn over at Marvel, and how he hopped onto that title and rode it straight to hell. Not that I was against what he did artistically on the book, but a friend of mine had mentioned how much he loathed that tenure, and how Carmine had (theoretically) ruined what had been one of his favorite books.
Judging by some of the comments that the post generated, my friend wasn’t alone. And you don’t have to be a journalist to know that multiple sources can be read as a little thing known as “confirmation.” So Infantino torpedoed poor Richard Rider’s title. CASE CLOSED. I can live with that.
Yet Nova lived on.
Nova has never been in the upper echelon of Marvel characters, but he’s had a number of post-Infantino revivals over the years, and the most successful and enduring of those resurrections came in The New Warriors. A part of the comic book boom in the first half on the 1990s, which ran from the start of that decade to the industry nadir of 1996, Warriors featured a ragtag assemblage of Marvel heroes and heroines. They were a conglomeration of the company’s new blood, toiling in the shadows of their Avenger elders, and had the “us against the world” attitude present in every up and coming generation. It should be noted that “New” here is a relative term. The heroes were young, but Nova had been around for over a decade at this point, so it was more a youth thing than a novelty thing. I guess “The Young Characters That Have Been Around For Awhile Warriors” was a tad clunky.
Name aside, Nova was a key component of the team, and his cosmic abilities made him one of the powerhouses of the group, alongside such B-roll characters as Speedball, Night-Thrasher, and Namorita. Being young heroes, there was plenty of time in the series for angst and other hormonally-driven storytelling devices, and in this issue, as the cover so clearly attests (whose guns look better while kissing, Nova or Batman?), Nova got to make out with Namorita. THE WHOLE INFANTINO THING IS FORGOTTEN, at least from Nova’s perspective. Water under the bridge.
I was never much of a New Warriors fan, so I can’t really converse intelligently about the character development that occurs within (Script: Fabian Nicieza, Art: Darick Robertson, Larry Mahlstedt). The cover promises thought-provoking contents, but I don’t know that I read any of that. My brain wasn’t exactly set ablaze with philosophical conundrums, if you catch my drift. The kiss — no, the cover isn’t just a tease — is the only thing of note that happens here, and let’s be honest, a kiss between two lower-level characters isn’t exactly a “remember where you are so you remember where you were” moment.
Yet there it is.
There’s a lot of moping about here (those hormones…), with everybody sad and torn up about issues in their lives, like they’re in an IFC movie or something. Take Namorita, who’s down about tons of stuff, but still takes a few minutes to do her “jutting and thrusting amongst the clouds” exercises:
You know what? You have superpowers and you’re flying with the birds. Lighten up. (Also, it *ahem* might be getting cold up there.)
Nova is all upset about injuries his brother suffered while Nova was doing his hero thing, and is wandering through the group’s HQ while wearing THE DOUCHIEST ENSEMBLE THAT A MAN CAN EVER WEAR:
Let’s tick off this sartorial splendor. Briefs. Socks. Backwards facing ballcap, with hair thrusting defiantly out the front/back. Stubble. This is truly a bro grand slam. He looks like someone getting arrested for domestic violence on COPS. And Lord knows, the world was clamoring to get up close and personal with Nova’s batch.
If you’re making Marky Mark connections based on this look, you aren’t the only one:
There’s some yammering between the Nova and Namorita, AND THEN HERE COMES THE KISS:
The taste lingers, apparently, as Namorita leaves the team. Or something. All I know is SHAVE AND GET A HAIRCUT YOU HIPPIE.
A Namorita aside: She’s nice and all. She’s a super-powered babe with a tight little body whose dress code is “scantily clad.” The little wings on the ankles are a bit odd, but the pointy ears might activate some latent elf fantasies. I have to think, though, that a major impediment to any relationship with her has to be her uncle. I know he’s not her father, but Namor would make DeNiro’s Meet the Parents schtick seem tame. “What are your intentions towards my niece IMPERIUS REX!” Drop her off after curfew and run the risk of war being declared on the surface world. That sort of thing. Things to keep in mind if you’re Nova here.
There you go. Nova’s make-good for that whole Infantino business. We were finally able to move forward as a society after this.