While Richard Rider would have been a prime candidate for stealing the Gauntlet, the actual plans surrounding Nova went out the window when Thor was turned into glass. There were definitely a few waves of attacks in Warlock’s plans, and Nova was a second-wave participant — a squad populated by “less popular” Marvel characters. Nova jumped into the fray late, but by that time the distractions and resources of Earth’s force had been drained.
There were several moments in this battle where a speedster could have taken the Gauntlet from Thanos. As previously mentioned, it was THE strategy. Nova is sometimes known as “the human rocket,” and the fact that his speed was never utilized is a failure.
All of that said, Nova acted courageously in the face of certain death, which nets him a point.
Battle Execution: 1.0
Nova never speeds past the outstretched hand of Thanos to take his glove, but we should give him credit for selflessly putting his body between glass Thor and Thanos. Nova knew that Thor was their best hope and probably assumed that if he could keep him intact, Strange might be able to fix him (as it turns out, this was basically true, and Strange was able to put Thor back together once all the glass shards were collected).
To the rescue!
Nova would go on to bigger and better things in future universe-threatening episodes, but here he’s merely an underused bit player. I would still have like to have seen him swap places with the Silver Surfer, but as it stands, he was merely competent in his efforts. That kind of effort will keep you in the positives, but it won’t win many battles.
Before we get started, I want to be clear about one thing: we’re talking about Wendell Elvis Vaughn here, not Phyla-Vell. I have no beef with her.
Rather than linger too long on the tactics employed by Quasar, I’d like to talk about an idea I once had for a comic book called “Dammit, Quasar!” In “Dammit, Quasar!”, The Watcher would peruse alternate universe versions of Quasar failing miserably in various ways. Each page would be Quasar using the Ultimate Nullifier incorrectly or trying to kill Annihilus, juxtaposed with more mundane tasks like trying to fix his sink and having sludge blow back in his face. I feel like this would be a huge hit, because nobody likes Quasar, probably because he says shit like this:
Except for Cap, Quasar is basically the last man standing. He has witnessed every one of his allies, including several more powerful than he, easily dispatched by Thanos. He’s contributed nothing to the battle so far despite possessing the (allegedly) powerful quantum bands, which can shoot powerful energy blasts, allow for high-speed interstellar travel, or create constructs akin to what a Green Lantern power ring can do. Maybe Quasar could have used a construct to yank off the Gauntlet. Maybe he could have used his power as a distraction for someone else. Maybe he could have used his speed more effectively.
But Quasar does none of these things. He instead stands a fair distance from Thanos and talks big, like the idiot he is. Perhaps he was just buying himself a few precious seconds of life, hoping to incite Thanos into providing a quick, painless death. Quasar gets a full -5.0 because my most charitable interpretation of his actions is rational suicide.
Battle Execution: (-5.0)
Before we dip into Quasar’s execution, I would like to point out the fact that Epoch is clearly not enamored with Quasar either. There’s a trick among practitioners of pseudoscience to always make sure they are described as “doctor” so-and-so in an attempt to add credibility to their inane ramblings. In reality, if you have to tell, it usually means you can’t show.
“Who is joining up?” “Quasar.” “Who?” “My CHAMPION, Quasar.” “Oh right, that guy with the bracelets.”
Anyway, it’s a bit hard to separate Quasar’s tactics from his execution in this instance because once he drew Thanos’ ire, the Quantum Bands were going to explode no matter what. That said, I’m pretty sure Quasar was just going to blast Thanos with an energy beam instead of, say, piercing his brain with a quantum knife.
The MacGruber of the Marvel universe brings nothing to the table. Granted incredible power in the form of the Quantum Bands, he makes himself completely worthless by failing to contribute to the fight in any meaningful way AND ensuring that he is defeated immediately by taunting Thanos. Quasar sucks.
Next time: Mephisto, Namor, and the fascinating Cloak!
Article by contributor Paul Noonan. You can follow him on Twitter. If you choose to do so, he apologizes in advance for all of the sports.