Pros: A solid game piece; more than average dial
Cons: One-note figure with no depth
It's an interesting to find a few former heralds of Galactus together in a set but this is exactly what happens with WizKids' Marvel HeroClix: Critical Mass collection. These beings are imbued with a tiny fraction of Galactus' amazing power, and just even a little bit is enough to make them powerful and feared. But how well do they hold up in a game situation?
Unique Nova was once Frankie Raye, the stepdaughter of Phineas Horton, the creator of the android original Human Torch. As a young girl, she was accidentally doused with unknown chemicals that endowed her flame abilities similar to the Human Torch. Her stepfather put a hypnotic block upon her so she would forget about the accident and her powers. Ironically, as she got older, she ended up becoming the girlfriend to Johnny Storm, the second Human Torch of the Fantastic Four. It was then that her memories were recovered and she rediscovered her powers. However, when Galactus came back to Earth, Frankie volunteered to become his new herald. Once she was enhanced by Galactus' cosmic energies she dubbed herself as Nova.
As a former herald of Galactus, I expected Nova to have durability and longevity on the board. She has a decent nine clicks of life (out of twelve) indicating that she won't be an easy target to kill. However, a closer examination of her dial shows just exactly what a one-note character she is in comparison to others.
One of her greatest assets is on her Speed dial. The first two clicks show off her tremendous speed with 12-movement. She can easily cover half the game board as a result. In fact just to sweeten the pot, she also has Running Shot on her first click, allowing her to move half her speed (in this case only 6 squares) and firing on opponents with her impressive 10-range. That's a total of 16-squares Nova covers on the board! Unfortunately she can't sustain this as she drops steadily down to 7-movement on her last click with no additional abilities at her disposal.
I don't like her starting +9 attack value on her Attack dial. It feels a bit weak for someone of her character. Unfortunately this is the strongest she will be for the first three clicks of this dial before dropping for three clicks of +8 and finishing off without another three clicks of +7. She also commands Energy Explosion for the first five clicks which, when you think about it, is actually quite useless since she can only target one opponent at a time. No one is going to invest in this ability when a better one is available on her Damage slot.
At least her Defense slot gives her some protection with two clicks of Invulnerability and the remaining seven clicks with Toughness. I don't even mind that she begins with only 16-defense as well. I just wish it lasted for more than one click.
The attraction to this game piece comes in the form of her Damage slot with Ranged Combat Expert. For the first seven clicks, she adds +2 to her base damage to provide devastating results, if she is successful in hitting her targets. However, while this is an attraction (and guaranteed to be used quite often), keep in mind that she only has a base-2 value (only for the first four clicks, too). While this translates to a total of 4-damage with her ability, it is contingent on Nova actually making successful dice rolls.
The figure isn't bad using translucent plastic to give the appearance of living flame. However, it's a bit hard to see the details in the figure because of this. Even at first glance, it still takes me a few seconds from me to register that this is Nova.
The addition of keywords (Cosmic, Fantastic Four, Herald) and feat cards has brought new life to this older figure, something I really appreciate because I hate discarding older figures.
Unique Nova is at best an average long ranged fighter with some good damage capabilities. She is good in the early rounds by letting her unleash her best attacks to weaken opponents for the kill. Nova won't make or break a team but she will definitely distract opponents with her capabilities.
Set: Marvel HeroClix: Critical Mass
Point Value: 133
Collector's Number: 093
Team Affiliation: None
Hypertime: Starter Set || Experienced Harley Quinn (#035) || Veteran Nightwing (#063) || Veteran Doomsday (#096) || Veteran Flash (#105) || Unique Parasite (#121) || Unique Darkseid (#123) || Unique Commissioner Gordon (#124) || Unique Catwoman (#127) || Unique Superman (#130) || Limited Edition Arthur Curry (#138)
Cosmic Justice: Veteran Green Lantern (#084) || Unique Martian Manhunter (#085) || Unique Bizarro (#086) || Unique Amazo (#088) || Unique Eclipso (#090) || Unique Despero (#091) || Unique Mordru (#092) || Unique Catgirl (#093) || Unique Batman (#095) || Unique Superman (#096) || Limited Edition Donna Troy (#214) || Limited Edition Zatanna Zatara (#219) || Limited Edition Phasing Green Lantern (#221) || Limited Edition Plastic Man (#223)
Unleashed: Booster Packs || Veteran Doctor Fate (#072) || Veteran Black Adam (#081) || Veteran Green Lantern (#084) || Unique The General (#086) || Unique Shazam (#088) || Unique Wonder Woman (#093) || Unique Batman (#094) || Unique Superman (#095) || Unique Magog (#096) || Unique Bat Sentry (#097) || Limited Edition Hector Hall (#216) || Limited Edition Shazam! (#221) || Limited Edition Catwoman (#222)
Legacy: Unique Wonder Woman (#087) || Unique Ultraman (#089) || Unique Red Robin (#094) || Unique Green Lantern (#094) || Unique Flash (#095) || Fortitude Feat Card (#F004)
Icons: Unique Lex Luthor (#051) || Limited Edition Professor Zoom (#209)
Collateral Damage: Limited Edition Kyle Rayner (#205) || Limited Edition Krypto (#217) || Limited Edition Parallax (#219) || Limited Edition Ultimate Clayface (#220)
Green Lantern Corps: Veteran Arisia (#004) || Experienced Katma Tui (#005) || Unique Ganthet (#006)
Origin: Veteran Green Lantern (#078) || Veteran Shazam! (#081) || Unique Batman (#095) || Unique Superman (#096)
Justice League: Experienced Wonder Woman (#037) || Unique Batman and Robin (#038) || Unique Power Ring (#050) || Unique Amazon (#052) || Veteran Green Lantern (#055) || Experienced Wonder Woman (#059)
Crisis: Experienced Captain Marvel, Jr. (#050) || Veteran Supergirl (#056) || Unique Kingdom Come Superman (#105)
Batman Alpha: Veteran Alfred (#014) || Veteran The Clown Prince of Crime (#027) || Veteran The Boy Wonder (#028)
Arkham Asylum: Unique Superman Prime (#060)
Brave and the Bold: Alter Ego Bruce Wayne (#001) || Alter Ego Clark Kent (#002)
Infinity Challenge: Starter Set || Booster Pack || Sentinel || Unique Vision (#139) || Unique Spider-Man (#150)
Xplosion: Booster Pack
Critical Mass: Unique Dormammu (#092) || Unique Beta Ray Bill (#094) || Unique Silver Surfer (#096)
Universe: Rookie Paramedic (#022) || Rookie Destiny (#028) || Rookie Kingpin (#067) || Experienced Kingpin (#068) || Rookie Vulture (#070) || Experienced Vulture (#071) || Rookie Jean Grey (#073) || Rookie Sabretooth (#079) || Veteran Annihilus (#090)
Ultimates: Booster Pack
Mutant Mayhem: Limited Edition Tsunami-Relief Hulk (#218) || Limited Edition Gamma Radiation Hulk (#222)
Armor Wars: Booster Packs
Supernova: Limited Edition The Mighty Thor (#224)
Mutations and Monsters: Unique Iron Man (#200)
Secret Invasion: Experienced Grey Gargoyle (#010)
Classics: Fantastic Four vs. Dr. Doom Battle Pack || Fantastic Four vs. Mole Man Battle Pack || Marvel Heroes Battle Pack || Spider-Man Battle Pack
Hammer of Thor: Experienced Thor and Loki (#057)
Indy: Unique Hellboy (#087) || Unique Hecate (#088) || Unique Judge Death (#092) || Limited Edition Arwyn (#223)
Invincible: Collector's Set
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Unique Hellboy (#001)