WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War
Thanos is out to kill the Avengers in Infinity War, but he may have create a new Marvel movie superhero in the process. Marvel fans have hoped to see Nova join the MCU for years, as the Avengers-focused films have shifted farther and farther from planet Earth, and deeper into the alien powers of Marvel's Cosmic Universe. Those two worlds collide thanks to Thanos in Infinity War, but the evidence suggests Avengers 3 may also act as the origin story for Richard Rider a.k.a. Nova, the last survivor of Xandar.
Previously director James Gunn explained that he didn't want to use Nova in Guardians of the Galaxy "right now," but that has changed. Since then, Gunn has taken a larger role guiding the future of Marvel's cosmic movies, teasing that while details are under wraps for now, the two Infinity War movies and Guardians 3 will guide the next ten to twenty years of stories.
It seems a foregone conclusion that Nova will emerge eventually. So with two Avengers movies and Guardians 3 incoming, it should come as no surprise that Infinity War may have just made Nova's entry into the MCU possible. Provided fans notice the clues...
Thanos Already Has The Power Stone in Infinity War
Considering that the audience knows where each Infinity Stone now lies (thanks to their introductions in preceding MCU films), the lack of Infinity Stones in the marketing is a good thing. If fans knew which stones Thanos acquired in which order, a fairly clear picture of the plot would come into focus. The directors are urging Infinity War fans not to spoil the story ahead of time, confirming there are twists in store.
But the Infinity Gauntlet had to have some Stones in it in marketing to get the point across, if nothing else. And so the small, purple gem found its place in its gold setting - soon joined by the blue Space Stone previously contained within the Tesseract. Now, we came up with our own theories on how Thanos gets the Tesseract as shown in the trailers, and the deafening shot it will fire across the Marvel Universe.
But even before Thanos crushes the Tesseract with his bare hands for the Space Stone contained within, the Marvel Universe has been forever changed. At least, that's what's assumed. After all, Thanos has the purple Power Stone before he ever meets the heroes of Infinity War. And thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, fans know where he got it.
The Nova Corps & Xandar Were Likely Wiped Out
For those who don't recall the final act of Guardians of the Galaxy - and since it was almost four years ago now, that could be forgiven - the purple Power Stone came shockingly close to wiping out all life on the planet Xandar, the "Capitol of the Nova Empire." In a rare moment of true, heroic reasoning, Peter Quill and his Guardians decided to forego the potential payday that a real Infinity Stone would bring. Entrusting the object to the Nova Corps, the Stone was placed in the military's most secure vault, hand-delivered by Nova Prime (Glenn Close) herself.
For now, we can only assume that her grin was satisfaction that a galactic threat was finally safe. And that the Nova Corps had finally been brought to film (their uniform the basis of the Nova artwork by UncannyKnack visible above).
Audiences may have assumed that the scene put these story lines to rest. There was no place safer, audiences were led to believe, than the Nova vault on Xandar. But again, by the time he meets Thor and Loki... Thanos has the Power Stone already.So how did he get it? As strong as the Nova Corps may seem, Ronan the Accuser succeeded in pounding their aerial forces to near extinction with just one large ship and a fleet of fighters. Thanos can be assumed to command as large an army, if not more (his Chitauri forces wreaked havoc on New York in The Avengers).
To make things worse for the heroes of the MCU, Thanos wouldn't even need to wipe out the Nova forces, simply fight his way to the Power Stone. Once in his possession - as was shown in The Collector's demonstration - he could burn Xandar to a cinder with a single thought. And if he could... why wouldn't he?
The good news is that the death of the Nova Corps could bring Nova the superhero into Marvel's movie universe.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release date: Oct 15, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019