Nova is a comic book superhero that is part of the intergalactic peace-keeping force called Nova Corps Wielder. The Nova Corps has several different ranks and even various forms of Nova. Along with the other Nova, Richard Rider holds the titles Gold-Dome and Centurion, while the new Nova, Sam Alexander, holds the titles Supernovas and Centurion. Published by Marvel Comics and created by Marv Wolfman, John Buscema, and Joe Sinnott, Richard Rider first appeared in Nova issue #1, published in 1976. After several years, Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness created Sam Alexander, who first appeared on Point One issue #1 in 2011.
Nova’s Comic Origins
Richard Rider as Nova
Having been wounded in the battle that tore his planet apart, Rhomann Dey succeeded in tracking the intergalactic pirate, Zorr, down to Earth. However, due to the extent of Dey’s injuries, he was unable to claim revenge fully. Before dying, Dey had to transfer his power to an unsuspecting human on the planet below. He took a chance that whoever he found would be willing to take up the responsibility and prove worthy of the powers that his recipient would receive from him.
Richard Rider was a teenager that was randomly chosen by the alien Rhomann Dey, the last surviving Nova Corps elite Centurion of the planet Xandar. Rider then inherited Dey’s power and succeeded him as the Nova Prime after the Zorr destroyed his planet. Subsequently, the sudden power infusion overloaded Rider’s body, and he’d been hospitalized. While Rider was in comatose, Dey telepathically explained what had happened to him and his mission. Rider’s recovery was sudden and preceded by eye-blasts, knocking a doctor out of his room. After being discharged, Rider tries to resume his regular routine.
The next day after he was discharged at the hospital, Rider received his final gift from RhomannDey–the centurion’s uniform. Rider also discovered his new powers, including invulnerability, super strength, and the ability to fly. Barely testing out his capabilities, the radio circuitry alerted Rider that Zorr is causing chaos at the heart of New York City. Rider located Zorr and fought him, although he was unable to wound the enemy fatally.
Richard Rider, taking up Nova’s mantle, was intrigued by his newfound powers, but he had no idea how to use them. Nevertheless, he took up a superhero’s career, battling costumed foes like the Condor, Powerhouse, Diamondhead, Corruptor, and others in New York. With this, he slowly learned to use his new powers and abilities.
Sam Alexander as Nova
A 15-year-old Sam Alexander from Carefree, Arizona, lives with his parents and his younger sister. His father, Jesse Alexander, always told him stories about space adventures and the Nova Corps, but Sam always assumed that he was just drunk. In the following days, Sam came home and found his father was missing. Looking for his father, Sam had an accident and woke up in the hospital. There, he was greeted by Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, who informed Sam of his father’s real legacy as a Nova Corps member.
Leaving Sam with his father’s helmet, Sam discovered a secret message from his father after putting on the helmet. Subsequently, he then starts checking his newfound skills and flies to the moon to meet the Watcher, who warns him of a foreseen alien invasion. Sam then returns to Earth and meets Gamora and Rocket Racoon, who teach him to use his powers properly. After his training, he was then sent into space to combat the incoming Chitauri armada.
Superpowers and Abilities
Nova draws his powers from a reservoir of energy called the Nova Force that all Nova Corps Centurions control. This energy provides Nova with supernatural powers, including flight, endurance, and resilience. The Nova Force also has given him the ability to absorb and release energy directed towards him as gravimetric beams and pulses, either from a particular part of his body or from his entire body.
Some of his superpowers and abilities also include:
Superhuman Strength: Nova can channel the Nova Force to vast levels in order to increase his physical strength. Whereas the full extent of its strength level is unknown, it is rated well above the mark of class 100 limits. The Nova Force gives Nova enough strength and power to engage and even stop enemies like the Silver Surfer. He has also confirmed that within 3 miles, his best shot will kill anything.
Superhuman Speed: By properly channeling the Nova Force, Nova can give himself the ability to run and move at speeds beyond the most exceptional human athlete’s physical limits. While his running speed’s upper limit is unknown, he can run several hundred miles an hour, at least. Also, he can travel faster than a speed of light.
Superhuman Durability: Nova’s body is very resistant to all kinds of common physical injury. He can withstand high caliber bullets, falling from tremendous heights, powerful blasts of energy, acidic corrosives, tremendous impact without sustaining an injury, and extreme exposure in both temperature and pressure. Nova can also comfortably bear the rigors of deep space when using the Nova Force. In addition, he can survive attacks from powerful beings such as Annihilus.
Superhuman Accuracy: Nova can fire energy beams with a precision of millimeters, with the help of Xandarian’s Worldmind, a sentient supercomputer.
Superhuman Stamina: Nova’s muscles produce fewer fatigue toxins during physical activity than an average human’s body. Although his maximum durability is unknown, he can exert himself physically for twenty-four hours until toxins from exhaustion affect him.
Healing Factor: Despite his excellent physical resilience, injury can still be sustained. On the rare event that Nova is wounded, he can actively channel the Nova Force to restore the weakened body tissues rapidly. However, the Nova Force cannot restore the missing limbs or body parts.
Skilled in Combat: Nova is an impressive combatant, but he is obviously more comfortable using the energy-generating capabilities of the Nova Force during combat.