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"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 ended, 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 (2008) 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-Lord stayed in the dying Cancerverse to keep Thanos from escaping. The three of them were presumed dead until eventually it was revealed that both Thanos and Star-Lord escaped. Much later it was revealed that Richard actually sacrificed himself to open a door that lead both Thanos and Quill back to their universe (along with Drax who was also in the Cancerverse).

A new Nova named Sam Alexander appeared for the first time in an special book called Marvel Point One, the story was a 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 Hulk, Deadpool, Cable and Scarlet Witch. Eventually he sided with the Avengers but only appeared briefly in one scene attacking Cyclops. Later, a fifth volume, written by Jeph Loeb starring Sam was launched in February 2013, Loeb left after a few issues and was replaced by Zeb Wells who also left after a few issues, following which was Gerry Duggan, who during his tenure kept the title afloat and increased Sam's fanbase (particularly with some of Richard Rider fans).

In 2015, a new, alternate reality version of Nova named Anwen Bakian debuted in the Secret Wars (2015) crossover. She proved a small hit, but hasn't been seen or referred to since.

In 2016, a new Nova series starring both Sam and Richard launched under the helm of Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez. Considered a hit by both Sam and Richard's fanbases (other than Sam's perennial Hate Dumb who have never abandoned their hatred for Sam), including bringing over a number of the dissenters and readers who were still on the fence regarding Sam's character. Alas, it didn't last long, getting cancelled and being forced to wrap itself up prematurely by its 7th issue.

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.

Prior to the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios expressed interest in a potential Nova movie in the future as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but any details on the project (including whether or not it exists) aren't yet disclosed.

Richard Rider


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Western Animation

Sam Alexander



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Western Animation

Nova provides examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Richard Rider had quite the mullet for a while before upgrading to a 90s ponytail that came out of the back of his helmet. Modern comics have greatly shortened his hair.
  • A Dick in Name: The original Nova was named Richard Rider. Despite the very obvious Unfortunate Name, the books almost never went with this. However, one notable exception occurs in New Warriors volume 3 in which "Dick Rider" was used very much for the sake of annoying him.
  • A Planet Named Zok: The Nova Corps' HQ is located on the planet Xandar.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Sam Alexander starts out much less of a Jerkass in the comics than he does in pre-Character Development in the early episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man (2012).
  • The Alcoholic: According to Sam, his dad tended to go on benders when he was actually on Earth. Unlike many examples, he was shown to be supportive towards his family and not shown to be abusive.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Sam Alexander, the second Nova, had a father who was an alcoholic, which may stem from his flashbacks during his time as a Nova. In spite of this flaw, he was shown to be a Good Parent and good husband, to the point where Eva even implied that he was experiencing a "rough" time. Though he became sober after staging a slave revolt against the Chitauris.
  • Alliterative Name: Richard Rider
  • Aloof Big Brother: Richard was horrified to find out this is how his younger brother, Robert, sees him.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Marvel's answer to Green Lantern, combined with a Spider-Man like protagonist and with a Superman-esque power set.
    • Many fans view Sam Alexander as one to the third Blue Beetle.
  • Alternate Universe: 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 Skepticism: 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.
  • Arc Villain: The Phalanx are the overarching villains of volume four's first story arc, with a Phalanx-corrupted Gamora serving as The Heavy.
  • Arc Welding: With Death's Head II during a crossover with Secret Invasion (2008). A younger version of Doctor Necker shows up working on an early version of her Minion Project, along with the Death's Head units from Planet Hulk.
  • Ascended Fanon: For years, a common in-joke among Marvel fans was to call the original Nova "Dick Rider" instead of Richard Rider. In AXIS, Spider-Man referenced the Unfortunate Names by saying "There's a joke in there if you think on it" while telling the new Nova of his predecessor.
  • Asshole Victim: The leader of Orbucen is a classist jerk who berates Richard for trying to save as many people as possible during a Homeworld Evacuation instead of focusing on the rich and powerful. The reader probably won’t shed any tears when he gets possessed by Harrow.
  • Back from the Dead: Richard Rider after escaping the Cancerverse. Though apparently he never actually stayed dead, due to death not existing in the Cancerverse. Every time he was killed, he then came back to life.
  • Badbutt: While Richard Rider can get quite violent with his powers (and there was that time he killed Annihilus by reaching down his throat and ripping his internal organs out), it's acknowledged and even lampshaded that he hates swearing and doesn't seem to like smoking or drinking either.
    Blue blazes!
  • Badass Boast: Does it sometimes, by reminding people that he killed Annihilus.
    Tony Stark: You say Annihilus was the driving force? What happened to him?
    Richard Rider: I pulled him inside out and saved the universe. What have you done lately, Tony?
  • Bequeathed Power: Richard Rider has pretty much the same origin as Green Lantern. The main difference is that Richard Rider was a teenager, in order to recapture some of the original Spider-Man feel.
  • Berserk Button: NEVER threaten to take Sam Alexander's helmet.
    • The very existence of the Novas is this to Diamondhead as he has a very personal hatred of Richard Rider. Said hatred only got worse after Annihilation when Nova outclassed him so badly that he was not even a minor annoyance to Richard. After the events of Avengers vs X-Men he basically throws away every dollar in his name to gear up and attack Sam Alexander because the very thought of there being a legacy Nova after Richard's death pissed him off that much.
  • Big Brother Mentor: What Richard aimed to become for his brother after accepting him joining the Nova Corps.
    • Richard has become a surrogate big brother mentor for Sam.
  • Bioweapon Beast: The first issue of volume 4 has Planetfall, a cybernetic Kaiju created by the people of Turakis to serve as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
  • Body Horror: In the Annihilation: Conquest tie-in, Richard's transmode virus flares up in the presence of Warlock, making technorganic Grey Goo erupt from his orifices and start merging him into the surrounding architecture. Drax and Gamora meet a much nastier fate under the same circumstances, as the virus merges them together and reshapes them into a miniature Babel Spire.
  • Body Surf: Harrow can project his mind out of his own body to possess people. Killing or imprisoning his current host barely inconveniences him, as he can easily jump into another body and pick up where he left off.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Richard Rider is serious and circumspect, and his sometimes-girlfriend Ginger Jaye is cheerful and perky.
  • Bucket Helmet: An In-Series Nickname for him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sam has it rough; pretty much everything he does seems to make the other heroes dislike him, often through no fault of his own. Deconstructed, since it's shown to be taking a toll on him, though it's still often Played for Laughs.
  • Came Back Wrong: Though Richard was mysteriously restored to life, at the start of the Marvel NOW Nova series, he isn't in perfect shape — and it looks like the Many-Angled Ones have come with him.
  • 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.
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Nova becomes a reconstruction of this in Annihilation.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Worldmind's "Attention, Richard Rider. It is critical that you pay attention at this time."
    • Richard's "Blue Blazes!"note 
    • "Monkey suit, be gone" in the 90s
  • Celestial Body: In volume 4, the shadowed parts of Galactus's body are full of stars and planetoids.
  • Chekhov's Skill: It was revealed way back in issue #2 (July 2007) that Worldmind could control Richard's body while Richard was asleep. Come issue #19 (January 2009), it turns out that Worldmind has been using Richard's "sleep periods" to recruit a new Nova Corps without Richard's knowledge or consent.
  • The Chosen Many: Nova Corps.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Richard Rider has a particularly bad case of this, brought on by fighting in the Annihilation War (and an absence of therapists to help with the survivor's guilt and shell-shock that came with it). The first issue of Nova (2007) has him rushing to answer every high-priority distress call in his backlog without stopping for things like food or rest... and nearly flying straight into a black hole as a result. By the time of Guardians of the Galaxy (2020), which deconstructs it, between several more apocalyptic disasters (and some slightly not-so-apocalyptic ones, like his brother turning evil and insane), Rich's CHS has gotten so bad he's having problems functioning, and Gamora bluntly tells him it's why their relationship failed and has to go into therapy.
  • 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 (2006). 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: Richard Rider's powers are innate, but his costume has a number of extra useful functions such as a life support system, radio transmission pickup, and later a powerful artificial intelligence to help him. His successor, Sam Alexander, relies completely on the suit. This leads to a few hilarious moments, such as Sam nearly falling to his death after taking off his helmet in mid-flight.
  • 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 Nova Corps uniform has a collapsible helmet. However, while it doesn't exactly fold into the armor, the usually hard Nova Corps helmet's material can become as malleable as fabric, for easy storage when removed. With a simple "flik", a Corpsman can turn it back into a hard helmet and take on a rigid construction when it is worn, which can keep them breathing in space, among other things.
  • Comic Books Are Real: Defied. As demonstrated in other series, Marvel Comics exists in-universe and contracts with heroes to write stories about them. Poor Rich actually saved Marv Wolfman and Sal Buescema from the villain of the week only to be told his series was getting preempted by one about a cartoon mouse.
  • Cool Helmet: The Nova Corpsmen's helmets are the source of their powers (when they don't have the powers embedded into them, any case), as well as having extra features like a rebreather. Not only is Richard's variety ultra-convenient, going from rigid helmet to collapsable mask at will, but Sam's Black Nova Helmet is the source of all of Sam's powers, both offensive and utility. In fact, going after the Corpsmen's helmets becomes a bit recurring plot point, especially during Sam's runs.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Seems to be a trend for the Novas, with Rich being thrown from one traumatic scenario to another, Sam being constantly reminded that he's the least smart and respected of his heroic peers, and the Nova Corps itself dying en masse every few years.
  • 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.
    • The uniforms worn by the Supernova Corpsmen, and by extension Sam Alexander.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: A heroic example. Rich uses his superspeed to start a delivery company.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ko-Rel, and the Worldmind but especially after taking her appearance.
  • Deus ex Machina: In issues 13 and 14 of Volume 4, Richard is helping an alien species evacuate their planet as it's being devoured by Galactus. When the evacuation stalls because Galactus is giving off electromagnetic radiation which interferes with the arks' drives, Richard tries to convince Galactus to stop feeding for a few hours so the locals can shield their drives from the radiation. This gets him attacked by the Silver Surfer, who eventually calms down. After Richard explains the situation, the Surfer blinks, then announces that he has shielded all the drives and the locals can finish their evacuation.
  • De-power: Happened several times.
    • For Richard: 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.
    • For Sam: 1) When his helmet broke and he had to find a way to fix it; and 2), when his helmet was outright confiscated at the end of the Champions' tie-in story for "Infinity Countdown''".
  • 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.
    • It's a trait inherited by Sam too. During Axis, Sam got curb stomped so bad that he got hit from Arizona to Paris and still came back, determined to win.
    • Richard shows this off again when despite being in the Cancerverse for years, and dying and coming back to life over and over again, he continues to fight each time. He eventually uses a Cosmic Cube to return from the Cancerverse.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Novas in general are actually very good at this. For Richard in particular, during his last series, he took on Sphinx, more powerful than ever before, now able to bend reality at his will, and won. In the last issue Cancerverse Quasar unleashes an Eldritch Abomination that, as he claims, managed to destroy the entire Nova Corps of the Cancerverse in twelve minutes. Richard blows it up in one shot. In The Thanos Imperative Richard takes down a bunch of alternate superheroes, empowered by the Many-Angled Ones, and curbstomps them.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • In War of Kings, Richard has been depowered, briefly took the mantle of Quasar and then regained his old powers.
    • Happens to Sam after his helmet gets confiscated, albeit temporarily, under false pretenses, and only while in Weirdworld, where he gains the ability to manipulate the energies of Weirdworld's crystals, empowering himself into a being who became known as the Nova Knight.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Ko-Rel, who later became one for Worldmind.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: In the fourth series, Richard starts out with the entire Nova Force at his disposal, making him as powerful as the entire Nova Corps combined. Then he gets infected by the Phalanx's transmode virus and is forced to dedicate most of his power to keeping the virus in remission, leaving him greatly weakened. Once Warlock cures him of the virus, Richard is back to full strength.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For Sam Alexander, he managed to rescue his father from Chitauri, ending his disappearance for two years Comic-Book Time.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: At one point Sam tries to save a damaged alien spaceship and communicates with the aliens inside it by flashing lights at them in Morse code. The ship's universal translator picks this up and interprets it as "rent your asthma," which the aliens correctly interpret as "vent your plasma" and the ship is saved. Justified immediately when a discussion in a cutaway panel reveals that Sam's unusual behavior lately has included, among other things, reading up on Morse code. Though how a universal translator module was able to pick up flashing lights and interpret them as a message instead of just flashing lights is anyone's guess.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Worldmind. Similar to it's Sanity Slippage (see below), after Rider escaped from the Cancerverse, Worldmind was left behind for an undisclosed amount of time. During this time, it infected the Revengers trapped in the Cancerverse to use as host bodies. Now it wants out of the Cancerverse useing Richard as the door.
  • Fantastic Drug: Crush. It's a big seller in some places, sold by the Neutron Slaves.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: In Sam Alexander's series, Sam's science teacher doesn't believe in aliens. This in the Marvel Universe, which can barely go a week without a Skrull/Kree/Shiar/Brood invasion, not to mention all the heroes who are aliens but spend most of their time, or even live, on earth.
  • Flying Brick: Both Novas call themselves the "Human Rocket" for a reason. As Nova Prime, Richard is capable of going toe to toe with Heralds of Galactus and ripping Annihilus inside out, while even Sam is capable of performing a flying tackle on Dark Phoenix Cyclops (this probably wasn't his best idea...)
  • Flying Firepower: With the above, Rich and Sam can also wield their powers as energy blasts.
  • Forced Transformation: The Condor is turned into a condor, courtesy of the Sphinx. Later when it is reversed he is a half man, half bird hybrid
  • 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. At least until they were folded as Black Ops division after Jesse's undercover operation. It may also be possible that the Black Nova Helmet ran on Jesse's imprint that may have been passed down to his children (Sam and Kaelynn).
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: While Nova's first series ended at issue 25, the story continued into several issues of Fantastic Four and one issue of ROM: Spaceknight.
  • 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.
  • General Badass: Richard qualifies as the Nova Corps equivalent after Annihilation.
  • Ghost Town: Knowhere first appears like this. No-one's around, the lights are off, and there's blood on the walls. The only beings left are Cosmo and the Luminals. Oh, and some zombies.
  • Giant Corpse World: Knowhere, the city/space station built into the decapitated skull of a dead Celestial, makes its first ever appearance in volume 4.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Warlock refuses to cure Richard of the transmode virus or help him free the Kree galaxy from Phalanx control, as curing Richard would require Warlock to give up his own life and Warlock is preoccupied with raising his adoptive son, Tyro. Then Tyro's biological parent, a mature Technarch siredam, shows up looking to kill Tyro. Realizing that Richard is the only one powerful enough to even hope to hold this thing off, Warlock sacrifices his own life to cure Richard on the condition that he buy time for Tyro to escape.
  • Gosh Dangit To Heck: Richard doesn't like swearing and uses his “Blue Blazes!” Catchphrase instead. He even discuss this with a classmate in a (sort-of) flashback to his teen days.
  • Gravity Master: One of the many fun features of the Nova Force. Robert is much better at it than Richard, as it turns out.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Robert is understandably jealous of his super-hero big brother. Especially when Rich shows up during the Skrull invasion and instantly impresses all his co-workers.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe:
    • Gamora, who was briefly Richard's lover. She's still attracted to him, but he's scared by the whole "Deadliest Woman in the Universe" thing, and later because they spent so much time apart, what with Rich having been stuck in the Cancerverse and presumed dead for a few years.
    • Namora had this appearance for a while during the time they were dating (though she's an Atlantean, not an alien).
  • Hand Blast: A Nova Corps specialty.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Sphinx, of all people, becomes a time guardian for a while...then stops for some reason and goes back to villainy
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Naturally averted for the Nova Corps as a whole. Played straight with Garthan Saal.
    • Also played straight with some of the Black Novas.
      • Subverted since Jesse Alexander went into the Black Novas as The Mole and later reformed them into an Elite Army.
  • Heroes of Another Story: The Luminals, Xarth's Mightiest Heroes. They brought Abyss onto Knowhere in order to find a way of getting rid of it. It doesn't work, and just results in Abyss killing them.
    • Zan Philo, a Nova Centurion who spent five years wandering through other dimensions bring "law to the lawless", finally reappearing after having arrested a Mindless One and fallen through the Fault.
    • Jesse Alexander, a former Nova Centurion and a Black Nova who worked as black operations for Nova Corps until he retired to raise his family.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Richard performed one to keep an unkillable Thanos inside a collapsing universe, alongside Peter Quill. Then Thanos and Quill returned a few years later with no explanation.
    • Rich seemingly does it again to close out the tear to the Cancerverse he caused by escaping from it in the first place. This time, he manages to survive completely.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Tyro is ripped apart and eaten by the Technarch siredam, but this allows his mutant strain of the transmode virus to infect it, overwriting its personality with his own and giving him control of the mountain-sized monster.
  • Homage:
    • His first series was an homage to the Lee & Ditko era of Spider-Man. It even has “In the Marvelous tradition of Spider-Man!” written on the cover.
    • Sam Alexander is intended to be an homage to both Spider-Man and Richard's early years as Nova.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: In issues 13-15 of volume 4, Richard helps an alien species evacuate from their homeworld as it's being devoured by Galactus.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Phalanx-posessed Richard vs Ko-Rel. Double subverted. He kills her, but she manages to allow Worldmind to finish it in his mind.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Richard's uncompromisingly idealistic personality is a plot point numerous times in his own series.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Harrow's true form is a hideous, vaguely humanoid bug with an extra face covering its torso.
  • Insistent Terminology: Sam Alexander's father was a custodian, not a janitor.
  • Interspecies Romance: Richard, with Gamora (alien) and Namorita (Atlantean).
  • Ironic Echo: Richard really likes to throw Worldmind's Catchphrase back at him whenever he can.
  • Jerkass: Richard's Marvel Comics 2 counterpart has quite a reputation for being a jerk.
    • 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 endearingly dorky, in the end giving us an image of a dork trying to be a jerk and failing. Miserably.
  • Jumped at the Call:
    • Richard and Robert Rider were both thrilled to become superheroes. Counts as Ascended Fanboy as well.
    • Sam, too, though his start was a little rougher, and he goes through periods of self-doubt about his Jumping At The Call.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: When Richard briefly returns to Earth following Annihilation. He's attacked by the Thunderbolts (Commission on Superhuman Activities) for being an unregistered hero, not recognizing that Tony Stark (S.H.I.E.L.D.) has given him a short grace period to consider registering. Further muddled since by attacking him, the Thunderbolts assaulted an officer of intergalactic law (Nova Corps). Moonstone gets very confused when Nova begins quoting the Nova Corp Pan-Galactic Accords to her effectively reading her her own rights while she's also attempting to arrest him.
  • Kaiju: Rich faces one in the first issue of vol 4, which had been designed by the planet it happens to be rampaging around on. He manages to kill it with help from the Worldmind.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • Rich, between Annihilation and Secret Invasion (2008).
    • For good while in current times, Sam, or rather his father's Black Nova Helmet, is the only Nova alive in the galaxy after the Annihilation event.
  • Legacy Character: Ko-Rel for both Richard and Worldmind, Richard himself for Rhomann Dey. And now Sam for Richard.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Nova Centurion Quibit has a fondness for recounting stories contained in his memory banks, whether his comrades want to actually hear it or not.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • In the Secret Invasion (2008) tie-in, Richard goes to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. to rescue his brother Robbie from the Skrulls. Upon arrival he is attacked by Darkhawk, who assumes that Richard is a disguised Skrull and won't listen when Richard tries to convince him otherwise. The fighting only stops when Robbie steps in and confirms that Richard is who he says he is, and he then lampshades the trope while Darkhawk is trying to apologise for his actions:
      Robbie: 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?
    • Played With earlier on, when Nova meets the Thunderbolts, who don't really care what he's doing, just seeing an unregistered New Warrior. It takes Iron Man to get them to stop.
  • Lightning Bruiser: For all the powers a Nova has, they don't get any physical enhancements to go with it, so as powerful as a human Nova is, they're still human.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: It may be possible that Sam and Kaelynn's ability to gain power from Black Nova Helmet is due to being the children of Jesse, Sam and Kaelynn's father and previous wearer.
  • Lizard Folk: Fraktur is the same species as Iron Man villain Fing Fang Foom, who is in fact her cousin. She's not full-grown yet, and is much nicer.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Fourth series Annual, where the Phalanx virus tried to trap Richard's mind in a false world where Phalanx has taken over the universe and he leads the resistance.
    • Something similar occurs during the Champions (2016) run with Sam. Trapped in Weirdworld and with missing memories Arc Villain Enshu plants into Sam's mind that he his Sam's father. The two, along with a similarly tampered Nadia/Wasp, go on to live a surprisingly loving, encouragement-filled life together, as they conquer Weirdworld in Enshu's name. Sam, who is without his powers here, even becomes Re Powered while wielding Weirdworld's crystals, become his "father's" loyal Nova Knight. This only lasts as long as the 3-issue Story Arc does, however.
  • Madness Mantra: Abyss's victims have "Ready or not."
  • Male Gaze: A young crewmate of Ko-Rel's takes a moment to note her Nova Corp outfit is very tight.
  • Mechanical Abomination: The mature Technarch which shows up in volume 4 is a giant, shapeshifting biomechanical alien driven only by mindless hunger and infanticidal impulses. It's described as making space "buckle" and stars "shiver" in the wake of its interstellar passage, and is so powerful that Nova, even with the entire Nova Force at his disposal after being cured of the transmode virus, can only hope to keep it busy for a time before it kills him.
  • 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:
    • Rich's first arrival on Knowhere has him meet one of the Luminals, terrified out of her mind before she suddenly turns into a zombie and attacks him, leading to him being attacked by her teammates and having to run away, which is then followed by him encountering a dog in a spacesuit. Who begins "speaking" to him.
    • 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.
  • My Nayme Is: Its Rider. Not Ryder.
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: Richard Rider had this for all of Earth. To Earth, he's a C-list superhero who was on the New Warriors for a while before the Stanford Disaster permanently tarnished their name. Among the galactic powers, Nova Prime is He Who Stood When All Else Fell, a galactic war hero. This begins to change after Secret Invasion (2008), and as Earth becomes more dimly aware of what's going on out in the stars, but the reputation disparity is still massive, with Sam only vaguely knowing who he is.
  • 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.
  • No-Respect Guy: Many other heroes, especially ones his own age, do not think much of Sam. His Champions tenure under Jim Zub see this resurfaced amongst his veteran teammates, especially after the renumbering and concurrent team expansion.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Richard was banned from ever entering Mexico during New Warriors v3 due to a misunderstanding that occurred when he tried to ask for directions from a prostitute.
  • Odd Friendship: Sam Alexander manages to make friends with Uatu the Watcher, and later on, Beta-Ray Bill.
    • 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.
  • Paradox Person: In the penultimate issue of volume 4, the future version of the Sphinx kills his past self while the two of them are in a Place Beyond Time. He then starts rewriting the laws of reality so that the universe outside of this place will accept his paradoxical existence, but Richard kicks him out before he can finish. Cue the future Sphinx disintegrating as the normal laws of time assert themselves.
  • The Paragon: Richard 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. Sam unknowingly inherits this trait.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Worldmind has anti-psi protocols which he can use to protect Richard from psychic attack. These come in handy when the psychic alien Harrow tries to possess him, though they become less effective the closer Richard is to Harrow's physical body.
  • Puny Earthlings: Richard doesn't disdain his fellow humans, far from it, but he finds Earth politics utterly exasperating, and his response to the Registration fight is a mixture of bemusement and contempt at how incredibly petty the whole thing is - something given additional force by the fact that he hears about the events of Civil War (2006) while fighting the Annihilation war.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: At the end of his first series, Richard headed into space to help the Xandarians fend off a Skrull invasion, alongside Powerhouse (a Xandarian who'd lost his memory and had been battling against Nova), The Comet (a 1950s hero who was also amnesiac, then found his memory thanks to one of Richard's classmates finding him), Comet's son Crimebuster, and three random villains: The Sphinx (an enemy of the Fantastic Four who was searching for a way to end his immortality), Diamondhead (who'd stowed away on Crimebuster's vehicle in hopes of getting even with both Richard and the Sphinx), and finally Doctor Sun (a Chinese scientist turned Brain in a Jar with a robotic body; he'd previously fought Dracula, but had survived and turned his attention to Nova, specifically for his link to Xandarian tech). They were dubbed the "New Champions", but it quickly fell apart — the Sphinx absorbed the information of Xandar's computers and went on a power-trip, Doctor Sun uploaded himself into the computers and eventually into the Fantastic Four's new robot HERBIE (where he eventually was killed), and Diamondhead turned traitor and joined the Skrulls, just to get back at Richard.
  • Reading Your Rights: Richard does this to the Thunderbolts when they attack him. It confuses them, because from their point of view, they're trying to arrest him.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Justification for why Novaforce wasn't widespread among both Earth and other universe; 1. According to Doc Green, Xandarian computers along with its Novaforce require metals from their homeworld/clusters. 2. Xandar was constantly under siege from various alien invasions and later destroyed in Annihilation, thus unable to be reproduced.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Richard once tore Annihilus inside out.
  • The Resenter: Robbie Rider, to his superhero big brother. He eagerly accept the offer to join the Corps.
  • Robotic Reveal: Monark Starstalker turns out to be one, much to his surprise.
  • Rogues Gallery: Not a huge one: Megaman (no, not that one), Powerhouse, the Condor, Diamondhead, the Corruptor, Garthan Saal (Supernova), and the Sphinx.
    • Sam's recurring Rogues Gallery just consists of Titus the rogue Black Nova, Kaldera and Warbringer. Other than these three, most of Sam's enemies were either one-shot or transplanted from Richard's.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Rich has regularly faced some Spider-Man and Fantastic Four enemies. However, it became even more prevalent as of Annihilation when Rich's power boost caused him to completely outclass his old rogues gallery, besides the Sphinx.
    • In his first series, Richard went up against the Yellow Claw (typically an enemy of Nick Fury and SHIELD, who brought Nova in to help them), and against Doctor Sun from The Tomb of Dracula.
    • For Sam, Mole Monster, the son of a Fantastic Four villain who was introduced in Red She-Hulk's book.
  • 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.
    • Happens to Worldmind again after Richard escapes the Cancerverse but leaves Worldmind behind.
  • Secret-Keeper: Sam Alexander's mom knew her husband was a Nova Corp member. She later served as this trope for Sam.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Subverted in volume 4. When a mature Technarch comes to Kvch to find and kill its offspring Tyro, Warlock—who knows that Tyro stands no chance against such a monster—gives up his own life to cure Nova of the transmode virus so that Nova can fight the technarch and buy time for Tyro to escape. But instead of running away, Tyro comes back to try and fight the Technarch himself, only to get torn apart and devoured almost immediately. This allows Tyro to infect the Technarch with his own strain of the transmode virus and take control of it, and he promptly uses its vast powers to revive Warlock (and to cure Gamora and Drax of the transmode virus).
  • 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.
  • The '70s: The original series run.
  • Shattered World: Xandar was this after its experience with Earth-Shattering Kaboom in the beginning of Richard Rider's transformation as Nova. As a result, The Watcher intervened and four surviving chunks became a Domed Hometown with tubes connected to each other.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Jesse Alexander's (Sam Alexander's dad) alcoholism stemmed from his flashbacks on his time as Supernovas.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In a group shot of the Nova Corps during the Annihilation: Conquest crossover, we can see a blue Pikachu.
    • After being banged up in a fight, Robbie ends up in what looks like a bacta tank. He and Richard comment on the similarity.
  • Small Steps Hero: Constantly for Richard.
    • Richard refuses to escape a dying planet and sacrifice the populace to save himself, Worldmind, or that planet's elite. His backup plan is to confront the Silver Surfer and his boss, Galactus.
    • Rich ignores Reed Richards's warnings that he may Make Wrong What Once Went Right to save Namorita from a Bad Future, and brings her to the future anyway.
    • Rich 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 potentially Earth) from Ego the Living Planet AND stopped him from dying, but he still refused.
  • Sneaking Out at Night: Richard Rider was still in high school when he got his Nova powers, and would sneak out of his parent's house at night in order to look from criminals committing crimes. He often had to remind himself to be home no later than midnight because he was so tired that he was oversleeping and missing classes.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Worldmind has its moments, which contrasts with it's usual Spock Speak. Not so much after it takes on Ko-Rel's appearance.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: After Annihilation and everything he went through therein, Richard can't last even a day on Earth before deciding to leave again.
  • Superheroes in Space: The Nova Corps functions this way, and after Annihilation, Richard took to the spaceways.
  • Super-Speed: There is a reason Richard and Sam are called the Human Rocket. They get even faster when they're out of an atmosphere.
  • Super-Strength: Both Sam and Richard gain these as part and parcel to their Flying Brick Nova powers, and as Nova Prime, Richard's is on a sufficient scale to box in the same weight class as Gladiator and the Heralds of Galactus.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • 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.
    • Sam also got expelled, though got back in with make-up effort in Summer School, due to the amount of time he spent as a Nova in space and New York.
    • Jesse Alexander's messed up life after retiring from being a Nova served as an example of how a former Nova would adjust to life on Earth after spending many years in space, with only minimal skills in the civilian sector.
      • In addition, according to Sam, he also failed to graduate from High School due to his task as a Nova.
    • In issue 29 of Sam's first series, Sam's sandwich bag exploded in his duffle due to sudden pressure changes after leaving the atmosphere.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Monark Starstalker, who last appeared in 1973, reappears in vol 4, chasing a Nova Centurion across dimensions.
    • In the Civil War II tie-in of Sam's series, the Captain makes a surprise return.
  • 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 of his time, 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. Richard directly comments on this a few times, mostly in the context of his Innocence Lost following the horrific destruction of Xandar, the brutal six month Annihilation War that followed, and the mentorship of Drax the Destroyer as he was forced to endure wielding the entire Nova Force. The result is an incredibly badass Shell-Shocked Veteran.
    • Since the Annihilation War, Richard as 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.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Anyone possessed by Harrow gains Glowing Eyes of Doom and starts weeping Tears of Blood. He can also morph his host's fingers into claws sharp enough to tear through Richard's costume and draw blood.
  • True Love Is Boring: Nova and Namorita just can't seem to work things out.
    • May also be why Sam never has a steady romantic relationship, either.
  • Unfortunate Names: Richard Rider, given what "Richard" is usually shortened tonote . Mentioned in Volume 3 of New Warriors, much to his annoyance.
  • 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 and rescues the captured Shi'ar Nova Prime. 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. So far, Only Robbie Rider had been mentioned in Volume 5, issue 29, and he later resurfaces as the Torture Makes You Evil Talon-R.
    • Sam's civilian supporting school cast he developed throughout his runs, particularly his love interest and resident bully, are missing come Volume 7. He even develops a new love interest in a new character who joins his school at the time.
  • Who's on First?: Naturally crops up when talking about Knowhere.
  • Working with the Ex: Richard and Namorita during the later years of the original New Warriors.
  • 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.
    • Sam's chain has been yanked regarding his father more than once.
  • Zombify the Living: Abyss can transform living creatures into undead "meat puppets" which obey his will.