Overall- I can't heap enough praise onto this comic book... I read something like thirty new comic books a month(really!)and that's not counting the many back issues/tpb's. In my honest opinion, Nova is EASILY one of the 5 best new comics I read on a monthly basis. This series is that damn good! Before I write up a review of what I just read, once again, I implore anyone who gives this post a read to give this series a try. Don't be intimidated that it's a "cosmic" comic book. This comic is easy to follow and infinitely satisfying. I was half way done reading this comic when I realized I had a huge smile on my face. This comic book is that enjoyable. Now, onto the review.
Since Worldmind fired Rich Rider(Nova)from the Nova Corps last issue, Worldmind has been "recruiting" literally thousands of human beings from across the Earth and transforming them into Nova Centurions. The big problem with this is the fact that not only is Worldmind not asking these people if they want to join the Corps, Worldmind is mentally coercing them into WANTING to be Centurions, even if they don't want to join.
Rich travels to Project PEGASUS because ever since he was stripped of his Nova powers, he's been feeling off. Rich explains to Dr. Necker and Dr. Gruenwald of the Project that he fears that carrying Worldmind around in is head for so long may have caused him brain damage. Rich asks the people at the Project to test him to see if there is something wrong with him. The geniuses at the Project decide to test Rich, but are also interested in testing an active Nova Centurion as well, in order to see if Worldmind is somehow impairing the judgement of the Centurions, as Rich fears. Rich decides the best Centurion to lure to the Project is his brother Robbie, who has always secretly lusted after Dr. Necker while he was working at Project PEGASUS.
Robbie and another Centurion respond to a summons from Dr. Necker, and she flirts with Robbie in order to get him to enter an isolation chamber. Once in the chamber, Robbie and the other Centurion realize they no longer hear Worldmind's voice in their heads. Apparently, Worldmind is constantly persuading and reassuring the Centurions that whatever Worldmind tells them to do is the right thing to do. Robbie then realizes that Worldmind is choosing so many earthlings to be a part of the Corps because since Worldmind was stuck in Rich's head for so long, it understands the working of the human mind better than any other race, and can manipulate the minds of earthlings with ease.
Before Rich can do anything about this revelation, a bunch of Centurions tear the roof off of the isolation chamber, which places Robbie and the other Centurion back under Worldmind's control. The Centurions, including Robbie violently warn Rich not to mess in the business of Worldmind and the Nova Corps again, or else. With that, the Centurions leave en masse. This issue concludes with Dr. Necker breaking the news to Rich that his body has been altered down to the molecular level, due to carrying Worldmind inside himself for so long, and that he only has 48 more hours left to live!
Whoa! Not only did the story in this comic rule, but the ending came so far out of left field that I NEVER saw it coming! The way Worldmind was continually reassuring the thousands of humans it abducted from Earth, while filling them with endorphins to keep them calm was ingenious, as well as being downright creepy! This is one of those comic books that is so well written that you can look at things from the point of view of several different characters and understand what motivates each one. Rich is obviously shocked and appalled that Worldmind is taking away the free will of human beings and forcing them to serve in the Nova Corps. As a human, to Rich, there is nothing more important then having your own free will, while Worldmind, being an artificial intelligence doesn't understand the concept of free will, but does understand that the universe needs to be defended and that the Nova Corps must be re-established at any cost, even if the Centurions are coerced into joining up.
The similarities between this comic and DC's Green Lantern comic is pretty obvious, since the Nova Corps and the Green Lantern Corps both serve as police forces for their respective universes. Rich Rider and Hal Jordan also share several similarities as well(women, disobeying orders when they feel the orders are wrong, etc.). However, it would be wrong to call Nova a blatant rip off of Green Lantern without first giving Nova a read. While Hal has to deal with a bunch of self-appointed Guardians of the Universe, who have tried their hardest to remove all emotion from themselves, Rich has to deal only with the Worldmind, which is an artificial intelligence, and therefore has no emotions at all. While most of the Guardians attempt to keep emotion out of their decision making process, some of them do show emotions. The Worldmind on the other hand is a cold, emotionless machine, with the primary command function of keeping itself from being deactivated(killed)and the secondary function of re-creating and maintaining the Nova Corps. While the GL's are proud to become members of the GL Corps, the recent Nova Centurions have no say in the matter, Worldmind is forcing them to join up whether they want to or not. Imagine if the Guardians of the Universe suddenly just began snatching people from various planets and forcing them to serve the GL Corps for the "greater good". That is exactly what Worldmind is doing and that is one of the biggest differences separating GL and Nova right now. Personally, I love both Nova and Green Lantern and I would think that any fan of the Green Lantern comic books should definitely give Nova a shot. With all that said, for a score, I'll give this issue a score of 10 out of 10. Yes, I enjoyed reading this comic book that much! Once again, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have written another awesome issue of this spectacular series.