GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — July 31st, 2013

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Nova Vol. 5 Issue #6  Image: Copyright Marvel Comics
Nova Vol. 5 Issue #6 – Image: Copyright Marvel Comics

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, I give a parents’ view of Nova Vol. 5 #6. Joining me are two of our newest GeekMoms, Melody and Lisa, in their first Comic Book Corner! Melody invites us to see what’s in her two-year-old daughter’s comic book reading pile and Lisa takes a look at a graphic novel based on a creepy Disneyland attraction.

Dakster Sullivan — Nova Vol. 5 Issue #6 (written by Zeb Wells and art by Paco Medina)
This month’s issue of Nova picks up after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men #12 and gives us a look at how Sam’s mother feels about everything that has happened.

Since Nova Vol. 5 #5, Nova (Sam Alexander) has been gone for about two weeks. During that time frame, he helped the Avengers stop the Phoenix Force (see Avengers vs. X-Men #12) and kept the ultimate nullifier from falling into the wrong hands.

When Sam returns home, he’s greeted by his mother ::shocker:: and we get to see how she feels about everything, including Sam’s invitation to join the Avengers (and they say Batman has young partners…).

Some reviewers out there called this issue a snoozefest…as a parent, I think this was an issue we needed to have. Let me explain…

Sam Alexander is fourteen-years old. Fourteen. Not Eighteen. Not Twenty-nine. Fourteen. Get it? He’s still a minor who has to report to an adult authority type, in this case his mother. While there was little to no action in this issue, the conversation between Sam and his Mother had to happen. She’s an important character and a voice that deserves to be heard.

In true parental nature, she puts her foot down on a number of things, including Thor’s invitation to become an Avenger. (I’m guessing Thor has no idea how old Sam really is.) On the other end of the spectrum, she doesn’t want to stand in Sam’s way of being a Nova. Some might say that’s irresponsible of her, but personally, I think Sam’s in good hands with Gamora and Rocket Raccoon looking out for him occasionally.

On top of his mother throwing her two cents in, Sam also had to return to school to face his peers and his principal, all of whom are getting on my nerves. Now that Sam realizes the kind of man his father really is, he’s no longer ashamed to say he wants to be just like him and holds his head proud in front of all those that look down on him daily.

Was there any action? With the exception of a fantastic art scene by Paco Medina where the Nova helmet shows Sam’s mother everything he’s been up to in the past two weeks, no. That doesn’t mean it was a boring issue. In my opinion, to fully understand a character, we have to know more about them than what we see on the battlefield, and this issue gave us just that. We were given a chance to look inside Sam Alexander’s world and the personal hurdles he will have to overcome to be the best Nova he can be. Seeing Zeb throw in some real fourteen-year old characteristics was fun to see as well.

This issue also marks the beginning of a new creative team, which in a series so young can seem a little scary unless that team includes writer Zeb Wells. With titles such as The Amazing Spider-Man and Savage Wolverine on his comic book resume, I’m not the least bit scared about this new direction in only the sixth issue.

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Melody Mooney– What’s in Ella’s Pull Pile?

Ella in a costume of her own creation at  earth 2  Image: Melody Mooney
Ella in a costume of her own creation at earth 2 Image: Melody Mooney

My daughter Ella is only two and does not read yet, but that has not stopped our uber cool friends from giving her some comics.

One new addition to her pull pile is Archie’s Giant Kids’ Joke Book. Archie! When was the last time you read any canon from his world? It is an adorable and charming read of colorful Archie comics with the entire cast of characters you remember, including Jughead, and the best friend duo that sparked a multi-generational ‘taste in girls’ debate, Betty and Veronica. The pages spill over with puzzles, game and jokes. Oh the jokes! Offering some best loved favorites, like:

Q) Why did the Bacon laugh?
A) Because the egg cracked a yolk.

Come on, you chuckled, I know it. So nice to see that big toothy smile grinning back from the cover at me again. Total nostalgia.

The second in Ella’s pile this month is a cute Strawberry Shortcake full color Mini Book from Kizoic/Ape Entertainment. She got this from the friendly staff at Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks, California, while attending a fun non-con event that took place locally during San Diego Comic-Con. It includes the cautionary tale about mixing work and friendship called Kitchen Help, and a day-in-the-life look at two of the anamorphic inhabitants of the shortcake world, Custard and Cake. Both samples have enticed me enough to purchase a full length Berry book from this series.

Ella’s pile is as short as she is but I think it does well in arguing the point that toddlers can be comic collectors, too. Truth be told, she really just likes the colors of Ms. Shortcake and her equally edible friend’s hair, the joke telling mastery of Archie, and the small half size of the books. Easy to read for even the smallest fan.

Lisa Tate – Haunted Mansion Graphic Novel 

One of my favorite escapes as a child, as well as recently, has been Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction, which blends just the right amount of eeriness and humor with a beautiful, serene edge. From 2005 to 2007, Slave Labor Graphics created a seven-comic series based on the attraction that takes this appeal even further. A hardcover compilation of the first six issues is still available from the publisher.

Each issue features different authors and artists presenting one-shot stories based on the Mansion and some of its famous residents, including origin and background stories ranging from touching and sentimental to darkly hilarious. There is also a multi-issue “Mystery of the Manse” story by Don Vado which is illustrated by Mike Moss and Brian Belew for those interested in knowing a bit more about mansion owner Master Gracey’s history.

One standout is “The Groundskeeper’s Secret,” focusing on hidden reason the ever-suffering groundskeeper who fights his fear night after night to visit the mansion. You’ll never look at him and his cowering hound dog the same way again, I promise.

I highly recommend picking up a copy; there is always room for one more…

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Adventures Of Superman #3
Animal Man Annual #2
Animal Man Omnibus HC
Batman Annual #2
Batman Illustrated By Neal Adams TP V03
Batman Incorporated #13 CP Fi
Batman Zero Year Directors Cut #1
Beware The Creeper TP
Collider #1
Detective Comics Annual #2
Flash Annual #2
Green Lantern New Guardians HC Vol. 2
Green Lantern New Guardians TP Vol. 1
Injustice Gods Among Us #7
Red Lanterns #22
Showcase Presents Dc Comics Presents TP Vol. 2
Smallville Season 11 Special #2
Superboy #22
Superman Annual #2
Tom Strong And The Planet Of Peril #1 (Of 6)
Trinity Of Sin Pandora #2
Wake #3 (Of 10)
Black Bolt Something Inhuman This Way
Captain Marvel #14
Daredevil #29
Fearless Defenders #7
Ff #10
Guardians Of Galaxy #5
Indestructible Hulk #11
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #28
Uncanny X-Force #9
Uncanny X-Force TP Vol. 1 Let It Bleed
Uncanny X-Men #9
Venom #38
What If Avx #4 (Of 4)
Wolverine In Flesh #1
X-Men #3
X-Men Fallen Angels TP
X-Men Legacy #14
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Doctor Who Prisoners Of Time #7 (Of 12)
G.I. JOE #6
G.I. JOE A Real American Hero #192
Joe Palooka TP
Judge Dredd Year One #4 (Of 4)
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #9
Superman The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Volume 1 1958-1961 HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #24
Transformers More Than Meets The Eye #19
Worlds Of Sam Kieth Volume 1 HC
Akaneiro #3 (Of 3)
Amala’s Blade #4 (Of 4)
Angel And Faith #24
B.P.R.D. Vampire #5 (Of 5)
Captain Midnight #1
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan The Sunday Comics Volume 1 1931-1933 HC
Gantz Volume 28 TP
Ghost Vol. 1 In The Smoke And Din TP
House Of Gold And Bones #4
House Of Gold And Bones #4 (Of 4)
King Conan The Hour Of The Dragon #3 (Of 6)
Last Of Us American Dreams #4 (Of 4)
Star Wars Dark Times A Spark Remains #1 (Of 5)

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / CP = Combo Pack / PE = Premier Edition / FI = Final Issue

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