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July 16, 2010

Kathryn Immonen’s rather confusing Women of Marvel event concludes with Heralds #4 and Heralds #5.  Mr. Fantastic cancels out the black hole weapon because it’s sucking up everything in the vicinity, and Nova escapes.  Frances Hyatt tells them about this time that the Silver Surfer met her and took away all her ambition and desire.  It seems that he chose her to be the recipient of Nova’s legacy.  Wanting to help Frances feel a tad more normal, the ladies take her to visit Julie Angel, Frankie’s old roommate.  They get into a fight with Julie about caring about Frankie and Frances, and Hellcat and Valeria Richards take Frances out for ice cream.  Emma Frost and the Invisible Woman realize that Julie met Nova already, and that she’s helping Nova find Frances so she can get Frankie back.  Nova attacks Hellcat, Valeria, and Frances, but she kidnaps Valeria.  Not wanting to scare Nova away by bringing any men along, all of the ladies go out into space with as much tech and information Mr. Fantastic can give them to get Valeria back.  Photon flies into the star that Nova is hiding in and retrieves Valeria.  However, Nova has now just turned into a liquid form of the costume, and she’s covering Valeria and smothering her, since the costume was meant for a grown woman.  Sue tries to get her out, but Frances, realizing what she must do, takes the hit and let’s the costume cover her.  Thus, she becomes the new Nova, or Supernova.  As the girls return back to Earth, she leaves, visits the diner she used to work at, and flies off, wondering what’s ahead for her.

Okay, first of all, it’s really heard to figure out what Immonen is even saying sometimes.  They never actually explain how what the Silver Surfer did equals Frances becoming some kind of recipient of anything of Frankie’s.  Plus, what everyone is saying about the Surfer is totally off.  It ignores everything Alicia Masters ever taught him and almost all of the character development he’s ever had.  And most of the other women, minus Hellcat and the Invisible Woman, kind of fade into the background.  Abigail Brand, Photon, and Emma Frost get their moments, but She-Hulk and Valkyrie barely do anything but act as muscle.  I have no idea why this group of women was gathered together if they weren’t going to be important.  Secondly, this is really cruel to Frances.  Immonen created her character just to put her through hell, then force her into being Frankie’s replacement?  The way this was all written was way meaner than a lot of strange origin stories.  And the art gets even more inconsistent.  In addition to the very good Tonci Zonjic and the messy James Harren, we also get the mediocre Emma Rios.  And it’s so clear how much better Zonjic is than the other two that there’s just this massive drop in quality every time the artist switches away from him.  So yeah, I would call this a rather massive failure of a story.  And now we have yet another fire-wielding character to fade in and out of comic book limbo for a while, who someone will remember some day a long time from now and probably mess up with part of her origin in a subsequent story.  What a waste of time.  This Women of Marvel thing has been a big letdown.

Plot: 3.9      Art: 6.2      Dialogue: 7.9      Overall: 4.5

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