For the new Nova, see Sam Alexander.
Richard Rider was just your average teenager. Not the class clown, neither the wallflower, nor the cool kid. He went to high-school, had girl troubles and tried to help out his parents and younger brother when he was at home. All seemed to go their normal way for the young Richard until he came into contact with the Nova Corps. The Nova Corps was a peace-keeping force that was based on the planet Xandar. The planet was destroyed by the space pirate known as Zorr. When Rhomann Dey, the Nova Prime, was dying he fled through the universe and went to Earth. There he chose Richard Rider to receive his powers and granted him the Nova Force. He was asked by Rhomann Dey to use his powers for the good of Earth and the universe and serve as its protector. This was a lot for the teen-aged Rider but he nonetheless started a superhero career with his newfound powers as Nova, the Human Rocket!
Richard Rider was created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema and his first appearance was in Nova #1 (1976).
Major Story Arcs
The Human Rocket!
For Richard, becoming a superhero was not something that happened overnight. He had great trouble at first. However, he soon got the hang of it and got better and better each time. Rider would often team-up with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.
When Thor was trying to help local fire-fighters put out a fire, Thor was attacked by an evil spirit calling itself The Corrupter. When it merged itself with Thor, he was able to force Thor to become mad, and full of rage. In his rage, Thor destroyed the fire-fighters’ truck and flew away. While Richard was out with some of his friends, he noticed Thor flying by and he quickly changed to his Nova uniform in order to talk to another fellow super hero. When Nova caught up to Thor and tried to talk to him, Thor attacked Nova. Nova was able to hold his own against Thor. Thor tried to drown Nova, but Nova soon found that his Nova suit was able to help him breath underwater. The battle was about to begin again, but the Corrupter returned back to his human form. Thor explains to Nova that he wasn’t himself during the battle, that someone was affecting his mind. Thor asked Nova to help him find and defeat the Corrupter. Nova eagerly agrees to join Thor on his quest. The heroes soon find the Corrupter and engage him in battle. The Corrupter soon finds that he is no match for both heroes and tries to escape by trying to hide in the crowded streets. But Thor and Nova find him and rescue a woman that the Corrupter was holding hostage. The Corrupter is defeated and is reverted back to his human form. Thor tells Nova that he is a strong warrior and he is truly honored to call Nova his friend now.
In fact, Rider showed so much potential that Nick Fury recruited him to help SHIELD against the Yellow Claw. During this time in Rider’s life, he often fought Condor, Diamondhead, and the Sphinx. At one time, Condor and Diamondhead put Rider under a spell and formed The Terrible Trio to fight the Sphinix. Rider even made an alliance with the villains to form The Champions of Xandar. When the Skrull Empire threatened Xandar, Rider and the Champions of Xandar went to give their aid. The Champions would lead forces of the Nova Corps against the Skrulls. The Skrull attack force was eventually defeated with a little help from the Fantastic Four and then from Rom the Spaceknight. Rider longed to return to Earth, so he agreed to give up his portion of the Nova force powers to be used on Xandar to live a normal life.
The New Warriors
Richard tried to pick up the life he left behind before he left for Xandar, but found himself missing the life of a hero. That’s when Night Thrasher made his presence known to Richard. Night Thrasher threw him off the edge of a building, which triggered something within Richard. Richard found that he had regained his powers and flew himself to safety, and that’s when Night Thrasher let him in on his plans for starting a new superhero team. They formed the New Warriors with other teenage superheroes such as Justice, Speedball, Namorita, and Firestar. Together they went on many missions, with the hope of one day becoming like the Avengers. On their first mission, the Warriors were able to stop a terrorizing Terrax, a former Herald of Galactus. Nova divided his time with the New Warriors, working solo, and occasionally being called into space by the Nova Corps. During Rider’s absence from the Corps, Nebula attacked Xandar and destroyed the remaining portion of the planet along with most of it’s inhabitants.
After fighting Super-Nova, a Xandarian that had gained almost all of the Nova Force and was driven mad by it, with the help of former Galactus‘ Heralds, Firelord and Air-Walker, Nova became the Centurion Prime. He was to be the guardian of Earth’s sector of space. Nova continued to fight alongside the New Warriors against various threats, including the very powerful Sphinx.
The Real World
The New Warriors eventually broke up and reformed a few times. The last formation of the team had the New Warriors as stars of a reality show that traveled across the country and fought villains on television. Nova was not a part of the New Warriors during the Stamford Incident that lead to the Civil War.
Shortly before the horrible incident that resulted in the New Warriors’ deaths at Stamford, Connecticut, Nova was called back to Xandar to assist the Nova Corps with an unknown threat to the universe. That threat ended up being the Annihilation Wave. Shortly after Rider arrived, the Wave destroyed Xandar and decimated the Nova Corps. Nova was the only survivor of the attack and the last remaining Corps member. Worldmind, the Xandarian living computer that contains the record of Xandar’s history, contacted Nova. Worldmind explained that if not protected by Nova, all of Xandarian culture would be lost as well as the Nova Force. Nova reluctantly agreed to take the entire Nova-Force into himself, a feat that could drive him insane, and had Worldmind uploaded into his helmet in order to protect it. Worldmind also helps Rider retain his sanity with the Nova-Force by aiding him in controlling and utilizing it.
Later, Nova discovers Drax The Destroyer and Cammi on the surface of Xandar, the only other two apparent survivors of the onslaught. They rush to escape the planet, which has been knocked out of it’s orbit due to the damage it suffered from the attack, since it is quickly becoming unstable. Worldmind tells them where an undamaged ship is docked and together they fight their way through stray Annihilation Wave drones to get to it. Nova feels all of the raw power from the Nova Force and overdoes it despite Worldmind’s warnings. Nova asks Drax if he could teach him how to help control his power and focus it.
Nova opens a gate to the planet Nycos Aristides, several light years away. Upon arrival the engines of their vessel cut out and they begin to fall and burn up into the atmosphere, but are saved by Quasar who is aiding the planet’s evacuation efforts.
Quasar talks Nova into helping him evacuate the planet from the oncoming Annihilation Wave, despite Nova’s fears of losing control of his power. They hold their own against the wave and even attempt to kill Annihilus himself, but Quasar is killed in the process and Annihilus acquires his Quantum Bands. Nova barely escapes with his life. Nova heads up a a resistance movement against the Annihilation Wave called the United Front with Peter Quill (Starlord) as his second-in-command. After losing a major battle, they decide to dissolve the resistance in hopes of minimizing casualties and form a small strike-team with one goal: kill Annihilus.
Nova along with Gamora, Drax and Peter Quill and other members of the resistance are caught off guard when a army of Annihilus attacks their headquarters. Fearing that they are losing the war and barley escaping with their lives, Nova plans one final attempt to stop the Annihilation wave.
As the final battle looms and Annihilus’ fleet is being destroyed by Galactus, Nova is able to challenge Annihilus to single combat. The fight doesn’t go so well for Nova since Annihilus possessed both the Quantum Bands and the Cosmic Rod. Nova looks defeated at Annihilus’ hands when Phyla-Vell manages to steal the Quantum Bands from Annihilus. The tide being turned in Nova’s favor and realizing there was no way to penetrate his armor, Nova manages to rip Annihilus’ insides out from his mouth, killing him.
Following the events of Annihilation, Nova becomes overwhelmed with work. Rushing from one crisis to the next, finding himself being one of the only people in the universe able to help, and coming to terms with being the last remaining member of the Nova Corps. World Mind cautions him not to overwork himself seeing as containing all of the Nova Force is a stressful job already. While trying to reach one of the many crises, Nova falls out of the stargate and falls on the Moon. He decides to take this time to relax for a while and visits Earth. Nova first visits his parents’ home. His parents are glad to see that Richard is doing well, but are uneasy with him because of the events of Civil War. His parents are also shocked to see that World Mind is controlling his body while Richard is asleep. His parents don’t understand what has become of him and whether or not he’s even human anymore. Upon arrival, Nova is confronted by Iron Man and SHIELD, having identified him as a Class 12 threat when entering Earth’s atmosphere. After telling Nova about the Civil War, the Initiative, and the new Super Hero Registration Act, Nova is given 24 hours to decide whether he wants to register or not. While on the helicarrier, Nova is approached by Justice, his former teammate from the New Warriors. They talk about the events that have taken place and Nova is shocked to hear that his ex-teammate and ex-girlfriend Namorita was killed during the Stamford incident. Shocked by the news, Nova leaves to clear his mind.
Whilst walking around his old neighborhood, Nova is attacked by his old foe Diamondhead, seeking revenge after years in prison. Nova easily shatters his hand, but this draws the attention of the Thunderbolts, who attempt to bring him in for being an unregistered hero, unaware that Nova still has time to decide. After the fight is called off by Iron Man, Nova returns home, where he has an argument with his parents about the fight with the Thunderbolts. Shortly after this, Nova meets up with his old friend Robbie Baldwin, now known as Penance. After seeing what’s happened to him, Nova decides to leave Earth, since too much has happened since he was last there and space makes more sense to him now.
Nova returns to space right into the middle of Annihilation Conquest and the Phalanx invasion of the Kree. An event that he is ill-prepared for at first. Upon Worldmind informing Nova of hundreds of distress calls coming from the Kree home planet of Hala, Nova heads there, where he is attacked by infected Kree Sentries under the command of Gamora, who has become one of the Phalanx Select. After almost being infected by the sentries, Nova attempts to escape from Kree space, only to find that it’s been encased in an energy field to prevent anyone escaping. When he tries to use a stargate to escape, Nova hits the energy field, and crash lands on Drez-Lar, burned nearly down to a skeleton.
A stranded Kree ship finds him and their commander Ko-Rel is given a portion of Nova’s power in order to protect him, she becomes the first Nova Corps recruit since the Annhiliation wave destroyed Xandar. Unfortunately, whilst Ko-Rel is fighting the Phalanx that try to invade and capture Nova, Gamora sneaks into the bay where he is healing, and kisses Nova, infecting him with the Transmode Virus and making him a Phalanx Select.
As one of the Select he captures Drax The Destroyer for the Phalanx and helps to kill Ko-Rel. The World Mind has been able to hold off the virus using portions or Richard’s memory as a last resort, using memories of Rhomann Dey to help aid him in his fight against the virus. With the death of Ko-Rel, the power she was giving is drawn back into Nova allowing him to hold off the Transmode Virus enough that he is in control of himself once more, although the Transmode Virus isn’t destroyed. With the data gathered from when Nova was a Phalanx, Worldmind works out that Nova can escape from the energy field still surrounding Kree space by channeling the powers of a star into a stargate. However, Gamora and Drax manage to follow him, planning to either kill him or turn him into a Phalanx again, and as a result of his hasty stargate, Nova ends up in uncharted territory of the universe, where he finds Knowhere.
In Knowhere, Nova finds out that a space team called the Luminals, (described as the equivalent of the Avengers) have placed their greatest enemy, called Abyss in Knowhere in the hope of containing him forever. However, Abyss escapes from the container he’s in, and begins turning the residents of Knowhere into zombie-like creatures. Nova manages to seal Abyss back in his container by releasing a tiny amount of the Transmode Virus and using that to seal the container properly. Unfortunately, as a result of this, Nova’s resistance against the Transmode Virus is weakened and he slowly begins to be taken over by it. With the help of the residents of Knowhere and the keeper of Knowhere Cosmo, Nova is able to find Kvch, the home world of the Technarchy, who are the “parents” of the Phalanx. Once there, Nova encounters Warlock and his young ward Tyro who both cure Nova of the Transmode Virus, as well as Drax The Destroyer and Gamora upon Nova’s request. Nova then returns in time to assist in the liberation of Hala and defeat of Ultron and his Phalanx horde.
After Annihilation: Conquest
Following the events of Conquest, Nova continues responding to urgent distress signals, the first being a confrontation with Galactus and the Silver Surfer on the planet Orbucen. While assisting in the evacuation Nova apprehends Harrow, a psychokinetic serial killer. Galactus’ machines are causing interference with the Orbucen’s technology, preventing them from escaping. Nova directly confronts Galactus to try and buy the people of Orbucen enough time to evacuate the planet. This forces a battle with the Silver Surfer, but the Surfer eventually fixes the problem for Nova once he is far away enough to avoid Galactus’ perception. Unfortunately during his battle with Silver Surfer, Harrow escapes forcing Nova to delay his own departure from the planet and becoming trapped as Galactus prepares to devour Orbucen.
Nova escapes to Galactus’ ship through the tubes that feed the ship the converted energy. It is during this escape that causes Worldmind to go offline and has to rely on a back up program to aid him in keeping the Nova force in check. He soon finds Harrow on the ship as well who has been hiding himself there all along to feed off of the fear of all those Galactus has tormented. Before Nova could stop Harrow, the Silver Surfer arrives and Nova explains to the Surfer that Harrow has been stowing away on Galactus’ ship for sometime and has been taking advantage of the worlds he’s been feeding on. The Silver Surfer makes Galactus aware of the stowaway, Harrow. Galactus instantly kills Harrow for his deception, but spares Nova’s life. Teleported away from the ship, the Surfer tells Nova that he has been spared by Galactus and that Galactus rarely spares someone twice. Surfer then warns Nova to never cross their paths again.
Secret Invasion & the Nova Corps
While responding a distress call, Nova was ambushed by a team of Skrulls. He managed to defeat them but was not prepared to face his old ally, KI’rt . At first Kl’rt seems to be working to capture Nova, but turns on his own kind and is able to help Nova defeat the remaining Skrulls. Thanks to him, Nova learns of the Skrull Invasion on his home planet. He along with Kl’rt traveled to Earth and arrived to witness the Skrull siege of the P.E.G.A.S.U.S. facilities. Aware that his brother was in the P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Project, Nova launched himself against the hordes of Skrulls, managing to stop them for a few moments with the help of Darkhawk. But things got complicated with the invaders retaliation leaving the heroes between the sword and the wall. He learns that a main reason that the Skrulls may be invading the base is because of enegry coming from a quantum flask. Nova feels that with the quantum flask they will have enough power to stop the Skrulls. The scientist also claim that they can help restore the World Mind function. With time running out World Mind is restored and the the quntuam flask is revealed to show that is was hoosting the life energy of Quasar With no chance to win, the Skrulls decided to obliterate the facility with everyone inside. But it was Nova’s lucky day because in that exact moment, the Skrull ships were completely destroyed by a group of new Nova recruits.
After the Invasion was over, Nova found out that while he was sleeping, World Mind decided to gather again the Corps to help him in his mission. These new members were Fraktur, Rael, Malik Tarcel, Morrow and Qubit who proved to be a wise choice by World Mind. Although Nova was pleased with these Corps, he was still reluctant to gather the whole Nova Corps again. He felt that if World Mind and he were going to reform the Nova corps that they would have to do it right and pick the right people to join the ranks. Nova and made a deal with World Mind to wait a little bit more before accepting more Centurions. But World Mind decided that the time to wait was over, and he recruited everyone inside PEGASUS, including Nova’s brother, Robbie Rider. World Mind used the rest of the corps to search for a new host for him, they found it in Ego the living Planet. When Ego appeared in orbit of Earth, Nova approached the planet to investigate, only to find World Mind had taken over Ego the Living Planet and turned him into the New Xandar.
World Mind wanted Nova to return the main reserves of the Nova Force. Nova went back to Earth but before he returned he was stopped by the Fantastic Four. Needing some good advice Richard decided to ask help from friends. He asked Justice and Firestar to meet up with him at the old New Warriors hang out. The group talked about how much has changed, the adventured they had, and gave Nova some advice about his current state. Nova thought about it long and hard, and decided to return the powers of Nova prime back. He arrived at Nu Xandar and was prepared to give back most of his power, but at the last minute, Nova felt that something was wrong and refused to return the power.. World Mind sent the rest of the corps to restrain him but he was too strong. Then World Mind stripped Nova of his powers and sent him back to Earth.
Dying from overexposure to the full Nova-force, Richard asks Doctor Eve Necker from P.E.G.A.S.U.S. for help. With H.A.M.M.E.R. shutting down P.E.G.A.S.U.S., Dr. Necker tries to persuade Richard to accept help from A.I.M.. Richard refuses and walks away from her. Remorseful, Eve gives him the Quantum flask inhabited by Quasar‘s consciousness so it wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. Richard breaks the flask, and suddenly Quasar appears and offers Richard the Quantum bands, potentially saving his life until he can regain the Nova Force. With the power of the Quantum Bands at his disposal Richard traveled to confront Ego and get back his Nova Prime powers. Richard was able to fight his way into Ego and was able to regain his Nova force. Ego was becoming aware of what had occurred and Nova lobotomized Ego’s brain. With the strain that World Mind had went though and the corruption that had happened to his personality, he would have to restore himself to a new personality. Nova didn’t want World Mind to leave, he felt that they became good friends and that they have been through so much together, but World Mind rebooted itself, now having a Ko-Rell personality.
War Of Kings & Realm of Kings
While Worldmind was being corrupted by Ego, a war broke out between the Kree, under the new leadership of the Inhumans, and the Shi’ar, under Emperor Vulcan. Worldmind sent the newly recruited and poorly trained Nova Corps into battle against the Shi’ar and their Imperial Guard. The result was a total rout of the Nova Corps with many casualties and the capture of the newly selected Nova Prime, Malik Tarcel.
With his power’s restored Richard went to save his brother and the rest of the Nova corps members that were captured. Richard was able to fly into the war zone and fought off against Xenith and helped his kid brother.
At the end of the Kree-Shi’ar War, a massive bomb was set off, further damaging an already unstable universe and creating a massive fissure in space-time known as the Fault. Richard gathered the small Nova Corps on Nu-Xandar and parked at the edge of the Fault to assess the threat that it posed.When Nova learned that Darkhawk was accused of murdering Lilandra, he set out to find him.
His search led him to the planet Shard. Upon confronting Darkhawk the planet broke into pieces. The two were pulled into a mysterious place controlled by the Sphinx. Mr. Fantastic, Blackbolt, and Namorita were also taken from a earlier time. The Sphinx took each of the heroes from their time because he wished to defeat a younger version of himself who desired to steal his Ka Stone. After defeating both Sphinxes, Nova, Darkhawk and the other heroes are returned to their own time except for Namorita, who Nova keeps with him since he does not want to lose her again.
Heroic Age: Secret Avengers
Steve Rogers asks Nova to join the Secret Avengers and he accepts. Nova’s first job was to go to Mars and investigate recent mining activity by Roxxon. While there he runs into trouble and is attacked. He flees and tries to find safety but ends going through a cavern.
In the cavern lies the Serpent crown. Worldmind warns Nova to stay back because of the energy signature given off by the crown. Richard ignores the warning, being drawn to it by the Crown’s power, and removes his Nova helmet. He puts on the Serpent Crown and becomes possessed by it. Steve Rogers decides to put on the Nova helmet to use the Nova Force and stop the possessed Richard Rider and his followers. Steve succeeds and Richard is freed from the control of the crown. After Worldmind gives Richard his powers back, he receives a distress call from the Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova must leave the Secret Avengers for the time being.
The Thanos Imperative
While at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S Nova meets up with Quasar. He realizes that it’s not the Quasar he knew, but the one from the Cancerverse. Nova attacks the evil Quasar, who flees. Nova pursues him and warns as many as he can that this evil Quasar is heading towards the fault. The evil Quasar reaches the Fault and waiting for him is a massive fleet of temple ships for the Universal Church of Truth. Quasar meets Magus in time for the arrival of dozens of converted planets. The trillions of believers on all the planets are all chanting “Ignition” and they simultaneously explode, opening up the fault and catching Nova in the blast. Magus and Quasar are met by their leader, Lord Mar-Vell, an evil twisted Cancerverse version of the Kree Captain Mar-Vell of the mainstream Marvel Universe. The denizens of the Cancerverse were set to invade this universe, all that needed to be done first was to hunt down and destroy this universe’s Avatar of Death so that Life would be the only thing in this universe as well.
Richard and Quasar fought together when the undying creatures of the Cancerverse began to invade. Lord Mar-Vell’s Revengers began seeking out anomalies in the universe. They captured Namorita and Major Victory of the Guardians of the Galaxy amongst others to determine who the Avatar of Death was. Silver Surfer along with Galactus and other cosmic abstracts arrived to aid the universe in battle. They soon realized how great a threat this was becoming when the cosmic abstracts formed a perimeter around the Fault in an attempt to hold it back. But things got even worse when the Cancerverse brought out their own version of the Galactus Engine. In an attempt to rescue Namorita and get straight to the source of the problem, Nova gathered a strike team of the biggest heavy hitters in the universe. Together they stormed Lord Mar-Vell’s Sanctuary and rescued the prisoners. Mar-Vell escaped, however, returning back to the Cancerverse to kill Thanos, the Avatar of Death. Before leaving, he blew up his ship with Nova and his team on it.
The battle seemed impossible to win and most of the universe’s forces were either destroyed or retreating. Nova found out about Peter Quill, aka Star Lord‘s, plan to travel into the Cancerverse and destroy it. He leaves the front line to travel into the fault and aid his friend. He arrives and defeats the Revengers. Thanos is killed by Mar-Vell, but that was Thanos’ plan all along. Death entered the Cancerverse when Thanos died and destroyed Mar-Vell and the Cancerverse. Death still rejected Thanos and this droove him mad with anger. Star Lord tricked the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy into leaving while he and Nova remained. They decided to try and keep Thanos busy while the universe collapsed so he would be trapped there forever. They sacrificed themselves to rid the universe of Thanos once and for all. A memorial was built on Hala in honor of Nova and Star Lord declaring them Guardians of the Galaxy. It is revealed that when Nova died in the collapsing universe all of the Nova Force went with him since it did not return. Worldmind has not rebooted since Nova’s death.
Star Lord is forced by Gamora to reveal the events that took place in the Cancerverse, why Thanos and Star Lord are still alive and what happened to Nova. Quill and Nova were fighting Thanos and out of no where Drax reappeared. It’s revealed that no individual outside of the Cancerverse universe can die in it. They will just be reborn. While Drax and Thanos are fighting the Revenegers who up with the intend of taking the Cosmic Cube in order to excape to the 616 universe. Nova is able to keep the cube away from the hands of the Revengers but his arm is cut off by the shield of Cancerverse version of Captain America. Starlord and Drax are about to be beaten by the Revengers, but at the last minute Nova is able to rescue them. Bleeding out Nova begins to fear that they will not make it out, but Thanos is able to destroy the Revengers. Fearing for the fate of his friends, Nova grabs the Cosmic Cube and uses all of the remaining Nova Force to power it. Nova explains that he can be the door that helps them escape and asks Peter and Drax not to mention what has occurred in the Cancerverse to anyone. Nova is able to open a portal back to the 616 universe, and saves the lives of Drax, Starlord and by accident Thanos. Nova explained that he didn’t want Gamora to know that his sacrifice would have also saved the life of Thanos, but he did it to save the lives of his friends.
Some time later, the new Nova, Sam Alexander, is able to recover Richard’s helmet during the Black Vortex incident. He brings it back to the Rider family and lets them know that their son died a hero.
Sam is later able to briefly enter the Worldmind, where he finds out that Richard’s consciousness has been downloaded into the computer after his death. The two Novas briefly chat, with Richard urging Sam not to give up on being a hero. After Sam leaves, Richard is somehow resurrected through unknown means, and heads to Earth to visit his mother and tell her he’s alive.
After she returns his helmet and tells him that Sam gave it to her, Richard decides to seek him out, but begins to display signs that he has not yet shaken his connection to the Cancerverse.
During his time on Earth, the Cancerverse begins manifesting on Earth, including through him, causing him to take on a terrifying, monstrous appearance. Richard lies to Sam and tells him he has no idea what is going on or what the creatures are, which eventually results in the Cancerverse manifesting through the shrine of fallen Nova helmets in the Alexander home. Sam’s sister Kaelynn is nearly killed, and when he finds out Richard was not telling the truth about the monster, he punches him.
Following his surprising and mysterious return, he was informed about his father’s death and met up with Sam Alexander, who, after teaming up with Rider and defeating an otherworldly monstrosity, noticed his strange behavior which was revealed to be caused by the horrors of the Cancerverse that followed him when he left that dimension. Eventually, they broke free, and, to prevent them from taking over his home planet, Richard traveled back to the place where “death has no meaning”. There, the story of his escape was finally told by none other than the Xandarian Worldmind.
After using himself to help Peter Quill and Drax get out of the Cancerverse, Nova was, for a long time stranded there and had to overcome the many challenges of this reality, such as the Revengers. He later decided to leave the Cancerverse behind, so he figured out how to use the Cosmic Cube. He had to load it with energy, sacrificing the Worldmind and the entire Nova Force in the process. Worldmind felt betrayed and, after being left behind, seized control of the Cancerverse.
Samuel followed Rider, where he found him taken over by the Many-Angled Ones and the Worldmind. He freed him from the curse after a short duel, and together they try to convince the Xandarian supercomputer to come with them, but he refused, stating that it had felt way too many deaths to not prefer a place without it. The two Corpsmen soon found the Cosmic Cube, and recharge it together to return to Earth, where they continued their lives as Novas.
Nova became the target of the Dark Guardians, a team dedicated to preventing Thanos from resurrecting. The Dark Guardians believed that Thanos would come back transferring his consciousness to Rider’s former lover Gamora and attacked him to force him to reveal Gamora’s location. Nova managed to escape and went to the Guardians of the Galaxy to warn them of the Dark Guardians. Rider discovered that the Guardians had already reunited with Gamora, and he realized that the Dark Guardians would follow him to Gamora. The Dark Guardians then attacked and forced to the Guardians’ ship to crash on a planet. After a brief fight, Nova and the Guardians were defeated by the Dark Guardians, and Gamora was captured.
Using the teleportation ability of Lockjaw, Rider and the Guardians boarded the Dark Guardians’ ship to rescue Gamora. They learned from Gamora that Thanos didn’t come back in her body but in the body of his brother Starfox and was being aided by the Asgardian death goddess Hela and the Black Order.
Rider, the Guardians, and the remaining Dark Guardians joined forces and invaded Knowhere to stop Thanos’ resurrection. Gamora stabbed Starfox while Thanos was transferring his consciousness into his body. This ruined the transference process, bringing Thanos back with a fractured mind. Rider, the Guardians, and the Dark Guardians later fled Knowhere when a black hole generation was triggered, causing Knowhere along with Hela and Thanos to be sucked into the black hole created.
Annihilation – Scourge
While Rider was away on a mission, the Nova Corps was wiped out entirely by the Universal Church of Truth from an alternate future. Being the only surviving Nova, Nova became very depressed and drowned his sorrows in alcohol. While drinking, he was unexpectedly approached by Annihilus who asked for the Nova Corps’ help in fighting an invasion of the Negative Zone by the Scourge from the Cancerverse. Nova reluctantly agreed to help Annihilus. When they couldn’t access the Negative Zorn using Annihilus’ means, they used a portal created by Mister Fantastic. The pair was transported to a moon that orbited the planet Ollrig, whose people chose to kill themselves than fall to the forces of the Cancerverse. Rider and Annihilus found a few of Ollrig’s survivors and stayed with them for a few hours. Nova then fought off Negative Zone beings possessed by the Scourge. Nova was winning but was then attacked by the leader of the Scourge, the Void who was disguised as the Sentry. After getting beaten by the Void, Rider was prepared to be added to the Scourge’s ranks. Rider panicked and fled, using a device that belonged to Annihilus to return to the Posiverse.
Rider later returned to the Negative Zone with a large contingent of heroes to help fight off the Scourge. However, the Scourge’s numbers were overwhelming. Nova and other heroes helped restrain the Void so Silver Surfer could reunite it with Robert Reynolds to stop the Scourge. This didn’t work as the reunited Sentry told Nova that the Cancerverse was drawn to him as he was once infected by it. Nova drew the invading Scourge away to the source of the invasion before consuming the creatures to contain them. Rider’s allies helped reinforce his body so he didn’t explode as it swelled to many times its size to contain the creatures. Sentry then killed Nova with an optic blast so the creatures died with him, finally ending the Scourge’s threat to the Negative Zone. While Nova’s allies mourned his death, Annihilus revived Nova with the Silver Surfer watching on to repay him for saving the Negative Zone. He then told Nova to leave the Negative Zone.
Deeply traumatized by the constant crises, Nova learned that the Olympians had returned, reborn as blood-thirsty despots. In order to stop their quest of contest, Richard enlisted the help of the Guardians of the Galaxy to send New Olympus into a black hole. A portion of the team turned their backs out of concern for their safety and desire for a quiet life, but Star-Lord was one of the members that joined Nova’s mission. Although the team was successful, Star-Lord sacrificed himself to manually detonate the black hole, sending himself to a different dimension alongside the Dark Olympians. Quill’s apparent death shattered the Guardians, causing the Guardians who had refused to join Nova’s mission to walk away and form a new team. The two teams ultimately clashed over competing sides in a mission, but reached a truce. At the insistence of his new teammate Hercules, Richard started therapy to start overcoming his many traumas, including blaming himself for Quill’s death.
The Guardians of the Galaxy were eventually reunited with Star-Lord, who had spent, unaging, over a hundred years in the other-dimensional world of Morinus. When the Dark Olympians had escaped from their impisonment, Peter returned to his home dimension to lure them away from Morinus. The Guardians stood their ground in Daedalus 5 and ultimately defeated the rogue gods. Afterwards, the Galactic Council sanctioned the Guardians of the Galaxy as protectors of the cosmos in light of the increasing uncertainty of the galactic landscape, providing the Guardians with headquarters in the space station Proscenium while Nova became the leader of the team.
Powers and Abilities
Nova derives his powers from a source known as the Nova Force, which is wielded by all members of the Nova Corps. Nova’s small share of the Nova Force gives him abilities that include flight, super strength, speed, and durability, as well as the power to absorb energies directed at him and release it as gravimetric beams and pulses, either from single parts of his body or from his entire body surface.
After the events of Annihilation, all members of the Nova Corps were killed except for Nova himself. Nova had to absorb all of the Nova Force, thus increasing his power levels by a drastic scale. He can now lift over 10,000 tons effortlessly, his energy manipulating and absorbing abilities have been significantly increased putting him nearly on par with the Silver Surfer, and he can now create and channel cosmic radiation and energy. He is capable of Beyond light-speed Flight, crossing star clusters in seconds, and is able to open star-gates through the fabric of space-time to collapse distances. The Nova Force also allows Richard to create force fields that are strong enough to withstand wave blasts unleashed by Galactus that destroyed nearby planets and most of the Annihilation wave. The force fields were strong enough to withstand the combined blasts of two Ka Stones that were wielded by the Sphinx. The World Mind itself contains the knowledge of everything that the Nova corps has collected of every race in the known galaxy, allowing Richard to access the information. The World Mind also helps shield Nova’s mind from psychic attacks and is able to stop psychic beings from being able to control Nova’s mind. Nova can also manipulate gravity around a certain area. He can make the gravity around a being become stronger and making it harder for the opponent to move. This ability was seen to be very useful against the psychic being Morrow. Nova can also open space-gates, which allow him to jump and travel large distances in space. And can also be used offensively in fights, since the gravity within a space-gate becomes stronger to the point where a space-gate caused several Kree Sentries to be crushed within the gravity of a space-gate that Nova opened.
However, under normal circumstances, Nova utilizes the World Mind in order to regulate the full power of the Nova Force, thereby limiting his potential. When infected by the Phalanx, this was not the case and Nova was in complete control of the entire Nova Force and was able to defeat Drax the Destroyer with ease. If Nova is able to regain this level of control when not under the control of the Phalanx, he will be one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. Nova has gone on for some time without the aid of World Mind. When Nova tried to escape a planet that was being eaten by Galactus, World Mind was damaged and Nova had to rely on a backup A.I. in order to help repair his damaged suit and to help regulate the Nova Force. Another instance came when Nova and Darkhawk were transported to another dimension. Here Nova didn’t have access to World Mind, but did show he could still use small amounts of the Nova Force without losing control of himself by creating a blast strong enough to destroy several Dijins that were attacking him and Darkhawk in the desert.
Nova Corps Uniform
To further stabilize Rider during his manipulation of the Nova Force, World Mind specifically modified Rider’s Nova uniform. The material of the uniform helps to contain and regulate some of Rider’s powers by siphoning some of the energies of the Nova Force. The uniform also contains inhibitors that can manipulate various hormones in Rider’s brain for the purpose of moderating his moods as needed. The uniform also has self-repairing capabilities, allowing it to seal rips and tears on its own. Rider can also alter the appearance and nature of his uniform to suit his needs. Of special note, the uniform’s internal computer includes a music library.
The helmet contains radio circuitry enabling Nova to pick up radio transmissions, monitor transmissions, telescopic sights, night vision sensors and heat imaging sensors, as well as overlay a visual heads-up display for tracking energy signatures. The helmet also contains a psynaptic scrambler to use on opponents in close quarters (such as Xenith and Gladiator). Nova’s helmet has a rigid construction and shape when worn but becomes as malleable as cloth when not in use, allowing Rider to hide it in his civilian clothes when desired.
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 190 lbs.
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Brown
- Identity: Public Identity
- Place of Birth: Hempstead, New York
- Citizenship: American
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Former Prime Commandant of the Nova Corps
- Known Relatives: Ellen (aunt); Dr. Ralph Rider (uncle, deceased); Charles Rider (father, deceased); Gloria Rider (mother); Robbie Rider (brother)
- Base of Operations: Mobile; formerly Xandar, New Warriors headquarters
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
Ultimate Nova is Rick Jones, granted power by the Watchers.
In this alternate reality, Sphinx (Karim) is in control of the world and the New Warriors never existed. Instead, Nova was a member of the United States of Assyria’s version of the Avengers.
Nova is dead and is in the realm of the dead. He and two other superheroes attempted to attack Mephisto who plans to kill all living beings. They were easily defeated but other remaining heroes also attempted to attack.
When Spider-Girl was fighting Darkdevil, Nova thought that Spider-Girl was a villain but later realized his mistake. Nova has attempted to tutor and lecture Spider-Girl on the importance of being a super-hero. However, his arrogance and lack of patience with younger heroes causes his lessons to be largely ignored. . Although he became an inspiration to Spider-Girl to form the MC2 version of the New Warriors. He also appears in the Last Hero Standing and within the Avengers Next limited series. Nova also assisted in the battle against Galactus in Last Planet Standing. The Nova in the MC2/Spider-Girl future is eventually confirmed to be Richard Rider in Avengers Next #2. His attitude toward Spider-Girl is often arrogant and dismissive, bordering on the contemptuous; but later he becomes impressed toward her, after her surviving a battle against the Avengers’ enemy Seth. The MC2 Nova uniform closely resembles the original Centurion Nova Prime uniform worn by Rhomann Dey (the Xandarian who gave Rich Rider his powers) and worn by Rider during Nova’s first and third series. The only difference is the original three starburst configuration has been changed into a single large starburst. The single starburst is similar to the starburst on the back of the original Nova uniform. The MC2 Nova has his headquarters located onboard the Nova Prime Starship. The starship resembles the ship used by Rhomann Dey to pursue Xandar’s destroyer, Zorr, to Earth and later used by Nova to fight the Skrulls during the Skrull/Xandar War. Whether this is the same starship as Dey’s or a new one based on the original design is unknown. The MC2 Rich Rider uses the Nova Prime Starship to monitor Earthbound threats from space.
Nova is one of the uninfected by the zombie plague. He was about to be bitten by Spider-Man, but was protected by Daredevil, who managed to get bitten because Nova was too shocked to assist. He was rescued by Thor and the Fantastic Four and they all go to the Helicarrier. There, Nick Fury brief the surviving heroes that they take a final defensive stand. Nova helped them but got bitten by Ms. Marvel.
He was later seen along with other zombie super-beings attacking Doctor Doom‘s castle. He is seen being cut to pieces by Magneto‘s barrage of metal shards. He is still mobile though and joined the other zombie super-beings in an attempt to eat the Silver Surfer. He was later killed by the cosmic-powered zombies.
A Possible Future…?
In Nova Annual #1, the Transmode Virus which Nova is currently infected with gives him visions of both his past and his possible future in an attempt to weaken his resolve. In this future, Nova is the Nova Prime and has restored the Nova Corps in an attempt to destroy the Phalanx for good. Several of his allies have become Nova Centurions, such as Gamora and Phyla-Vell. However, Earth has become overtaken by the Phalanx, and many of its heroes are now Phalanx Select.
- Silver Surfer – Nova appears as a background cameo in the episode “Learning Curve Part 1”
- Super Hero Squad Show – Nova appears in the episode “So Pretty When They Explode”, where he has been capture by Thanos who defeated the entire Nova Corps. He was voiced by Jason Marsden.
- Marvel Super Heroes – In Thanos’ stage which is a shrine to Death, Nova can be seen in the background as one of the frozen statues
- Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet – Nova appears as a playable character
- Marvel Super Hero Squad Online – Nova appears as a playable character
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 – Nova appears as one of 12 new playable characters in the update to the previous game. His play style seems to be a mix of rushing tactics and various energy blasts to keep the opponent on the defensive. His rival in game seems to be Phoenix Wright since both represent some form of law with Nova being closer to the police officer and Wright being a lawyer. In his ending after defeating Galactus, Nova recruits several Capcom characters into the Nova Corps. Namely Mega Man. Roll, Proto Man, and Zero. He was voiced by Troy Baker.
- – Nova returns as a playable character, voiced by Ben Diskin.
- – Nova appears as an NPC, voiced by Robbie Daymond.
- Toy Biz released a Nova figure for the “Space Racers” wave from the Silver Surfer action figure line. Though the figure was of Richard Rider, the character was named “Super Nova” to avoid confusion with Frankie Raye, the then-current Nova at the time.
- Hasbro released a Nova figure for the Marvel Legends Nemesis Build-a-Figure wave.
- Nova was featured in Hasbro’s Super Hero Squad toy line.
- Hasbro released a Nova figure for the Marvel Universe line.
- Hasbro released a Nova figure for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie Groot Build-a-Figure wave in the Marvel Legends line, though he does not actually appear in the film.