As we wind down Nova Week with the release of “Nova” Annual No. 1 (look for a review later today!), Nerdage talks to another voice from Nova’s past – writer Jay Faerber.
Faerber writes the excellent “Noble Causes” and “Dynamo 5″ for Image Comics. (And look for more from Faerber about “Noble Causes” in an upcoming Weekend Look!) In 1999, he was approached to revive the New Warriors. Jay talked about his time with the Warriors for Nova Week.
Matt Price: What were your impressions of the New Warriors or Nova before working on the characters?
Jay Faerber: I was familiar with Nova from his original ongoing, from the 70s. I’d picked up the odd issue here and there at garage sales, that sort of thing. But I really became a fan during Fabian Nicieza’s New Warriors. I loved that book (still do — it holds up well), although I know his interpretation of Nova wasn’t quite the same as the original version of the character. Still, it’s the one I preferred, while I appreciate that a lot of diehard Nova fans weren’t crazy about it.
MP: What were your goals with the series?
JF: I really just wanted to try to do justice to the great characters and concepts that Fabian had come up with. I wanted to build on that, and continue to draw from all corners of the Marvel Universe. One of the things I really liked about the New Warriors (as opposed to the various X-teams) was that the Warriors were on their own. They didn’t really have a mentor figure. I liked that sense of independence, and its one I tried to maintain in my series.
MP: What was your take on Nova?
JF: Again, I have to cite Fabian’s take. I tried to stay true to that, while also being consistent with Erik Larsen’s ongoing Nova series, that was running concurrent with my series. Erik was much more of an old school Nova fan than I was, so he was more heavily influenced by the original series. The problem I ran up against was that Erik’s book wasn’t selling very well so Marvel editorial wanted to try to distance the New Warriors from it. Their idea was to change Nova’s costume (along with everyone else’s). As I’m sure all Nova fans would agree, one of the coolest things about Nova is his costume. I fought that change as hard as I could, but I lost, and we ended up with Nova running around in a costume no one liked. Editorial heard the fans’ outrage, however, and we were able to ditch the new costume about halfway through our run. But by then, the book was pretty much cancelled.
MP: What was your biggest success with the series?
JF: Well, the series only lasted 10 issues, and we went through about four different artists in that time. So I’m kind of hard pressed to come up with anything resembling success. For me, personally, I’d have to say it was great just getting a chance to write such great characters. I kind of wish I hadn’t gotten that chance so early in my career, since I’d probably do a much better job now that I’m a bit more experienced. But if I had to pick an actual success, I’d say getting Jamal Igle on board as artist for issues 7 thru 10. We took a chance on Jamal (who was pretty much unknown at the time), and he didn’t let us down. We’ve since gone on to collaborate on a number of projects, and he’s now working exclusively for DC Comics. And speaking of working, I’ve got Noble Causes and Dynamo 5, both of which come out monthly from Image Comics. In May, I’m launching a third Image series, called Gemini. It’s a 5-issue mini-series that’s sort of The Manchurian Candidate with super-powers — it’s about a normal man who’s secretly controlled by some organization to be a super-hero.