Nova Phase #1 Review
"The Best 8-Bit Sci-Fi Western Ever"
There isn’t anything quite like Nova Phase
. At least, nothing that I’ve ever read. The story is nothing revolutionary but its main character and art style make up for it. However, those aspects have a couple of bugs in them too.
Veronica Darkwater has been dreaming about going into space for years. She tries to use her skills as a bounty hunter to help get her there but keeps falling short of her goal. Then, she meets a bounty hunter with a very special coin that’s going to get her in a lot of trouble…
This is a pretty basic story that is made more interesting because Veronica Darkwater doesn’t just have a great name but also an enjoyable personality. She swears off of revealing clothing because she sees herself as an empowering female figure and often gives people the benefit of the doubt even when she knows she probably shouldn’t. Veronica’s attitude is fun but her dialogue can sometimes be on the nose, especially on the first page. We get to know her very quickly, but it’s usually through words rather than actions.
Part of why Veronica is such a fun character, and this was still a good read despite the awkward personality-driven dialogue, was that there is some good humor in this issue. Right away we get a funny quote from Veronica and the jokes keep on coming, even if they won’t have you laughing out loud.
Later on in this issue we are introduced to several more characters, which felt a bit overwhelming. There are a lot more characters and we know very little about them. However, the dialogue does a good job establishing each of their personalities and their relationships towards one another – even if it takes a couple of read-throughs to keep it all straight in your head.
What will definitely make this comic stand out is the visual style Adam Elbahtimy takes with the comic. He decided to treat the issue like it was an 8-bit video game and this style really works. It makes me wish more comic books tried this method. Each character is very distinct with a cool style that defines them.
The colors remind me of an 8-bit game, and I enjoyed how different places had different dominant colors, like the bar where patrons were blue or green and then Veronica’s apartment which had several red hues. The sky also had a range of beautiful colors that I really enjoyed and made the comic very atmospheric. Though this may be off-putting for readers who don’t have as much nostalgia for 8-bit games as Nova Phase’s
creative team clearly does.
This is a very unique comic and even if it wasn’t the only 8-bit sci-fi western I feel like it still offers something in the way of Veronica Darkwater. You can see for yourself for free. That’s right, Nova Phase #1
is available for free on comiXology
. Check it out and let me know what you think down below.