Marvel Studios ventured to the far reaches of the cosmos in 2014 with the help of James Gunn, when his film, Guardians of the Galaxy, created a new corner for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The idea behind the film raised concerns for some with the movie focusing on a single human, two aliens, a talking tree, and gun loving raccoon, but the result gave Marvel Studios another new franchise to play with. After their previous films having little to do with space – outside of exploring Asgard and the Nine Realms – Gunn basically had free reign over what ideas he could introduce.
Space prisons, multiple alien species, a planet composed of a Celestial’s severed head, and more are just a few of the ideas he was able to incorporate. One additional piece was the introduction of the Nova Corps, which acts as space cops patrolling the galaxy for trouble. The Nova Corps wound up playing a large role in the film, and potentially moving forward, but it appears they almost looked extremely different.
Andy Park is one of the lead concept artists within Marvel Studios and recently released a look at an early design for the Nova Corps suit on his Instagram. In this take, Park says he drew inspiration from Star Wars, before ultimately settling on the design shown in the film.
This was an early design I concept illustrated for the Nova Corp in the 1st #GuardiansoftheGalaxy movie. It was an amazing time trying to come up with the look & feel of this totally new franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Up until this point it was all Avengers related films. This was our chance to do something different. We saw it as Marvel's Star Wars while working on it :) #gotg #nova #conceptart #design #costume #marvel #marvelstudios #film #illustration #instagood #instaart
This iteration of the Nova Corps costume does not seem too out of place with the cosmic feel that Guardians established. It does look more futuristic and battle ready than the official design, but it is easy to see the comparisons between this version and the various trooper designs in Star Wars. One subtle new alteration to this design is the mask itself. This version features a nod to the Nova Corps logo on the mask, which is similar in design to the Star Blaster ships they use in the actual film, yet also a less prominent way to incorporate than is done in the comics.
While some of the major Nova Corps members won’t be returning for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the group will still have a role to play, albeit one that is currently unknown. It should be interesting to see if any alterations are done to the costumes for the sequel or if they will continue to use the design similar to Dredd’s helmet. If they keep it, this could prove to be a great Easter egg for Dredd fans should Sylvester Stallone being playing a Nova Corps member as some have theorized. Even if this is not the case, the design chosen for the film fits within the universe. And who knows, maybe this alternate design could be used to distinguish different Nova Corps ranks and introduce Nova himself down the road.