In comic books, dead is rarely dead. At the same time, unless you’ve got a villain like the Jackal in your corner (or can duplicate yourself like Dr. Jamie Madrox), fans sometimes have a long wait until for their favorite deceased superheroes to return. Such was certainly the case for Nova Corpsman Richard Rider, who spent many long years in comic book limbo after his explosive end during 'The Thanos Imperative' story line.
After taking a nice long plot nap, though, Marvel’s first Nova, Richard Rider is back from the dead and ready for action.
Speaking during Marvel's Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy panel at New York Comic Con (via CBR), writers Jeff Loveness (Groot) and Ramon Perez (Hawkeye) addressed their forthcoming work. Nova #1 will be the first comic in 6 years to feature Rider in a corporeal role. The latest series will also showcase his young co-Corps member, Sam Alexander, who took on the role of Earth’s stellar defender in 2011 after discovering his father's secret past with the Black Novas. The pair are about to kick off their latest adventures, co-starring in Marvel's latest ongoing series this coming December (get a first look at Nova #1 below).
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Part of the challenge for Richard will be adapting to life after several years of, for all intents and purposes, being dead. As he returns to consciousness on the flip-side of the Cancerverse, Sam will have to get him up to speed. Of course, the younger Corp member can also learn a thing or two from Marvel’s own intergalactic swashbuckler as he steps back into his old uniform. Speaking with CBR, Loveness and Perez discussed what it meant to write for the legendary Rich Rider. Loveness said:
“He has this great almost sci-fi serial hero aspect to him. He has the confidence of a Buck Rogers or a Han Solo like Ramon said, and he has such a wide power set you can have fun with him and undercut his confidence at the same time. The Richard Rider who defeated the Annihilation Wave is a really fun concept to play with.”
Going forward, it sounds like the co-authors will dive into Rider’s legacy, and what it means in a world 6 years older than when he vanished saving it. Loveness also explored the dynamic between young and old Nova going forward, saying:
“I kind of like playing with the fact that Rich is almost this untouchable hero who does everything perfectly while Sam can’t really catch a break. We also have the inverse of that though in that I feel like we’re setting Rich up to be in a very interesting place. He was this huge superhero. He literally saved the universe, but now he’s back and it’s almost like the universe has moved on without him. Think of how many huge Marvel events have happened since “The Thanos Imperative.”
Of course, Richard probably won't have long to re-acclimate to his surroundings before trouble comes calling. What villains can fans expect as Rider and Alexander get back to business? From the sound of it, we’ll be dealing with some oldies but goodies (as well as a few contemporary foes, in all likelihood). Perez said:
“We’re diving through the back catalog of villains and Nova’s rogues’ gallery. I’m a big fan of bringing back a lot of classic villains that we haven’t seen in a while. We’ve got some fun ones in our first few issues. I don’t want to mention any of them by name though because it would kill the surprise. We’re going deep into the Marvel Cosmic universe though, for sure.”
The return of Richard Rider already has Cosmic Marvel fans excited. Perez and Loveness have promised plenty of outer space action as well as fun cameos from old enemies and collaborators alike. It wouldn't be surprising if some of Rider's (and Alexander's) colleagues like Captain Marvel and the Guardians of the Galaxy, in addition to Sam’s new team, the Champions drop by. Although Perez and Loveness gave no indications of exactly whom they'll be facing off with, it sure looks like Thanos' menacing face on one of the variant covers. Digging into the Nova rogues could, theoretically, entail classic star-foes like Sphinx or the Corrupter.
As well as their space travails, the latest Nova will hit close to home, as the action will follow Alexander to Arizona and Rider to New York. Watching the out-of-touch legend interact with his relatively green cohort should prove an interesting subplot to the exciting adventures. Hopefully, Loveness and Perez will do justice to the galaxy’s finest. And, if they also happen to restart the Nova Corps along the way, it's doubtful that any fans would mind.
Nova #1 arrives online and in print on December 7.