Sensational Spidey Annual plus Nova #2 review by Carroll.

Sensational Spider-man Annual #1

I recently read the Spider-man: Birth of Venom collection and saw Spidey 3 (loved it!), so I’m on a bit of a Spider-man kick. I also heard some rumblings on the interwebs that the Sensational Spider-man Annual #1 was pretty good.

And it was.

Written by Matt Fraction (Immortal Iron Fist, Punisher War Journal) with pencils by Salvador Larroca (Newuniversal) this issue is very much about the drama and less about the action. We get to see the two sides of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane marriage and how the happy couple are coping with the fallout from Civil War and Aunt May’s near-death experience (see Amazing Spider-man). There are also numerous flashbacks that provide a good foundation for Peter and MJ’s entire relationship. There is a bit of action at the end, but the meat of the issue is the emotional drama that develops over the entire story. Fraction seems to be running on all cylinders in this issue and Larroca’s art is great. You don’t need to be caught up with all the current Spidey storylines to enjoy this issue – it’s a good self-contained story. It does, however, make me wish for more issues just like this.

Nova #2

Before Annihilation I never had any desire to read a book with Nova in it. But after the changes that took place during the Annihilation story, I’m fairly interested in seeing where the character goes. The first issue of this series was decent enough – we saw how Nova continues to cope with being the sole wielder of the Nova Corps Worldmind and how he puts those powers to use. In issue #2, however, we finally get back to Earth, but it’s not the same since Civil War. Things on Earth aren’t easy for Nova – Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D are breathing down his neck, his parents are scared of him, old villains pop up, and a certain not-so-great super-group shows up at the end. Overall, this was an enjoyable issue. Much better than the first, if only because things other than fighting space monsters happened.

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