Straight from the pages, Marvel's Champions have arrived!

Today, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a new downloadable character pack for “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2” featuring Marvel’s teenage team of super hero sensations inspired by CHAMPIONS! The pack, priced at $1.99, adds playable characters Ms. Marvel, Nova, Miles Morales, Ironheart, Devil Dinosaur, Moon Girl, Viv Vision & Sparky, Amadeus Cho, Nadia Pym Wasp, Kate Bishop Hawkeye, and Nova. Strike out on your own with our “Totally Awesome” young heroes!

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is an all-new, epic adventure and sequel to the smash hit, “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.” This original branching storyline, co-written by award-winning comics writer Kurt Busiek, transports players into a cosmic battle across a myriad of Marvel locations ripped from time and space into the incredible Open Hub World of Chronopolis. Packed with signature LEGO humor for fans of all ages, gamers will go head-to-head with the time-travelling Kang the Conqueror in this fun-filled journey spanning the Marvel Universe.

The Champions DLC pack can be purchased separately for $1.99 or as part of the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” Season Pass, which is currently available for $14.99 or free for everyone who purchased the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe Edition.”

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, Nintendo Switch™, and Windows® PC.

For all the latest on “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Find out how the original Nova went from average kid to human rocket!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

One of the best parts of long-running shared super hero universes is getting to see characters go from inexperienced newbies to universe-saving heroes. That’s been the case with Richard Rider, better known as Nova. In this week’s NOVA #6 by Jeff Loveness and Ramon K. Perez, readers found out even more about his time away in the Cancerverse; while looking back at his six years away from the spotlight, why not go all the way back to his first appearance?

Richard Rider debuted in NOVA #1—from 1976 by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema—losing a basketball game for his team behind Harry S. Truman High School. Quickly we met his friend Ginger and tormentor Mike. Feeling depressed, ineffectual, and common, Rich sat at Uncle Fudge’s with Ginger when he got zapped by a shattered Nova flying near Earth. The being transferred his power to Rider in hopes that the young man could stop the world-destroying Zorr.

After spending some time in the hospital and getting a feel for his powers, Richard fought Zorr, but ultimately the previous Nova teleported the villain to his ship to disintegrate him himself, leaving his would-be successor with more than a few questions. That first appearance set up everything from Rich’s self-described inferiority complex, to his human rocket powers, to the connection to other Nova Corps members out in space, and even his iconic catch phrase “Blue Blazes!”

That first solo series went on to pit the new hero against bad guys like Condor, Powerhouse, Diamondhead, Sphinx, and even a brainwashed Thor as his solo exploits continued until its 25th issue. Still out in space at that time, he appeared in a few other books, including ROM #24, which saw him give up his powers on Xandar after defeating invading Skrulls. He kicked around for a while, thinking his abilities really had gone until NEW WARRIORS #1, when Night Thrasher drops him off a building and they return!

Nova (1976) #1

Nova (1976) #1

  • Published: September 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 19, 2009
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Richard became an integral part of the New Warriors as their series ran from 1990-1996. During that time, he also gained another solo series, this one going from 1994 to 1995. Both books worked to flesh Rich out and offer even more information about his place in the universe.

After some time out of the spotlight, Richard Rider came back in a big way thanks to the Annihilation event. In the pages of ANNIHILATION: PROLOGUE and ANNIHILATION: NOVA, Rider not only defended the entire Nova Corps Worldmind, but also worked against the Annihilation Wave moving on to the main series, ANNIHILATION. Writers Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett carried through into the 2007-launching series that ran for 36 issues.

Up until this current run, Rider hadn’t been seen since he, Star-Lord. and Drax trapped themselves in the Cancerverse with the title villain at the end of THE THANOS IMPERATIVE. Readers got a little more information about how Nova helped get his friends out in the pages of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1820. Not bad for a kid from Long Island who thought of himself as ineffectual and as far from special as possible.

Flash Forward

Did you know that Richard Rider almost had a Marvel Comic? “Sure,” you’re thinking, “He had plenty!” That’s true, but he almost got one in continuity as seen in the pages of NOVA #5. Marvel Comics existed within the 616 universe, producing books based on Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Dracula, and others. In this issue, Richard heard that the editors were looking to meet with him to pitch a book to Stan Lee! He went to the offices and even met with a couple of guys named Marv Wolfman and Sal Buscema. They wanted a demonstration of his powers, which led into a battle with a giant robot, but ultimately, Stan nixed the book in favor of something called MIDAS THE MILLION DOLLAR MOUSE.

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Escape the Cancerverse with the rescue of Rich Rider!

At last: the secrets behind Earth’s original Nova Richard Rider’s survival in the deathless reality called the Cancerverse will finally stand revealed in May 3’s NOVA #6. The hows and whys of the original Human Rocket’s time on that horrible plane depend upon writer Jeff Loveness, so we braved a brief visit with him to ask for the terminal tour, one that may illuminate the secrets he’s about to unveil.

Cancerverse

Imagine untold stretches of corrupted space swirling about an unending radiance of expanding gloom.

“I love the notion of the Cancerverse, that there’s a realm without death,” says Loveness. “That’s so alluring and fascinating. And I love the deeper idea that life has become this rotting, corrupted thing.”

Cancerverse-Earth

Sometimes referred to as Earth-10011 and roughly corresponding to our own planet, the sick ball of rock and mud reflects the dark universe around it.

“Life without death has twisted itself into an endless, inescapable hell,” the writer notes. “I can’t think of a worse place to be trapped.”

Revengers

No gnarled version of Earth would be complete with out a topsy-turvy take on the mighty Avengers.

“Not only do you have these Many-Angled Ones and Cancerverse monsters running around, you’ve got twisted, rotted out versions of the Avengers trying to tear you apart…even though you can’t die,” Loveness explains. “It’s an endless spectacle of torture and savagery, just for the sake of it.

“I also love that the Revengers took the first thing that came to mind when they thought of a team name. ‘Hmm… what’s the opposite of the Avengers? Oh, the Revengers. Nice. Done. Good. Moving on.’ Nobody said the Cancerverse was full of geniuses.”

Ex-Men

Undead images of the famous mutants? Yes, the Cancerverse boasts that, too.

“Y’know, they don’t show up in this story…and I’m actually very upset about it,” says Loveness. “In my research, I think I missed the fact that there were monstrous, Cancerverse versions of the X-Men and I’ll never forgive myself for not including them. I am a lifelong X-Men fan, and the fact that I couldn’t include Zombie Cyclops or Zombie Maggott in a comic will haunt me to my dying day.”

All Else

“I don’t want to say too much, but there’s a big twist and a mystery Nova villain we haven’t seen in a while that’s been behind all of this,” the writer teases. “Someone who’s very close to Rich.

“It’s been really fun and tragic to write these chapters. Rich definitely went through a terrible time in the Cancerverse, and his torture isn’t over yet. But I don’t like stories that dwell in gloom for gloom’s sake. We also wanted to craft a story about hope and redemption and the beauty of rebirth. There’s always time to ask for help. There’s always time to reinvent and reinvigorate your life, even when it seems hopeless…especially when it seems hopeless. I’m the kind of guy who gets down on himself and mopes about all the time, but no matter what’s happening in your life, there is always beauty and life out there. It’s a hard lesson, but a useful one. The Cancerverse offers a distorted, ruined version of life—and it’s up to Rich to fight for life as it should be. Hopefully we can all do the same.”

Brave the Cancerverse with Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez on May 3 with NOVA #6!

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For Richard Rider, returning to life has not been an uncomplicated thing…

Richard Rider is a young adult male who appears to be of average to above average physical fitness. When last he met with this writer, he was active as a member of an intergalactic police force as the super hero Nova. Since his apparent death, the Nova Corps have largely been eliminated and his role as Earth’s Nova fulfilled by a teenager.

In fact, change was an overwhelming theme of the client’s therapy. He confessed that, while he could logically grasp that his physical death—which resulted in his consciousness being uploaded in the Worldmind, a sort of vast organic database that powers the Nova helmets, the part of the uniform that seems to endow the users with their power of flight, strength, and energy projection—he did not fully grasp how much time would seem to have passed. The client was able to acknowledge that chronologically it had actually been a fairly short time, but the changes to the world around him felt vast.

Despite achieving a sort of eternal life after his physical death, the client finds himself feeling more mortal than ever. Although he died and continued on—and in fact, now lives to tell the tale—he finds himself feeling incredibly vulnerable. The world seems additionally fragile as well to him and he points to the fate of several heroes—dead, replaced, turned villainous, gained children or replaced by younger protégés—as part of this experience.

Client also endorsed that he had been experiencing flashbacks and visual hallucinations including seeing others as sort of rotting, walking corpse versions of themselves. Client made it clear that these hallucinations reflect the kinds of things he saw in the Cancerverse and were not, for instance, daydreams about zombies.

Nova by Mike Deodato

Overall, Rider seems honest but hesitant to fully explore what is happening with and to him. When asked he feels or is worried if there might be physiological issues as well, the client became agitated and deferred.

We also explored the notion of feeling replaced by the new, younger Nova. Rider denied this stridently and pointed out how well they worked together. Therapist acknowledged this but suggested it was possible to both like and respect someone and still feel as though you’ve been replaced by them or resent the situation that has put you both together. The client refused to discuss this concept further.

Given client’s earlier success with it, this writer is working with Rider using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) because it points out the thinking errors in the client’s cognition with an irreverence that he responds to. Given his experience with it, the therapist predicts the client will integrate activities like positive self-talk quickly into his day-to-day life and recover rapidly.

Given the fact that he literally died, this therapist has referred Richard Rider out for a consultation with experts in the field, Doctors Jeff Loveness and Ramon K. Perez. Their report will be available to review in files NOVA #4 and NOVA #5 which will be available on March 8 and April 5, respectively.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is fine with death. Really. Just fine. Can we just stop talking about it?!

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Quasar, Nova, the Inhumans, and more help explore what lies beyond the Fault!

Celebrate this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s tenth anniversary while also prepping for the May 5 release of their new film with these gems from Marvel Unlimited!

After the events of War of Kings, the danger of the Fault created by Black Bolt’s suicide run in the T-Bomb at the end of that story became so widespread that most of the major cosmic players got involved in one way or another. The story itself spread out from the one-shot REALM OF KINGS into a pair of limited series called REALM OF KINGS: IMPERIAL GUARD and REALM OF KINGS: INHUMANS as well as the last issues of NOVA and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

In the kick-off one-shot Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Leonardo Manco sent Quasar into the Fault to record as much data as possible. In doing so, the former Protector of the Universe wound up on an alternate version of Earth where the Avengers had sworn allegiance to the monstrous Many-Angled Ones who feed off devotion. Revealing himself as a being from another place, Quasar became an easy bridge for this group to bust into the main Marvel Universe and let their gods continue feasting and growing.

Realm of Kings (2009) #1

Realm of Kings (2009) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Thanks to some chicanery from that world’s Vision, Quasar broke free and sped off fighting Iron Man and Thor before getting a good look at their horrific universe as a whole. “Pulsing with corrupt life!” he said. “One giant, twisted organic mass! Their whole universe is a deathless corpse! A cancer trying to metastasize in our reality!” With that, focus shifted back to P.E.G.A.S.U.S. where the Cancerverse’s Quasar landed, impersonating Wendell Vaughn!

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard (2009) #1

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard (2009) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Over in IMPERIAL GUARD—by Abnett, Lanning and Kev Walker—new Shi’Ar Majestor Gladiator ordered a group of I.G. soldiers to investigate the Fault with the help of Starjammers Cho’d and Raza. Once inside they faced the Cancerverse’s version of the X-Men. As things looked most grim, the Guard found salvation in three forms: the true Quasar, a Raptor named Talon, and Gladiator’s sudden appearance with even more back-up! Upon returning home, Gladiator flew to the Galactic Council meeting, presenting evidence of the Cancerverse’s monsters and pledged to work with the Inhumans and the rest of the Council to defend their shared universe against the threat.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans (2009) #1

Realm of Kings: Inhumans (2009) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The INHUMANS limited series by DnA and a variety of artists focused more on the dirty dealings of statesmanship, as Medusa called it, but did send Triton and a few others on a mission into the Fault. Thinking they’d found Black Bolt, the group approached the wreckage of the T-Bomb only to realize their eyes fell on a playback of their king’s battle with Vulcan being repeated on a loop. The Kree who went on the mission soon turned into strange creatures reminiscent of the Cancerverse. This presented an interesting finding: that while the Kree can be changed by the Fault, the Inhumans cannot be.

Nova (2007) #32

Nova (2007) #32

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Finally, over in NOVA, one of Richard’s old villains, the time-traveling Sphinx snatched him and Darkhawk—who stood accused of killing Lilandra—into the Fault on a makeshift world that also included versions of Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, and Namorita plucked from the timestream. They’re there to fight a younger version of Sphinx who wants to destroy his older self and make off with not one, but two reality-shaping Ka Stones. Richard Rider figured out how to save the day, sending everyone back to their respective times except for Namorita, who died along with many other New Warriors in the first issue of CIVIL WAR.

With this threat looming, Nova and Darkhawk headed to Earth to help out at P.E.G.A.S.U.S., but also showed up to take out the fake Quasar after the real one sent a message along that he’d been picked up by the Shi’Ar. Left with a terrible choice, Richard stopped the immediate threat of an invading Cancerverse monstrosity, which gave fake Quasar an opportunity to fly off. With that, Nova himself took off into space leading directly into the events of The Thanos Imperative!

Transmissions from Knowhere

Seeing as how Wendell Vaughn played such a huge part in Realm of Kings, it seems only right to focus on his history this time around. He first appeared as Marvel Boy in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA #217 and moved on to Marvel Man before settling on Quasar as of INCREDIBLE HULK #234. As a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Wendell gained an assignment that led him to a research facility where the original Marvel Boy’s Quantum Bands were under investigation. When A.I.M. attacked, he slipped them on and found a connection with the energy they utilized. From there he went on to star in his own series, becoming Protector of the Universe in the process. After a great many adventures, he died in the pages of ANNIHILATION: NOVA at the hands of Annihilus himself, but started resurfacing as a disembodied consciousness in NOVA. Meanwhile, Phyla-Vell took over the Quantum Bands for a while, but gave them up when Wendell more fully returned and she herself became the avatar of Death known as Martyr.

Find out what really happened to Adam Magus and the seemingly dead members of the team in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #20-25.

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Jeff Loveness invites you to the reunion of Gamora and Richard Rider!

How can you not love Gamora? She’s brave, tough…and oh yeah, green.

Fans of this awesome space chick have something exciting to look forward to, as she and Rich Rider will meet up again shortly, in the upcoming NOVA #4, available March 8. We caught up with writer Jeff Loveness, who let us in on what we can expect to see when these two former lovebirds reunite.

Marvel.com: Next month, Rich and Gamora will get back together briefly. How will this impact Rich? What do you think draws them to each other?

Jeff Loveness: I see them both as people of action. They met during the most stressful, yet meaningful, times in both their lives. They saw each other at their absolute peak. But sadly, it didn’t last very long, and Rich ended up sacrificing himself to stop Gamora’s dad from destroying the universe…so that complicates things.

But now Rich has come back to life—for reasons he keeps to himself. He has stayed purposefully distant from Gamora and many of his friends on Earth. He’s not the same man he was. He feels traumatized and unsure of himself, and he doesn’t want Gamora to see him this way. But these two have a habit of running into each other, and Rich has to confront all of his issues at once.

Marvel.com: Can we expect to see more of Rich and Gamora in the future?

Jeff Loveness: I hope so. I really like their banter and competitive nature with each other. I’d love to do some Thin Man-esque space-capers with Rich and Gamora in the future.

Marvel.com: Rich has had some other somewhat drama-filled relationships, like his time with Namorita. Who would you ship him with?

Jeff Loveness: Hmm…well, I was a lonely, confused boy growing up in the 90’s, so I ship Rich with Rogue or Psylocke by default. But as a comic book professional, maybe I’d see if he and Jessica Drew got along. She seems like a nice person. On the other hand, perhaps Rich can finally tame Aunt May’s wild heart. Scratch everything. Rich Rider and Aunt May. That’s my ship.

Nova #4 cover by Ramon Perez

Nova #4 cover by Ramon Perez

Marvel.com: What do you think stands in the way of Rich having a lasting relationship?

Jeff Loveness: Well, he was dead for a while. That’ll do it. But also, I feel he has a hard time settling down in general. When you’ve got one of those top jobs, you almost fear normalcy. You fear people getting to know you. People can know what you do—that’s fine. But it can feel terrifying when people want to know you more deeply. Rich still doesn’t have too many close friendships. I think maybe he has a reason for that. He hates letting people in and asking for help; and as you see in our series, that will backfire in a huge way.

Marvel.com: Rich isn’t the only Nova running around the Marvel Universe. Do you foresee anything interesting in Sam Alexander’s dating life?

Jeff Loveness: Things with Carrie, a girl from school, didn’t work out…so goes high school. But Sam has his eye on the new girl, Lina. He usually comes off as a mess with women, so we’ll see how that shakes out. Rich and Cosmo do their best to make him a bit more confident in himself, but that can feel hard when the people surrounding you include a living super hero legend and a psychic Communist space dog. Hopefully Sam pulls himself together.

Marvel.com: Would you like to tease or mention anything else?

Jeff Loveness: [Series artist and co-writer] Ramon [Perez’s] art will blow you guys away. We’ve got some intense stuff on the horizon for these two Novas, but some fun stuff too. I grew up a hardcore X-Men fan, and I always respected how writers like [Chris] Claremont, [Joss] Whedon, and [Grant] Morrison could balance epic, timely storytelling with a sense of fun and wonder—one of the greatest strengths of this medium. So hopefully we give people that same type of balance.

Or we’ll fail, and the fans will hunt me down and drag me through the streets as an example to others. I’d say it’s 50/50 at this point.

Get your hearts racing with NOVA #4 from Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez on March 8!

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Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez size up Sam Alexander against Rich Rider in several key categories!

From losing his dad—again—to joining the Champions, Sam Alexander has been experiencing plenty of ups and downs lately, but nothing can prepare him for the return of his predecessor Richard Rider, a comeback that continues in NOVA #2 by Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez on January 4. So which Human Rocket really has the chops? We asked the creators to rank the two Novas in a few key categories…

Strength
Pretty simple, who would you consider a stronger fighter?

Jeff Loveness: Surprisingly, I think Sam has the advantage here. He wears a Black Nova helmet, one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. He may not have full control or years of experience with it, but he packs quite a punch.

Ramón Pérez: I would break this category down into power and skill set. Theoretically, Sam has the more powerful Nova helmet according to mythology. But Rich knows how to use his powers far better than Sam because he has done it for a lot longer—despite being dead for a few years. So ultimately, I think Rich would win out in this category.

Strategic thinking
Who thinks faster in a crisis?

Jeff Loveness: Rich. Hands down. 15-year-old boys get too distracted by uncomfortable hair growth and bodily changes to focus on strategy.

Ramón Pérez: As the younger of the two, Sam might have a more creative way of thinking. He can think outside the box. My dad worked as a mechanic and had years of experience, but I remember oftentimes I’d come in and solve a problem for him because I didn’t know the “proper” technique for solving it. I’d just say what I thought, and he’d be like, “Hold on a second, I think you’re right!” So I’d consider this one a draw. Rich thinks very strategically and really knows how to do things, but Sam could throw a curveball into a situation and come out on top.

Teamwork
Now that Sam has joined the Champions, does this give him an advantage?

Jeff Loveness: Gonna call this close, but give it to Rich. Sam has worked with the Avengers and Champions, and now makes up one-third of the new “Marvel Trinity” [with] Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales/Spider-Man. I see him as a great team player. But Rich Rider led the Nova Corps and held his own with the Annihilators. I think I’m gonna go with the team that has Beta Ray Bill and the Silver Surfer on it.

Ramón Pérez: I worked as a solo artist for almost a decade before I joined a studio. And at that point, my skill set excelled because I had other talented people around me to learn from. So I assume that would happen in a super hero team like the Champions, as well. Everyone has unique approaches to tackling problems. So Sam now gets to see how Kamala or Miles might address a situation or fight a villain, and he can learn from that. On the other end of the spectrum, Rich could learn from one of the old guard. But I think the advantage goes to Sam here.

Outlook
Sam has youthful optimism, but Rich has the perspective of history. Which wins out?

Jeff Loveness: In this book, we find Rich in a very confused, disillusioned place. He has seen the Cancerverse and has come back—and the galaxy has moved on without him. He struggles to find himself again; and he doesn’t know if he even wants to continue as a hero. That path didn’t lead to a good place.

nova2016002_cov

Nova #2 cover by Ramon Perez

On the other hand, we see Sam still in the early stages of super hero-dom, still basking in the fun and wonder of it all. He may not have the experience, but he has his heart in the right place and he dives in head-first. He has just the optimism and enthusiasm that Rich needs. I might give it to him here.

Ramón Pérez: We actually explore this a little bit in the series. Sam has that youthful idealism for the most part, even though negative circumstances surrounded his assumption of the mantle, with the disappearance of his dad. But Sam always tries to do his best. And Rich finds himself at the point where it has become a responsibility. His enthusiasm and idealism may be sort of gone because he has gone to war and died. But he wants to recalibrate himself. We’ll play Sam and Rich off of one another quite a bit in this regard. So I’d call this one a tie.

Endurance
Who could last longer in a fight?

Jeff Loveness: You’d have a tough time finding a guy who has gone through more than Rich Rider. Annihilation Wave. Thanos Imperative. The destruction of the Nova Corps. Merging with the World Mind.

Sam has had some awkward high school times—but Thanos might beat that.

Ramón Pérez: If we go by age, Sam wins. But you can do amazing things under duress. So even though Sam’s youth probably gives him more stamina, a young kid getting pummeled may not last as long as an old guy who has gotten pummeled many times before. I think this one would vary between situations. Sam has the upper hand in terms of youthful energy, but I’d consider it a situation-by-situation factor.

Experience
Of course, Rich has more experience. But would anything about the experiences Sam has had level the playing field?

Jeff Loveness: Rich ripped out Annihilus’ intestines. Gonna give it to Rich.

Ramón Pérez: Definitely Rich has more experience. In life, you learn as you go and as the decades roll on, you gain insight into yourself. And as a hero, you need that. At Sam’s age, he still has to figure that out, and as his experiences grow, he’ll get a better handle on the kind of hero he is. Currently, we see him still in his formative years. Give him another decade and he’ll become a smarter hero. So Rich wins this one.

Pop Culture references
Who would you consider best at wielding the power of a well-timed movie quote?

Jeff Loveness: Rich died in 2010. He missed out on so many hot memes and Netflix shows. Gonna give this to Sam.

Ramón Pérez: Sam wins in this one, but as everything comes around pop-culturally, Rich may find himself surprised with what becomes popular again!

Ability to talk to human girls
Forging alliances with women can go a long way toward combatting a villain.

Jeff Loveness: Rich can at least form sentences around them.

Ramón Pérez: Rich has confidence, as well as that cosmic bad boy element going for him, and he has that mischievous grin. A hands-down win for him.

High School Angst
On one hand, having become accustomed to high school drama could help Sam deal with the Nova craziness. On the other, it could be a distraction, giving Rich the upper hand.

Jeff Loveness: Sam obliterates everyone in his wake. He massacres them.

Ramón Pérez: Rich left this one behind a long time ago—and happily tosses the trophy over to Sam.

Final Thoughts
Ramón Pérez
: I think Jeff and I have a really fun book slated out. We try to hit all cylinders with the heroics, but also with a story about the life of a teenager. Some issues might lean more heavily toward Sam, some toward Rich, but at the end of the day, they share the book and we hope to give them both a proper spotlight and get them onto their heroic career paths moving into the next decade of the Marvel Universe.

You can begin the journey with Sam and Rich in NOVA #1, available now, and look out for issue #2 from Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez on January 4!

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As revealed in the last issue of the most recent NOVA title, Richard Rider, the original Nova, has returned. On December 7, the first Human Rocket joins his successor, Sam Alexander, in new adventures as NOVA #1 debuts from Jeff Loveness and Ramón Perez.

But before two generations of Novas team up, let’s take a look back at some of the career highlights of Richard Rider!

The Human Rocket

Richard Rider debuted in his own title in 1976. NOVA by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema (and later Carmine Infantino) introduced not only Rider, but also the Nova Corps to the Marvel Universe, as Rhomann Dey passed on his powers to the young teenager. Rider starred in the book for 25 issues, battling villains like The Sphinx, Doctor Sun, and Diamondhead.

To Xandar and Back

To Xandar and Back

To Xandar and Back

Nova’s domain expanded beyond Earth, as Rider became embroiled in conflicts that stretched across the cosmos to Xandar, the home planet of the Nova Corps. After his own title ended, Nova appeared in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR and ROM: SPACEKNIGHT, defending Xandar from a Skrull invasion. After repelling the invaders, the Corps returned Rider to Earth, minus his powers.

New Warriors

Rider lived a normal life until Dwayne Taylor, a.k.a. Night Thrasher, decided to test the theory that an adrenaline rush might return the youth’s powers. After tossing Rider off a building, Taylor invited a restored Nova to join the fledgling New Warriors, where he’d team with Firestar, Speedball, and Namorita against the likes of Psionex and Terrax, among others.

Return to Xandar

Return to Xandar

Return to Xandar

Richard later learned that while he sat powerless, Nebula had destroyed Xandar. Later, Rider encountered Garthan Saal, a crazed surviving member of the Nova Corps. He stole Nova’s power and left him for dead, until former Galactus herald Air-Walker restored him. Rider and his allies went to Xandar to stop Saal, where they managed to restore the dead planet to life.

Annihilation

Nova again returned to Xandar to help against the emerging Annihilation Wave. Annihilus’ forces destroyed the Corps, leaving Rider as the sole Centurion as the Worldmind uploaded itself into his last hope’s head. Rich led Drax, Gamora, and others against Annihilus, eventually killing him.

Conquest

After Annihilation, Rider attempted to help the Kree against the Phalanx, the alien villains who once plagued the X-Men. After the Phalanx infected Rich with the transmode virus, the Worldmind in his head turned a Kree named Ko-Rel into a Nova to save him. Nova later enlisted the New Mutant Warlock to help defeat the Phalanx.

The New Nova Corps

Amidst the events of Secret Invasion and War of Kings, the Worldmind decided to jumpstart the Nova Corps and began recruiting new members—without Rider’s knowledge. After Worldmind merged with one recruit—Ego, the Living Planet—a confrontation left Rich powerless. He used Quasar’s quantum bands to stop Ego, regaining his powers and then agreeing to train the new Corps.

The Cancerverse

The Cancerverse

The Cancerverse

A rip in the space-time fabric called the Fault led to several problems for Nova, including the discovery of the Cancerverse, where evil versions of heroes came from to attack his universe. Rider and Star-Lord journeyed there to battle Thanos, getting stuck for a time. Rich eventually used the Nova power and a cosmic cube to free Star-Lord, but how he escaped remains to be seen.

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Jeff Loveness and Ramón Perez bring together Richard Rider and San Alexander for some out-of-this-world adventure!

About five years have passed since fans last saw Richard Rider, fka the original Nova, as he and Star-Lord stayed behind in the alternative universe known as the Cancerverse to keep Thanos from returning to this reality. With both Peter Quill and the Mad Titan having since returned to the Marvel Universe, the question became whether or not Rider would follow suit.

Wonder no more, as Rider returned in the last issue of the most recent NOVA title, and November will see the original Human Rocket share a book with his successor, Sam Alexander, as NOVA #1 debuts. We caught up with the book’s creative team, Jeff Loveness and Ramón Perez, to discuss the new title and what fans can expect when two generations of Novas team up!

Marvel.com: So Richard Rider is back. A lot of people have been waiting for this moment; is there any added pressure on you guys knowing how much fans have been anticipating his return?

Jeff Loveness: Rich has a ton of fans and such a huge legacy in the cosmic universe, so there’s a lot of pressure. But I’m excited to portray another side to Rich. He saved the universe from the Annihilation Wave, he gave his life in the Cancerverse, and now he’s been violently thrust back into life. That takes a toll on a person—no matter how bulletproof they think they may be. Rich feels detached from the world he thought he knew so well. And maybe the world feels detached from him. Rich has been out of the game for a while. I think we’ve got a very unique take to build him back up from the bottom and see what makes him such a resilient hero. 

Ramón Perez: Returning back from the dead is not an uncommon thing in comics, but it’s definitely fun to play with. A lot has happened in the Marvel Universe since Rich “died,” and a lot has changed from who some of the heroes are and their playing field. Rich will be interesting in the sense of dissecting a hero, and what makes an individual choose to be one. Rich did the greatest thing he could have done as a hero; he saved the universe and died heroically in doing so. How does one return from that, and do they once again choose to don that mantle? 

But is there pressure bringing him back? Of course there’s a little, but expectation can be a fan’s worst enemy. We’re not bringing back the old Rich; he’s come and gone. This is a changed man, and we’re telling his story. The new chapter in Rich’s life. So I hope fans like what we put forward.

Marvel.com: What drew you guys to the book? Were you fans of the character before taking the assignment?

Jeff Loveness: I grew up a die-hard X-Men fan, so most of my cosmic knowledge came from their perspective. Trust me, I’m sure Ramón is tired of hearing my Cyclops rants. I will live and die for Scott Summers.

Nova’s obviously a huge power-player in the cosmic scheme of things. [I’m] catching up on all the lore, while still focusing on making it accessible for readers just picking up the book. The best characters feel timeless and modern at the same time. Hopefully we’ll hit that balance with Rich and Sam. 

I’m a big fan of Sam Alexander, especially Gerry Duggan’s take. There’s an earnestness and optimism to Sam that I love in my Marvel Comics. Doing the right thing and being punished for it is, to me, the bedrock of Marvel storytelling. Sam’s the best example of that in the current books that I know. 

Plus, I was a horrifyingly awkward, lonely teenage boy—and current man, I suppose—so writing Sam’s high school anxieties is an excellent substitute for therapy. Believe me, I was a teenager who worked in the snack bar and loved Cyclops more than Wolverine. High school did not go well. 

Ramón Perez: I knew of Nova, both Rich and Sam, but really knew very little of the character. I was approached by Marvel with various options as to what my next project might be. For me it’s the story, and not the character in particular, that draws me to a project. Nova stood out as a rare opportunity, especially with the return of Rich, and the combined dynamic of him and Sam. Here you have two heroes with the same abilities, name, and mantle, but they are at opposite ends of the spectrum: one experienced, one inexperienced. Plus, it’s a cosmic book, which is a genre I love and grew up on. So it all added up as the right opportunity. 

Marvel.com: Richard’s been gone from Earth for a while. How will he react to all the changes and events that have occurred since he was last there? Anyone in particular from his past you’re planning or just hoping to use in the book?

Jeff Loveness: Ramón and I definitely have some fun cameos lined up from Rich’s past, but I don’t know how much you guys want spoiled. 

My favorite part of Marvel Comics—especially the cosmic side of things—is the wild stable of fun, outlandish side characters. I tried reviving a few in GROOT and making some of my own with [artist] Brian Kesinger, and I’d love to do the same here. Ramon’s been pouring through the back catalog. We’ve got some fun creatures on the way. 

But yes, Rich’s readjustment to Earth and a universe that’s maybe moved on without him will be central to his arc. I grew up in a very rural area of the country. Many of my friends went to war. Some didn’t make it back. The ones who did weren’t the same. They always felt a distance—even back at home. I think there’s an interesting notion worthy of exploration there. While Rich was up there saving the universe, the Marvel heroes were down on Earth squabbling over Civil Wars and how to stop The Shocker from robbing a bank. Rich can’t help but feel disconnected from that. 

Plus, you can’t just come back from death in the Cancerverse and expect everything to be fine. Death doesn’t let go that easily. 

Ramón Perez: I’ll echo Jeff’s sentiments on this. There’s nothing more I enjoy doing in comics than bringing back and redefining B and C list characters. So I’m going out of my way exploring Nova’s back catalog, his rogues gallery, the Marvel array of cosmic characters dating back to the beginning of time, and doing my best to find some gems to play with.

Marvel.com: What’s the relationship like between Sam Alexander and Richard? 

Jeff Loveness: To Sam, Rich is the super hero. He’s the Nova all other Novas try and fail to be. Remember when you were 15 and there was that older guy who just had it figured out? You idolized him, even his faults. Rich is that for Sam. 

On the other hand, Sam is gonna be the one who helps Rich find his humanity and purpose again. The optimism and drive and wonder of it all are still so fresh to Sam. He’s naive and inexperienced, but his heart is in the right place. Sam’s the kind of person Rich needs in his life right now. I think they both balance each other off nicely. 

Co-writing this with Ramón has been a great opportunity to really bring out the best in both characters. Ramón’s also on the art and knocking it out of the park. I can’t wait for you guys to see what he’s bringing to the table. 

Ramón Perez: I touched upon this earlier, and Jeff sums it up nicely here, so ‘nuff said.

Marvel.com: Rich wasn’t the only big return in NOVA #11, as the main story centered on Sam encountering the Worldmind. Do you guys have plans to play with the themes and concepts from previous Nova stories—for instance, the Nova Corps—in the new title? 

Jeff Loveness: Not a whole lot we can say without spoilers…but… uh…they’ll go into space and…do space stuff? Lasers will be shot. Helmets will be worn. Maybe Thanos will be there. Who’s to say? Thanos seems bad. Maybe they’ll fight. They’ll definitely run into Cyclops and compliment him for being such a dependable, battle-worn leader who gives his all for his family. That, I can guarantee.

Ramón Perez: Oooooh we’ve got some fun stuff planned. Will the Worldmind be a part of it? Who can say? I’m just really thinking Doctor Sun needs to make a return.

Marvel.com: Ramón, you’ve got two different Novas from two different eras in the book. Can you talk about your approach to the characters, and to the look and feel of the comic in general? Will most of the action be Earthbound, or will you get to cut loose with some space action as well?

Ramón Perez: With this series Jeff and I are trying to achieve a balance between Sam and Rich’s home life and the grander Marvel cosmos. With the characters in general, we have the brash and bravado of Rich, balanced with Sam’s old-school, youthful, Peter Parker-like awkwardness, and I’ll definitely be going out of my way to exemplify this in the art. For the overall visual mood and feel, I’m riffing off things I played with in my run on JOHN CARTER: THE GODS OF MARS, alongside a healthy dose of things like Akira, Astro Boy, and NEXTWAVE. I’m really trying to separate this series visually from its two recent predecessors, giving it a real kinetic flow with a diverse color palette to bring it to life.

Human Rockets ride together in NOVA from Jeff Loveness and Ramón Perez, coming this December!

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Earth currently has a surplus of Human Rockets.

Recently, young Sam Alexander has been flying solo as the only remaining member of the Nova Corps, but that’s changed with the return of his father, Jesse, to the fold. Once upon a time, an entire intergalactic fleet sported the blue and gold while safeguarding the galaxy.

While the Alexander boys adjust to their new status quo, take a moments to remember the Novas that came before…

Rhomann Dey

Rhomann Dey

Rhomann Dey

A native of Xandar, home of the Nova Corps, and the group’s one-time leader, Rhomann Dey spent his final hours pursuing Warlord Zorr, who had devastated the planet and killed many, including the Corpsman’s wife and child. Zorr ultimately got the best of Dey, but not before the Xandarian hero crash landed on Earth and gifted his power to a new Nova…

Richard Rider

Richard Rider

Richard Rider

The recipient of Rhomann Dey’s legacy, Earthling Richard Rider initially struggled with his new role, but would ultimately become the universe’s most highly-regarded Nova. Rider fought alongside the heroes of Earth, most notably founding the New Warriors, and battled spaceborn threats like the Annihilation Wave before sacrificing himself in combat with Thanos.

Garthan Saal

Garthan Saal

Garthan Saal

When Rich Rider defies the orders of Queen Adora to abandon Earth, she strips his powers, awarding them to Xandarian Garthan Saal. A former rival of Rider’s, Saal initially regards Earth as a backwater planet, but in the end, comes to respect humanity and gives up his life to stop the Dire Wraiths.

Ko-Rel

Ko-Rel

Ko-Rel

With Rich Rider a temporary victim of the Phalanx’s transmode virus, the Xandarian Worldmind computer passed a portion of his power to Kree warrior Ko-Rel. While her stint as Nova would be short-lived due to a Phalanx-possessed Gamora, Ko-Rel distinguished herself by protecting the Worldmind and helping to restore Rider.

Robert Rider

Robert Rider

Robert Rider

When Rich Rider sought to recreate the depleted Nova Corps, Worldmind selected his genius younger brother Robbie as a new recruit. Sadly, the Rider brothers would not get much time to bond in their shared role before Thanos devastated the Corps.

Jesse Alexander

Jesse Alexander

Jesse Alexander

A member of the elite Black Novas section of the Corps, Jesse Alexander undertook highly dangerous missions, one of which got him captured by the hostile Chitauri. Seemingly liberated by his son and successor, Sam, Jesse has returned to action using a standard Nova helmet in place of his black one.

Sam Alexander

Sam Alexander

Sam Alexander

The latest claimant to the Nova mantel, 15-year-old Sam Alexander inherited the role when his dad went missing. Despite his youthful exuberance sometimes leading to missteps, already in his young career Sam has battled the Phoenix Force, thwarted a Chitauri invasion of Earth, and even joined the Avengers.

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