Name: Richard Rider
Powers: Nova derives his powers from a source known as the Nova Force, which is wielded by all members of the Nova Corps. Nova's small share of the Nova Force gives him abilities that include flight, super strength, speed, and durability, as well as the power to absorb energies directed at him and release it as gravimetric beams and pulses, either from single parts of his body or from his entire body surface.
First Appearance: Nova #1 (1976)
The Nova Corps is a peace-keeping force that was based on the planet Xandar. The planet was destroyed by the space pirate known as Zorr. When Rhomann Dey, the Nova Prime was dying, he chose at random, Richard Rider to receive his powers and granted him the Nova Force. This was a lot for the teenaged Rider but he started a superhero career with them.
Rider would often team-up with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. In fact, Rider showed so much potential that Nick Fury recruited him to help Shield against the Yellow Claw. During this time in Rider's life he often fought Condor, Diamondhead, and the Sphinx. At one time Condor and Diamondhead put Rider under a spell and formed The Terrible Trio to fight the Sphinix. Rider even made an alliance with the villains to form The Champions of Xandar. When the Skrull Empire threatened Xandar, Rider and the Champions of Xandar went to give their aid. The Champions would lead forces of the Nova Corps against the Skrulls. The Skrull attack force was eventually defeated with a little help from the Fantastic Four and then from Rom the Spaceknight. Rider longed to return to Earth, so he agreed to give up his portion of the Nova force powers to be used on Xandar to live a normal life.
A few months after he regained his powers, Richard was approached by Night Thrasher. Night Thrasher was starting a new superhero team and believed that Rider still contained the power inside him. To prove this, he threw Rider off of a rooftop. Luckily, he was right seeing as Rider's Nova powers reactivated in time to save himself. They formed the New Warriors with other teenage superheroes such as Justice, Speedball, Namorita, and Firestar. Together they went on many missions with the hope of one day becoming like the Avengers. Nova divided his time with the New Warriors, working solo, and occasionally being called into space by the Nova Corps. During Rider's absence from the Corps, Nebula attacked Xandar and destroyed the remaining portion of the planet along with most of it's inhabitants.
After fighting Super-Nova, a Xandarian that had gained almost all of the Nova Force and was driven mad by it, with the help of former Galactus' Heralds, Firelord and Air-Walker, Nova became the Centurion Prime. He was to be the guardian of Earth's sector of space. Nova continued to fight alongside the New Warriors against various threats, including the very powerful Sphinx.
The New Warriors eventually broke up and reformed a few times. The last formation of the team had the New Warriors as stars of a reality show that traveled across the country and fought villains on television. Nova was not a part of the New Warriors during the Stamford Incident that lead to the Civil War.
Shortly before the horrible incident that resulted in the New Warriors' deaths at Stamford, Connecticut, Nova was called back to Xandar to assist the Nova Corps with an unknown threat to the universe. That threat ended up being the Annihilation Wave. Shortly after Rider arrived, the Wave destroyed Xandar and decimated the Nova Corps. Nova was the only survivor of the attack and the last remaining Corps member. Worldmind, the Xandarian living computer that contains the record of Xandar's history, contacted Nova. Worldmind explained that if not protected by Nova, all of Xandarian culture would be lost as well as the Nova Force. Nova reluctantly agreed to take the entire Nova-Force into himself, a feat that could drive him insane, and had Worldmind uploaded into his helmet in order to protect it. Worldmind also helps Rider retain his sanity with the Nova-Force by aiding him in controlling and utilizing it.
Later, Nova discovers Drax The Destroyer and Cammi on the surface of Xandar, the only other two apparent survivors of the onslaught. They rush to escape the planet, which has been knocked out of it's orbit due to the damage it suffered from the attack, since it is quickly becoming unstable. Worldmind tells them where an undamaged ship is docked and together they fight their way through stray Annihilation Wave drones to get to it. Nova feels all of the raw power from the Nova Force and overdoes it despite Worldmind's warnings. Nova asks Drax if he could teach him how to help control his power and focus it. Nova opens a gate to the planet Nycos Aristides, several light years away. Upon arrival the engines of their vessel cut out and they begin to fall and burn up into the atmosphere, but are saved by Quasar who is aiding the planet's evacuation efforts.
Quasar talks Nova into helping him evacuate the planet from the oncoming Annihilation Wave, despite Nova's fears of losing control of his power. They hold their own against the wave and even attempt to kill Annihilus himself, but Quasar is killed in the process and Annihilus acquires his Quantum Bands. Nova barely escapes with his life.
Nova heads up a a resistance movement against the Annihilation Wave called the United Front with Peter Quill ( Starlord) as his second-in-command. After losing a major battle they decide to dissolve the resistance in hopes of minimizing casualties and form a small strike team with one goal, to kill Annihilus.
As the final battle looms and Annihilus' fleet is being destroyed by Galactus, Nova is able to challenge Annihilus to single combat. The fight doesn't go so well for Nova since Annihilus possessed both the Quantum Bands and the Cosmic Rod. Nova looks deafeated at Annihilus' hands when Phyla-Vell manages to steal the Quantum Bands from Annihilus. The tide being turned in Nova's favor and realizing there was no way to penetrate his armor, Nova manages to rip Annihilus' insides out from his mouth, killing him.
Following the events of Annihilation, Nova becomes overwhelmed with work rushing from one crisis to the next finding himself being one of the only people in the universe able to help and the last remaining member of the Nova Corps. World Mind cautions him not to over work himself seeing as containing all of the Nova Force is a stressful job already. Eventually he manages to convince Nova to return to Earth for a break. Upon arrival Nova is confronted by Iron Man and SHIELD, having identified him as a Class 12 threat entering Earth's atmosphere. After telling Nova about the Civil War, the Initiative, and the new Super Hero Registration Act, Nova is given 24 hours to decide whether he wants to register or not.
Whilst walking around his old neighborhood, Nova is attacked by his old foe Diamondhead, seeking revenge after years in prison. Nova easily shatters his hand, but this draws the attention of the Thunderbolts, who attempt to bring him in for being an unregistered hero, unaware that Nova still has time to decide. After the fight is called off by Iron Man, Nova returns home, where he has an argument with his parents about the fight with the Thunderbolts. Shortly after this, Nova meets up with his old friend Robbie Baldwin, now known as Penance. After seeing what's happened to him, Nova decides to leave Earth, since too much has happened since he was last there and space makes more sense to him now.
As time passed, Richard proved himself an incredible wielder of the Nova Force and eventually aided the Worldmind into siphoning it off into more members to reinstate the Corps. When the threat of the Cancerverse loomed (a parallel reality that was infected with a violent disease that wanted to infect more of its kind into the prime reality) Nova was one of the leading figures in combating the threat and sadly perished while sealing the opened portal between the two worlds.
Richard is 10x the power Eye-Scream could ever dream of wielding. Regardless of which power set or time frame we have this fight take place in, Richard would most likely demolish anything Eye-Scream can do. His powers include strength, flight, energy blasts, agility and a living computer in his head that warns him of incoming danger and analyzes threats in seconds with countermeasures ready. Severing Richard's link to Worldmind would most likely be Eye-Screams trump card but considering that Worldmind is in Richard's head, he'd have to kill him to get there. And something tells me that Eye-Scream won't be able to do that.
I love Nova. I always had a passing interest in him as a child when I read the New Warriors, but it was really Dan Abnett's Nova series and the Annihilation story line from Marvel that cemented him as one of the top Marvel heroes of all time. Richard himself is an incredibly likable character. Hes always questioning himself but hes driven to succeed and to prove everyone who doubts him wrong. He can get overconfident at times for sure and even screws up plenty more, but he never gives up and always does whats right. His death scene while incredibly sad and heartbreaking was pretty amazing and he went out as a hero that we all know he was. There's apparently a new Nova flying around Marvel these days and from what I've seen of him he doesn't seem to possess anything I enjoyed that Richard held. Even if you never come back Nova, you'll always be one of my favorite characters in any medium. BLUE BLAZES!