Coming back from the dead is never easy, especially when a character isn’t technically dead. Starting anew after the Marvel Universe considers you dead and buried – or at least trapped in the Cancerverse – is never easy, though. However, classic Nova Richard Rider will face a number of new problems as he begins his life after semi-death and his first new Marvel storyline in over half a decade. Fortunately, he won’t be alone.
As Richard returns to his own realm, he’ll have a little help from fellow Earthling and fledgling Nova Sam Alexander to get used to a heroic life in the MU once more.
Starting in December, Marvel will reintroduce their classic hero in a new storyline which has him coming to terms with what he left behind and what it means to be a hero once more. Written by Jeff Loveness with art from Ramon Perez, Nova #1 teams Rider up with recent Nova recruit Sam Alexander, who’s still coming to terms with what it means to wear the helmet. Check out the description from the first issue of Nova and get a sneak peek at the panels below:
“This December, buckle up because a double dose of Human Rocket is coming to Marvel NOW! Today, Marvel is pleased to present your first look inside NOVA #1 – the highly anticipated new ongoing series from creators Jeff Loveness (Groot) and Ramon Perez (All-New Hawkeye). For years, he stood as one of Earth’s greatest heroes. He fought alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers, stopped the Annihilation Wave from eradicating all life in the galaxy, among other great deeds. In the end, he sacrificed his life to save everyone. But now, Richard Rider has returned from the brink, unsure of his place in a universe that has moved on without him. In his absence, a new Nova has stepped up to fill the void he left behind. Can Sam Alexander remind Rich what it means to be the Human Rocket? You better believe it! Sam just has to finish his homework first. Strap in True Believer, this is NOVA like you’ve never seen it before! Be there for liftoff when NOVA #1 comes to comic shops and digital devices everywhere on December 7th!”
Since his figurative death during “The Thanos Imperative,” fans have been anticipating the ‘rebirth’ of Richard Rider, who himself began life in the pages of Marv Wolfman’s fanzine in the late 60s. When the author and creator signed with Marvel, the cosmic hero came with him. Nova’s first mainstream run began in earnest in 1976, and the character fluctuated in popularity throughout the years. His latest surge came during the 2000s, when the DnA team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning put Rider through his paces, while stopping both the Annihilation wave and of course, sacrificing himself to trap Thanos.
Despite his controversial nature to fans, Sam Alexander successfully kept the Nova brand alive and paved the way for Richard Rider’s return. The final pages of Sam Alexander’s latest solo run also set the tone for Rider’s return, that of rebirth and renewal. Seeking out his place in a universe several years older and one universe-collapsing event later (Secret Wars, that is) will undoubtedly be major themes as the first Nova Corpsman resumes his life-less-ordinary. The latest book will also hopefully bridge some gaps between fans of Rider and those who enjoy his young cohort Sam Alexander. The real trick, of course, is creating a tale that will appeal to both the younger viewers Marvel is trying to entice into their books, as well as older fans who’ve long awaited the original Nova’s return.
As Richard returns, though, it looks like things aren’t quite what they seem. The preview pages of Nova #1 tease some shadowy machinations on Earth and beyond. Without a doubt, the cosmos is still a dangerous place. Since Rider’s ‘death,’ the MU has faced plenty of serious stellar mayhem, including Thanos’ continued meddling, the death of Uatu the Watcher (Original Sin), and the rebirth of Galactus as the Lifebringer, among many other wild storylines. It’s also curious that Richard Rider was able to leave Xandarian World Mind when so many other fallen Corps members have not. Is it possible the scheming days of the hive mind aren’t behind it?
Whether or not the Xandarian AI crops up in a good or bad way, the cosmos will need some backup, with Guardians stranded on Earth and Captain Marvel occupied with her sudden celebrity status thanks to Civil War II. The burgeoning Nova Corps will definitely have their hands full, as a striking full-page preview panel depicts Sam Alexander either helping or hindering Ego the Living Planet. It’s an exciting time for Marvel Cosmic, and hopefully Rider’s return will coincide with some incredible new stories and a few old faces as well.
Nova #1 arrives in print and online on December 7, 2016.