MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Sam Alexander searches the galaxy for his father as the Nova Centurion, Nova.”
Does that bio seem a little redundant to anyone else? I think it’s the two uses of “Nova” so close together. Maybe it would flow better if they dropped “the Nova Centurion” all together. Ah, look at me, critiquing the bio. As if that actually has any impact on the figure, right? I’ve actually reviewed five Nova figures on this site already, which is a surprisingly high number, if I’m honest. I mean, I like Nova and all (mostly due to the closeness in concept to the Green Lanterns), and he makes for some good toys, but five just seems high. Anyway, here’s another one. Today’s Nova is the latest Marvel Legends offering of the character, based on the second Earth-based Nova, Sam Alexander.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Nova is figure 6 in the Titus Series of Marvel Legends. Unlike Drax and Star-Lord (the last two figures I reviewed from this series), Nova’s not based on the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but is instead comic book-based. I guess Hasbro just likes putting comic-based Novas into the Guardians assortments. The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Sam’s built on the teen male body, which was introduced with the Ultimate Spider-Men figures from the Space Venom Series. Of course, the Space Venom Series didn’t actually show up around me, so Sam’s the first figure I’ve gotten on this body. The body feels a lot like the Pizza Spidey body, but scaled down a bit. It’s a very nice sculpt; he actually looks like a guy in his teens, rather than a shrunken adult, which is a definite plus. Nova uses the arms, legs, and hands from the base body, with unique pieces for his head, torso, pelvis, and forearms. The head is made of two separate pieces: one for his helmet, and one for the underlying face. They handled the Richard Rider Nova the same way, so it’s good for consistency, and it also adds some nice dimension to the sculpt and makes sure the change from helmet to face is appropriately sharp. Sam was originally drawn by Ed McGuiness, who definitely has his own flair to his art; like with Kamala, Hasbro’s managed to keep some of McGuinness’s influence, while also tweaking Sam to fit in with the rest of the line stylistically. The rest of the new pieces are all pretty solid work as well, and I really appreciate that Hasbro actually went the sculpted route for most of the costume details, especially when they could have very easily just painted them on. Speaking of paint, the work on Nova is pretty much on par with Hasbro’s upward trend of paint these days. There’s still some slight bleed on some of the edges, but overall he’s pretty sharp. I like the shade of gold used here; it’s nice and metallic, but preserves a lot of the yellow that’s sort of necessary to keep his look consistent with the comics and prevent him from being too drab. I also appreciate that the dark sections of the costume are actually a very, very dark blue, rather than black. It’s a minor change, but the artist in me likes that he matches up just a tiny bit more with the Richard Rider figure. In addition to the usual Build-A-Figure piece (Titus’s torso), Sam has one other extra, which is actually a whole second character. Yes, he includes The Phlish, who was one of the Supernovas that served alongside Sam’s father Jaime when he was a Nova Corpsman. Really minor character, but a really fun addition nonetheless. I only wish he included a flight stand of some sort, as he just leans on Sam’s foot at the moment.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Sam was one of the figures I knew I wanted from this set pretty much as soon as he was announced. While I’ve not followed his solo adventures really closely, I’ve loved him as a part of Waid’s Avengers and Champions books, and since Hasbro seems to be releasing the rest of those teams, I knew I needed him. I ended up finding him at my nearest TRU not long after grabbing Star-Lord and Drax. He’s simple, but very effective. Definitely a strong Legends release, and that’s saying something, given that he’s in the same series as that Star-Lord figure.