Back in 1978, comic book readers were introduced to the latest superhero sensation: the man called Nova! Richard Rider was chosen to become a member of the Nova Corps, a galactic peacekeeping unit who police the galaxy. Over the years, Nova became a major part of Marvel's cosmic range, and fans have been longing for him to enter the MCU. Now, at last, we're finally hearing rumblings that this may be about to happen.
In a recent Facebook Live video, James Gunn — writer/director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies — was asked if #Marvel currently has any plans for #Nova. His response left fans electrified; he revealed that Marvel is "considering" using what he called the "real" Nova. And Gunn should know; he's working closely with Marvel visionary Kevin Feige to shape the future cosmic direction of the #MCU.
How Could Nova Be Integrated Into The MCU?
Gunn has previously passed on the character, arguing that he wanted Peter Quill to be the only human out in the heavens. Although leaked concept art teased the classic Nova helmet, Guardians of the Galaxy took a different route; it redesigned the Nova Corps as defenders of their homeworld of Xandar, pilots of starfighters rather than cosmically powered beings in their own right.
The future looks grim for the Nova Corps, though. We know that Infinity War will feature Thanos retrieving the Power Stone, which is currently held on Xandar. Given the Mad Titan's brutal nature, we can imagine that he'll decide to test the Power Stone out — and Xandar will suffer his wrath.
That could easily set up Richard Rider's Nova; in the comics, he was approached by the last of the Nova Corps, Rhomann Dey (played by John C. Reilly in the MCU). It's easy to imagine a scenario in which Dey is the last survivor of Xandar and carried the planet's greatest marvels with him to recreate the Nova Corps. Dying, he chooses an Earthling...
Why We Need Richard Rider
Richard Rider would add a powerful new dynamic to the MCU. Where most superheroes essentially return to their core concepts — how many times will Tony Stark learn the same lessons? — Nova has changed and developed over time. He was introduced as a hero in the same vein as Spider-Man, a teenager who gained phenomenal power and strove to use it for good.
Over the years, though, Nova's story changed. He spent more and more time off world, working as a peacekeeper in some of the most dangerous cosmic situations. He gradually became a soldier, fighting on the front lines in fan-loved arcs such as Annihilation: Conquest, and even reformed the Nova Corps — progressing from soldier to military leader, marshaling the Nova Corps in a time of galactic war.
It's a powerful character arc. Nova went from teen superhero to galactic peacekeeper, from peacekeeper to soldier, from soldier to general. Nova is a character who's ideally suited to the long game; once you introduce him, you can develop him literally over the course of decades. What's more, given Marvel's future clearly involves a strong focus on the cosmic side of the MCU, Nova can be used to explore it like few other characters. After all, he'll initially embrace the galaxy with all the wide-eyed wonder of viewers, and gradually come to realize the darker side of it all.
Good news for Nova fans: Marvel is truly considering introducing the "real" Nova. There's a chance the human rocket will soon launch into action in the MCU — and that bodes well for Marvel's future. Nova's arc is a fascinating, powerful and evocative one, and Marvel would be wise to explore it.
Do you want Marvel to introduce Richard Rider?