Nova week: Doug Smith interview, part 2
As part of “Nova Week” at Nerdage, more questions and answers with Doug Smith, the man behind the Nova Prime web site.
Matt Price: When did you decide to start the Web site?
Doug Smith: Back in 1999, I wanted to make a comic book site just as a fun exercise for myself. It came down to three choices; Superman, Nova and the Invaders. Superman already had a large number of fan sites so I dropped that choice. Between Nova and the Invaders, I chose Nova because his third series by Erik Larsen was being published at the time. I really liked Erik’s take on the character and there were only two Nova sites on the web at that time. The greatest benefit of having done the site over the years is having met so many other Nova fans. It felt fantastic knowing that I wasn’t the only Nova fan still out there!
MP: Can you talk a little bit about Nova’s publishing history?
DS: Nova started in 1976 as a monthly book written by Marv Wolfman and switched to a bi-monthly book around issue 18. The series ran for 25 issues, continued into Fantastic Four #203 to #209 and concluded in Rom #24 in 1981. In 1989, Nova was revived in Thor #411 as part of the New Warriors. The New Warriors (with Nova) ran for 75 issues in their own title and Nova himself was back in his own series during that time starting in 1994. Nova’s second series ran for 18 issues and was written by Fabian Nicieza and Chris Marrinan. Later in 1999, the New Warriors (again with Nova as a member) returned in a new series that lasted 11 issues. At the same time, Nova’s third series (written by Erik Larsen) was published and last 7 issues.
Nova would appear off and on in different titles, usually in a cameo or guest star role. He returned in the New Warriors six-issue limited series in 2005 as part of a reality TV show. Thankfully, he was spared the events of Civil War by being the main character in the Annihilation mini-series! Along with starring in Annihilation, Nova had an Annihilation tie-in mini-series called Annihilation: Nova. Nova was popular enough during Annihilation to receive his own post-Annihilation series called Nova which began in 2007.
I think Nova has been extremely fortunate as a character over the last 30+ years. His first series only ran 25 issues but he was able to generate a strong following in that time. Nova benefitted from that following years later when the people who had been fans of the character became comic book professionals and industry decision makers. Fortunately, with each new series to feature Nova, he has been written and drawn by very talented teams. With each time at bat, a new generation of Nova fans would follow thus allowing Nova more opportunities to return. Not a lot of non-iconic characters have had that chance.
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