Great to see something new with Richard in it, but it's going to suck to say good-bye to my favourite superhero. Until now, at least I held out hope for a return, but the longer it goes, and the more I've seen online (difficulties getting Rich Rider approved for a video game, not being in the GOTG movie, Sam being on TV, people talking about Rich's helmet being seen in the new comic, and even the few responses I've seen from Brevoort & Bendis regarding Rich) I think we've got to finally admit, this is the end of the road for one of the coolest, more badass characters comics ever had. I'm usually an optimist, but nothing about this has given me any kind of hopeful feeling, and unless there was a last minute change of heart from BMB (which I doubt, seeing as I read he killed Ultimate Peter Parker and he was a bigger character for Marvel than Rich ever was), I'm pretty sure we'll be saying good-bye to RR in GOTG #20 for good. I get why Marvel changes things up (to keep things fresh and to attract new readers), but the downside is that to those of us who've invested our money, time and developed attachments to characters, it really, really sucks.
Seeing the new art with Rich and Peter and Thanos gets me excited, but that excitement is underscored by this slightly depressing feeling of because my favourite character's being treated in a way I wish he wouldn't be. Comics are supposed to make you feel good. They're supposed to be fun, and an escape. This whole deal with Rich, how Marvel seems to be addressing the issue to his fans, and everything pointing to him being erased from the Marvel U after this just makes me feel bad.
Sometimes a reboot is a good thing. Other times, it's a misstep. I'm not against them, and I've really enjoyed a few reboots of old properties. What I don't get is why Marvel spent so much time to really develop Rich and make him one of the most badass superheroes in their lineup only to pull the plug a few years later when they cancelled their entire cosmic lineup. Starting over again with Sam is an obvious mistake, since the sales numbers and fan reaction show that. In the last few months, movie, gaming, and comic review sites all have mentioned Rich in one way or another, by addressing the GOTG movie and rumors about Rich being in it (ultimately, he wasn't not even in the end credits), but the talk was there about Rich, and not Sam, and people were excited at the possibility of seeing Rich. Comments sections were all overwhelmingly positive about the possibility of having Rich back. These were people who don't frequent this board, Cosmic or CBR. (Not the passionate fans.) Random people on facebook, who I didn't even know read comics knew about Rich, and talked about that they hoped he'd be in it and not Sam. There's also been a slow build-up of people talking about the 3 issue GOTG arc with Rich. What it boils down to, is in all the years he's been in comics, I've never seen him talked about this much. If Marvel was going to do anything to capitalize on Rich's popularity, now would be the time to do it, after all of this positive talk about him online. You can't buy the kind of good press he's gotten since the Spring. GOTG #18 is coming out a month after this all is reaching a peak, so there'll still be some people curious enough about him that will find out he's in GOTG, and they'll pick it up. The downside is with it more than likely being Rich's swan song, ("Left sealed in a twisted and horrific version of our own universe, Richard Rider sacrificed everything to save us.") I wonder how many people will want to invest in a character that's at the end of his life with no other stories coming.
It's almost comical, the timing of everything. Marvel finally had a shot at getting a good solid run with Richard thanks to a lot of good free Internet publicity, but instead of realizing that it was happening, they missed catching it by not checking out Google results for ("Richard Rider" Nova) over the course of 3-4 months. For once, it wasn't just Nova fans, or cosmic fans talking about him, but since the end of winter, he's been splashed across so many internet news sites, I lost count months ago.
I'll be honestly curious to see how GOTG's numbers do with #18. I know a part of that will be because of the movie, but the other part will be Rich. Again, it's bad timing, because of the movie coming out just before, because there's no way that Marvel can tell which people picked it up to find out what happened to Rich, and which people picked it up because of the movie.
My last thought is this.
OTOH, all of the new readers who will go pick up the book will be introduced to Richard Rider. And that timing is really, really interesting. Marvel is coming off a point where the Internet really started talking about Rich. The movie will still be fresh in people's minds by the end of August and people will go pick up the comic. That's a lot of people who will get their first look at Richard Rider that might not have ever had one before. If there ever was a time to make a successful change over from Sam to Rich, or to re-introduce Rich in his own book, that time is now. They've put themselves in a position to have a win with a Nova book for the first time by a fluke of timing. The question is what are they doing to the character in those 3 issues? If they kill him off, then there goes any chance of ever having a successful run, since they just killed him off in front of what could possibly be the largest audience he could ever be introduced to. If they don't kill him off, and the story is well written, you know people will be asking for more. If that's the case what's next?
: Well Rich fans - its getting nearer - and it
: looks as if MARVEL is determined to ensure
: that this is the final outing for Nova
: Prime. Of course well all buy the 3 issues -
: purely for the nostalgia kick of seeing Rich
: and Peter (which will be drawn superbly by
: McGuiness) side by side when a great stellar
: team like Dna really did Marvel Cosmic proud
: - shacked by a plot line that BMB probably
: cobbled together on a few scraps of tissue
: paper from the small room - intended to bury
: Nova Prime mythology once and for all. I
: think i can safely predict that the next 3
: months will be very intense for Rider fans
: and after the 3rd issue comes out I think
: I;d be very surprised the Nova Prime fan
: base will be jovial. Gather to arms comrades
: as Cosmo would say - a storm's a coming.
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