10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About The Next MCU Hero Nova

The cosmic corner of the MCU is growing with the news that the superhero known as Nova will be joining the franchise in the near future. Sabir Pirzada, part of the writing staff for Moon Knight, will be bringing Nova to the screen as a movie or series. Comic book fans know Nova is a major cosmic character with huge ties to major characters and events, making this announcement inevitable.

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Elements of the Nova mythology already exist in the MCU in the form of the Nova Corps, seen in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. There is even more to the character in the comics that viewers don’t know, including strong ties to major cosmic villains sure to be in the MCU in the near future as well as connections to several major superheroes that could land him in the Avengers.


Super Adventures

The cover of the fanzine Strange Adventures 3.

Nova’s first appearance in comics actually didn’t happen in a Marvel book but in a fanzine. Nova was originally created by Marv Wolfman, the legendary comic book writer behind some of the most important events in DC Comics history, for his own fanzine Super Adventures.

Nova initially appeared in issue #3 of the fanzine in 1966 and was later incorporated into Marvel Comics when Wolfman started there. According to the L.A. TimesNova would figure in a legal battle between Wolfman and Marvel for rights to the character as well as all of Wolfman’s creations for Marvel.

The Man Called Nova

Comic book fans know Nova made his debut into the Marvel Universe in The Man Called Nova #1 from 1976, written by Wolfman and drawn by John Buscema, one of the best Fantastic Four artists ever. The issue tells the origin of Richard Rider, who becomes Nova.

Nova gains his superpowers in a fashion similar to the Green Lantern from DC Comics. He receives the uniform of the last surviving member of the Nova Corps and all the superhuman powers that come with it, making him an instant member of an interstellar police force.

The Nova Force

Nova In Marvel Comics

The Nova Force has been seen in the MCU already, with the suggestion that they have been destroyed along with Xandar by Thanos. This could lead to the screen origin of Richard Rider and how he comes by the source of his superpowers, the Nova Force.

The Nova Force grants its users superhuman strength, speed, and stamina. Nova is also able to fly in space and has been shown to go faster than the speed of light. His uniform from him also absorbs cosmic energy and can redirect it, allowing him to generate massive energy blasts.

The Worldmind

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will feature Worldmind

Another likely feature of Nova’s powers in the MCU will be the Worldmind. If Xandar is totally destroyed in the MCU, the Xandarian Worldmind may be all that remains of their culture. Richard Rider could interface with it, as he did in the comics, gaining even more power.

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In the comics, Richard Rider gained infinite amounts of knowledge and power from his connection to the Worldmind. The Worldmind works somewhat like the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree Empire, though nowhere near as malevolent.

Fighting The Skrulls

Nova saves the Fantastic Four in Marvel Comics.

One way Nova could potentially enter the MCU is through conflict with the Skrulls. He fought the alien shapeshifters along with the Fantastic Four in issues #208 and 209 of their series, which could have some bearing on his live-action future of him.

In the comics, the Skrulls and Xandarians fought a major war against each other. Nova defeats the Skrulls with the help of Rom the Space Knight (a licensed toy character who became part of the Marvel Universe), but that wasn’t the end of their conflict.

Secret Invasion

Nova fights the Super Skrull in Marvel Comics.

Given the Skrulls are about to become a major threat in the MCU, Nova is potentially a character who could appear in the upcoming Secret Invasion streaming series. He had a major role in the comic book event series from the early 2000s.

The Skrulls preemptively attack Nova to get him out of the way before initiating their all-out attack on Earth. This doesn’t go the way they expect thanks to the intervention of Ki’rt, a Skrull who is likely to appear in the MCU in some context in the near future.

Fighting Nebula

Ravonna as Nebula from Marvel Comics

An interesting wrinkle in Nova’s comic book history that could have some bearing on the MCU has to do with Nebula. In the MCU, Thanos seems to have destroyed Xandar but in the comics, it was Nebula, acting on her own as the head of a ruthless band of pirates.

Nebula destroyed Xandar in avengers #260, the same issue she reveals she’s related to Thanos. Though the circumstances are different in the MCU, Nova may hold Nebula and perhaps even Gamora responsible for the fate of Xandar, due to their familial connection to Thanos.

Member Of The New Warriors

New Warriors Nova Firestar Marvel Boy Night Thrasher Speedbal Namorita

Nova joined the New Warriors in the early ’90s, beginning a long and successful run with the group. Richard Rider joined the group of young heroes, very much in the mold of the New Mutants and the Young Avengers, after losing Xandar.

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Richard Rider had lost his powers during this period — or thought he had. With the help of Night Thrasher, he regains them and a new sense of purpose. He fought alongside Speedball, Namorita, Marvel Boy, and Firestar, a mutant who has also been one of the most underrated X-Men.


Fantastic Four Annihilus Villain

Nova is at the center of one of the biggest Marvel Comics events of the early 2000s, Annihilation. He joins the revived Nova Corps to defend the universe against the all-out invasion of Annihilus and his unimaginable Annihilation Wave.

Nova actually succeeds in stopping Annihilus and kills him in the climax of the story. Given Annihilus’ prominence as one of the most powerful Fantastic Four villains, this event is likely going to be adapted for the MCU at some point.

Sam Alexander

Sam Alexander as Nova flying in The Champions.

Richard Rider may not be the version of Nova that fans see in the MCU. That could be Sam Alexander, whom modern comic book audiences are likely more familiar with. Sam is a 13-year-old superhero who takes up the mantle of Nova after the apparent death of Rider.

Sam could also make sense in the context of where the MCU is going. He is teammates with Ms. Marvel on The Champions and would fit in well with other young heroes from the Young Avengers sphere like Kate Bishop and Kid Loki.

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