Thursday, May 20, 2021


Marvel Mini-Bust Series - Frankie Raye Nova - Bowen Designs 2006

The Infinity Saga comic storyline really scarred me as a young comic reader. It was the first time I got sucked into a big "Event" storyline. I eagerly bought all three series (Gauntlet, War, and Crusade), as well three years of "Crossover" books that Marvel touted as essential reading: Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, Quasar, Sleepwalker, Cloak & Dagger, etc, etc. And newsflash, they were not essential. The story got convoluted and boring and I felt like a total sucker for taking the bait and wasting so much of my hard-earned lawnmowing money. However, in retrospect, I love that these comics are what first exposed me to Frankie Raye as Nova. The MCU movies have clouded my memories about the comics, but I know that Silver Surfer and the heralds of Galactus played a significant role. When I first saw Nova, I thought she looked like a futuristic Firestar, but I quickly embraced her as a unique and awesome character. This 2006 Bowen bust is a rare and amazing representation of her. Let's check her out!

Some of these photos might looks as if Nova has sculpted nipples. She does not. I assure you in the image below you are only seeing a tiny warped reflection of me with my camera.

I really love when a base is sculpted in the form of a relevant, but not over-powering feature. In Nova's case, she is flying away from the burnt-out husk of a world consumed by Galactus. The coloring, size, and simplicity is designed perfectly.

This bust came in three distinct variations. The version I have is Super Shiny.
I made the following graphic from eBay images.

STANDARD: This version has a metallic finish that looks more like a slight luster than a shine. I wouldn't mind this version if it weren't for the odd "shading" effects with silver paint. When I look at this all I see is a gold woman with silver breasts and forehead and I find it very distracting. This was produced in 2500 pieces. There is no identifying sticker on the packaging for this version.

SUPER SHINY: This is my ideal version. It's very shiny, but not overly so. After reading lots of 15-year old discussions in old forums, I gather that people were not a fan of this and expected her to be much shinier. But I think this version shows off the sculpt nicely, has a great shine, and is relatively affordable. This was limited to 1000 pieces (or perhaps 850, see below) and is indicated by a large gold sticker on the box front saying "Super Shiny Edition."

BLINDING CHROME: I may be wrong about this one, but I believe this version may be an apology figure produced by Bowen after people were upset that the Super Shiny version fell short of expectations. This was limited to 150 pieces (which might be carved out of the 1000-piece edition of the Super Shiny, making that true number 850). I believe this Blinding Chrome edition is only indicated with a the Super Shiny sticker on the box front and an additional smaller gold circle sticker on the top. I swear I saw a big Blinding Chrome boxfront sticker years ago, but googling for it now I think I created a false memory. This version has a much more yellow/orange look to it., which looks good, but is also a little overpowering. She is a lot more reflective as well, which looks dynamic, but also distorts the details of the sculpt a bit. It's nice, but the secondary market prices steered me away.

This pic was on an old CBR forum. I'm including it because different lighting changes their appearance a lot.

Here are two images of Nova's design before she became a herald of Galactus. She was truly a female version of the original Human Torch.

Nova has made appearances in at least three different animated series: Fantastic Four (1994), Silver Surfer (1998), and Fantastic Four (2006). And I just read that she was in the live action Rise of the Silver Surfer movie (which I've never seen), but I believe only in human form as Frankie.

Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!

Here she is with her 90's Toybiz figure, her mini-mate, and a handful of Heroclix.


1 comment:

  1. Good review. I know I've seen her but definitely didn't remember her name. Good looking bust and good post.