The comics reading world was buzzing last week when, along with a sizable info-dump of covers and pages for the next wave of the semi-annual "Marvel NOW!" push, an unidentified piece of art turned up that seemed to tease the return of Richard Rider, the original character to bear the mantle of Nova and for a time one of the Marvel Universe's cult-fave superheroes.
Killed off several years ago, Richard Rider has since been replaced in the role by a younger character named Sam Alexander, who is currently in the midst of a big push of his own in the Nova comics run. Now however, Marvel Comics has confirmed that Richard Rider will indeed be returning in a new series coming soon, as fans have been speculating.
The Nova news was officially announced by Marvel at the Retailer Presentation during the ongoing Comic-Con International in San Diego. No creative team, overall direction or timeframe has been announced for the book as of yet, though it is known that Rider's return will not mean the end of Sam Alexander, as a character. The two will appear together in the series (in what capacity is unknown), while Alexander is still set to be a main character in Marvel's highly-promoted Millennial super-team book, The Champions.
Originally created by Marv Wolfman in 1976, Nova was essentially the Marvel equivalent of DC Comics' Green Lantern series - in that it followed Rider as a teenager imbued with the powers of a Nova Corps (the space-police seen in Guardians of the Galaxy) Centurion by a blast of energy from outer space. Though not originally an overwhelmingly popular character on his own, over time he became a key Marvel player thanks to tenure in The New Warriors and as a main hero in the Annihilation miniseries.
Old-school fans of the classic Nova had already been celebrating a potential return since the initial teaser image was leaked, but news that Rider's return will not push Sam Alexander's Nova out of the spotlight will likely come as a relief to the appreciably large fanbase the character has accrued both as an Avenger in the comics and a recurring supporting character on the popular Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. The commitment to not sidelining him is in keeping with Marvel's continued push for both younger and a more diverse hero roster that reflect the rising Millennial readership the publisher is eager to attract.
Stick with Screen Rant for more news on Nova and other Marvel Comics projects as they continue to develop.
Source: Marvel [via CBR]