Kevin Feige recently confirmed they are taking a look at new characters for Marvel Phase 4, so it’s possible The Avengers: Infinity War may introduce and lead to Nova, which we’re really excited about as Richard Rider is a favorite Marvel Comics character of ours at this site.
In the MCU, the Nova Corps was first introduced in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie featuring Glenn Close as the leader, John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey and Peter Serafinowicz as Denarian Saal.
Nova was also the sister comic book title to the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy comic that inspired the movie, so it’s entirely conceivable to think that Nova will become a part of the MCU, especially as it’s known the Marvel Phase 4 plans are going even more COSMIC. In the comics, Nova saw a resurgence when editor Andy Schmidt and writer Keith Giffen had the character headline the Annihilation event, and then Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning penned the 2007 Nova series.
So how could Infinity War introduce Nova in the MCU? Let’s take a look at potential clues. Warning: Spoilers follow for Infinity War:
The end of Guardians of the Galaxy featured Star-Lord besting Ronan in a battle for the Orb, the Power Stone, with it decided that the Nova Corps would protect the Infinity Stone on their planet of Xandar. Obviously we all know Thanos is after all the Infinity Stones, so Xandar and the Nova Corps must be on his radar.
Again: Infinity War spoilers follow.
I’m not going to go into huge Infinity War spoilers, but when the movie starts, it’s already revealed that Thanos has acquired the Power Stone and decimated Xandar (Note: If you are a fan of the comics, Xandar getting destroyed isn’t too surprising). The movie didn’t actually show Thanos getting the Power Stone and destroying Xander, so it’s entirely possibly we could see that happen at the start of a Nova MCU movie (which would be awesome and would mean more from Thanos and the Black Order!).
So how would Nova be introduced in the MCU?
One scenario is that Rhoman Dey survives when Thanos and his Black Order destroy Xander and take the Infinity Stone, and Dey takes the Nova Force with him to Earth and gives it to Richard Rider. I’m not quite sure if Kevin Feige and the MCU will go this route as it’s too close to the origin of Green Lantern. Nicole Perlman actually stated they are changing the origin of Carol Danvers in the Captain Marvel movie because they feel her origin is too close to Green Lantern.
So I’m guessing they will be changing the MCU origin of Nova as well.
So what does the MCU do?
They take a page out of Annihilation.
The comic sees Xandar destroyed at the hands of Annihilus leaving Richard Rider Nova as the sole surviving Nova with the entire Nova Force and Worldmind at his command. The MCU could simply replace Annihilus with Thanos and already have Richard Rider as part of the Nova Corps. This way, they wouldn’t need to show Richard Rider becoming a Nova, but would start off with Richard Rider being Nova Prime.
Gunn has actually stated he’s interested in using Annihilus, and as the character will return to Marvel Studios next year with the Disney purchase of the Fox Studios assets, Annihilus could be the main villain of an MCU “Avengers-type” COSMIC movie somewhere down the line.
I’m interested to see what an MCU Nova would be like.
Gunn has gone on record that he kept Star-Lord as the only human (technically half-human) character as to keep the focus on Peter Quill, and Gunn has changed the origins for all the cosmic characters that were of human origin as well. Richard Rider is from Long Island, so would they make him an alien? I feel that would take a lot away from the character. Presently, the MCU doesn’t have any human relatable characters in space. As I said, Star-Lord is of half-human descent, and he also was shown with uber powers from Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. In addition, Star-Lord was taken from Earth at a young age; so it’s not like he feels like an Earth character (the way the Avengers do). Richard Rider would be the perfect COSMIC human character for the MCU and could obviously tie into the Guardians of the Galaxy. A cool way to use Nova would be similar to the comics in that he enlisted in the Nova Corps and fought in battle (similar to someone joining the military, etc.).