"Amazing! It’s everything dad talked about. The speed. The power. It’s like being a human rocket!"
Richard Rider was a normal teenager, until one day he was chosen by a dying alien to carry his power, making him a member of Nova Corps – an intergalactic police force. Since then Richard has been known as Nova, The Human Rocket!Nova is a Marvel Comics character. He first appeared in Nova vol. 1 #1 (September, 1976), created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema, as a Homage to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's run on Spider-Man, and to classic teenage superheroes in general. Nova's original series lasted for 25 issues (September, 1976-May, 1979), until he had to give up his powers to help Nova Corps rebuild their home planet, Xandar. Richard returned to Earth as a normal human, to lead a simple life again.Or so he thought. Some time later Richard was approached by Night Thrasher, who proved that his powers weren't lost, only dormant... by dropping him from a building. Nova joined the New Warriors and developed a romantic relationship with his teammate, Namorita. After the New Warriors ongoing was closed, he fell into obscurity, reappearing only occasionally in solo adventures or new volumes of New Warriors.In 2006 Richard was brought from Comic Book Limbo for Annihilation, a Marvel big cosmic event that featured him as the central character and gave him a serious revamp – new costume, a Mentor persona in Worldmind and several additional levels in badass. Afterwards, he got a new ongoing series and was participating in various other cosmic events. He played a part in Annihilation: Conquest, Secret Invasion and War of Kings and joined the Secret Avengers.His fourth series endured for 36 issues (June, 2007-June, 2010). Following its end, Nova played a big role in The Thanos Imperative, where he and Star-Lordstayed in the dying Cancerverse to keep Thanos from escaping. He hasn't been heard from since, even after Thanos and Star-Lord escaped.A new Nova named Sam Alexander has appeared in the prelude to Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel's big crossover event for 2012. A promotional comic explaining the sides of the event listed Sam as a wild card in the battle, along with the Incredible Hulk, Deadpool, Cable and Scarlet Witch.A fifth volume, written by Jeph Loeb starring Sam Alexander, has launched in February 2013. 2014's Original Sin also features the Novas, as Sam has a central role as The Watson and audience viewpoint character and Richard's fate will be one of the many Dark Secrets revealed.The Nova Corps appear in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy, though they are depicted somewhat differently than in the comics; still an intergalactic police force, but with no superpowers.Richard RiderComics
Many fans view Sam Alexander as one to the third Blue Beetle.
Alternate Reality: Where Nova 0:0 comes from and is actually not Richard but his brother Robert.
An Arm and a Leg: Nova Centurion Zan Philo lost an arm during his interdimensional travels, but got it replaced with the arm of the alien that removed his. Somewhere along the line he got two extra added on as well.
And This Is for...: THIS IS FOR NOVA CORPS! Yelled when Richard rips Annihilus inside out.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: In War of Kings, when surrounded by Blastarr's army, Nova loudly begs him to show them mercy...and then quietly whispers an ultimatum – either he will let them go, gaining a reputation as a real ruler, not a dumb barbarian, or Rich will do with him what he did with Annihilus.
Arbitrary Scepticism: Richard Rider has fought in wars, time-travelled, slept with the universe's most dangerous woman and literally seen the end of the universe (as in the physical edge of the universe), but a psychic dog weirds him out. Said dog calls him on this, and he admits that it's rude
Arch-Nemesis: Sphinx, for Richard. Even after everything he goes through, the Sphinx still remains one of his deadliest enemies.
Canon Immigrant: The second Nova, Sam Alexander, was created for the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. He appeared in the comics first thanks to the lengthy production cycle, making him similar to the Kaldur'ahm Aqualad and the Barbara Gordon Batgirl.
Casual Interstellar Travel: Sort of. Richard can fly from one end of the universe and back again, but it still takes time. Averted at one point, where Richard tries to change his route to save time. He nearly hits a black hole, and ends up crashing into a moon.
Catch Phrase: Worldmind's "Attention, Richard Rider. It is critical that you pay attention at this time."
Clingy Costume: Justified at one point, when Richard's suit is acting as quarantine for several nasty alien viruses. Becomes problematic very quickly, since he's on Earth just after Civil War. Just going for a walk quickly results in a visit from the Thunderbolts.
C-List Fodder: The Nova Corps as a whole since they get annihilated every time they made a major appearance.
Clothes Make the Superman: On top of the bestowed powers for members, the Nova Corps uniform has useful functions of its own like a life-support system and a radio scanning function.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: In issue 12 of his first series, Richard's uncle declares that he thinks Peter Parker is a superhero because his name anagrams out to "Kree Trapper."
Collapsible Helmet: The helmet's material can be as malleable as cloth when a Corpsmember wants to fold it up and carry it in a pocket, but takes on a rigid construction when it is worn.
Custom Uniform: Richard's uniform post-Annihilation is different from every other Nova's. And it's very cool. Justified in story since it's helping to keep the sheer amount of power he's got on hand in check.
De-power: Happened several times. 1)In between his first series ending and the beginning of New Warriors to bring Xandar back to life 2) by Garthan Saal, formerly Supernova, who becomes Nova of Earth for a while, and 3) by the Xandarian Worldmind The last time with bad consequences – Richard found out he was using his powers for so long that without them he was dying.
Determinator: Infected with a virus that's slowly trying to take over him, surrounded by enemies in a galaxy sealed off from the rest of the universe, with the only chance of a cure on a planet that can't be found? That's not going to stop Richard.
Foreshadowing: When Sam's sister tries on his helmet while he's asleep, she's automatically dressed in full uniform with centurion markings, despite the fact that by Nova Corps rules, this shouldn't be happening. However, the Original Sin tie-in issues reveal that the Black Nova weren't part of the Corps at all, so they don't follow those rules.
Fusion Dance: Done by Richard and Quasar. And by Worldmind and Ego. And by Ko-Rel and Worldmind, sorta.
Future Slang: Zan Philo has a tendency to add the word "ultra" to every other word he says.
Some of his winning quotes in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 makes him come out as quite full of himself. On the other hand, others shows him as Adorkable, in the end giving us an image of a dork trying to be a jerk and failing. Miserably.
Speedball, to Nova and Darkhawk: Oh, come on, you two! I thought it was basic etiquette for super heroes to smack one another around on first meeting before realizing they're on the same side. Have we learned nothing from team-ups?
Male Gaze: A young crewmate of Ko-Rel's takes a moment to note her Nova Corp outfit is very tight.
The Mentor: Worldmind tries to be this, but mostly it and Richard just bicker. Especially after it takes Ko-Rel's appearance.
Moment Killer: Richard rescues Dr. Necker from an Eldritch Abomination, she's grateful, they lean in... and then Worldmind cuts in to remind her that A) Richard has a girlfriend already, and B) Necker openly admitted to being a part of A.I.M..
Mood Whiplash: Richard's saved Worldmind from Ego, but its' personality has been compromised and has to be replaced. Richard and the Worldmind tearfully exchange goodbyes... and then Worldmind, now with Ko-Rel's personality, instantly starts laying on the sarcasm.
The Mole: Jesse Alexander for the Nova Corps, inside the Black Novas.
Nothing Is Scarier: We never see what Abyss, the arch-enemy of the Luminals, looks like. Not even Worldmind seems to know what 'he' is.
Odd Friendship: Sam Alexander manages to make friends with Uatu the Watcher.
Richard and Drax the Destroyer.
Our Zombies Are Different: They're called 'meat puppets', for one, and are the result of Abyss being let onto Knowhere. They go down easily. A blast meant to stun causes them to explode.
The Paragon: Nova does not believe in the ends justifying the means. He will always strive to do what his heart says is right under any circumstances... consequences be damned.
Reality Ensues: Sam bring home a huge chunk of gold in order to solve his family's money woes. The next morning his mom finds it, and points out that something that's been floating around in space is going to be covered in radiation, as illustrated by the fact that it's killing the grass around it.
The Reveal: Jesse Alexander wasn't a hero. He was a murderous thug. And the Black Novas weren't attached to the Corps, they were thieving the Nova Force for their own gain. Or, as the next issue reveals, some of the Black Novas were, but Jesse wasn't, and he ratted out the Black Novas to the Corps.
Robotic Reveal: Monark Starstalker turns out to be one, much to his surprise.
Rogues Gallery: Not a huge one: Megaman, Powerhouse, the Condor, Diamondhead, the Corruptor, Garthan Saal (Supernova), and the Sphinx
Sanity Slippage: Part of the reason Richard didn't want to carry the whole of the Nova Force, since it previously happened to Garthan Saal, and one of the reasons why he's got the Worldmind in his head, so that it can prevent this.
As it turns out, Richard didn't need to worry about this. But the Worldmind did.
Secret Keeper: Sam Alexander's mom knew her husband was a Nova Corp member.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Since Namorita dies in the present, a time-traveling Richard refuses to leave her behind in the past, where she'll definitely meet the same fate.
Refused a Re Power chance offered to him by a Mad Scientist who was in love with him, simply because she worked for AIM. It would have allowed him to save the Nova Corps (and potentialy Earth) from Ego the Living Planet AND stopped him from dying, but he still refused.
The Bus Came Back: Monark Starstalker, who last appeared in 1973, reappears in vol 4, chasing a Nova Centurion across dimensions.
Took a Level in Badass: And how! From a guy who was the staple “reckless rookie who gets in the way” among the Marvel superheroes, Richard turned into a badass space hero who ripped Annihilus guts through his throat! Spidey even complimented Nova for reaching big league status by being an Avenger.
Since the Annihilation War, Nova has risen to become the defacto commander-in-chief for any organized resistance against major interstellar conflicts, with even the biggest and baddest that space has to offer deferring to him.
What Happened to the Mouse?: In the original 70s run, Jerk Jock character Mike Burley disappeared after turning himself over to the police, after being forced to work with the villain Yellow Claw. His name was mentioned in the 90s run but he was never seen again.
Also Garthan Saal, who appears during War of Kings, rescues the captured Shi'ar Nova Prime, and both have not been seen since
Every single member of his supporting cast, including his brother and other Nova Corp members, since the end of volume 4
Yank the Dog's Chain: Ko-Rel and her crew crash-landed on a distant planet during the Annihilation War, and just after they get a chance to escape and go home, a Brainwashed and Crazy Gamora kills them all.