We’re honored to be the winner of the NPP (Nova Prime Page) Award!

We’re very honored to be the winner of the NPP (Nova Prime Page) Award. The Nova Prime Page is proud to offer the Centurion Award to high quality websites which feature Nova or characters and teams connected to Nova. If you would like to nominate your site or another site, please send me an e-mail. You can view previous winners on the Nova Prime Page right here.

 

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A Rich History – The Return of Rich Rider – Nova?

The Return of Richard Rider?

The Return of Richard Rider?

Well, when solicitations for October leaked; among the images was an interesting one. It was a picture of Rich Rider’s version of the Nova helmet (that he had most recently) with a note that said “Coming Soon.”

When Nova was originally created, Marv Wolfman had intended Nova to be a homage to Spider-Man; with his down to Earth roots and such. However, as it would turn out, he clearly became a “homage” to Green Lantern, with one of the Nova Corps (Rhomann Dey), who is dying, bestows the Nova Force to Richard Rider.

The original run of Nova ran for 25 issues, and brought Richard Rider into contact with several characters; including Thor, Condor, Power House, Diamondhead, and a reoccurring villain for Nova; the one known as The Sphinx.

cover-novav1n1As Nova, Richard Rider with the help of several others including ROM: Space Knight, put an end to the Skrull Invansion. By the end of his original series, he had ended up surrendering the Nova Force and returning to Earth powerless.

Richard Rider, and naturally the idea of the character Nova, disappeared into obscurity for quite some time, until he appeared several years later, as a part of The New Warriors in the pages of Thor #411 & Thor #412, where the New Warriors assisted Thor in battling the Juggernaut. The original New Warriors ran 75 issues, for which Richard Rider was a part of the team the entire time. During this run of the New Warriors, Richard Rider would also get another Nova series.

cover-novav2n1In this series, Nova fights – for the most part – a bunch of newer made characters; but a few of his “old time” foes, such as Diamondhead resurface to give Richard Rider a run for his money. By the end of the series, an alternate Nova comes bringing the Deathstorm; and because Nova refuses to listen to Queen Adora, of the Nova Corps, Rich is stripped of his powers once again; but eventually given them back.

Nova would once again disappear for awhile, after this series ran it’s 18 issues, until artist and writer Erik Larsen took an interest in writing and drawing Nova.

There was quite a bit of debate when Erik Larsen launched the new Nova series. Some people felt that he regressed the character back to how Richard Rider had been in the very first volume (and ignored all the development and situations Richard developed during his run on The New Warriors by Fabian & Evan).

cover-novav3n1There were those, however, that thought Rich’s version in The New Warriors was the one that was far more out of character, with the long hair and tough as nails attitude, which Rich had not previously shown. Regardless, the series Erik launched only lasted 7 issues; and did indeed hail back to the original series, bringing back Nova’s original villain, Condor and once again, Diamondhead appears, along with The Sphinx, who had played a big role with The New Warriors.

Nova would disappear; yet again. The next time he returned, it was for a quick four issue tie in to Annihilation. cover-novav4n4It was a quick four issue piece by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning. This really took Richard Rider off of Earth and put him in the center of a huge galactic event that was happening in the Marvel Universe. This was, without a doubt, the best space stories being told (the entire Annihilation event).

They also redesigned Nova’s outfit to a far more “cool” looking outfit and modernized the entire look. He wasn’t just a “buckethead” anymore; but his costume now had a great edge to it. In this story, we see the potential that Nova has in terms of power; and the lengths he will go to protect Earth; and well, the Universe, as he’s the one that is forced to put a stop to Annihilus by killing him in personal combat. Richard Rider returned to Earth to discover that the events of Civil War had happened, and learns that his former team mates were killed by Nitro; Nova returned to space.

cover-novav5n1This would launch (in my own, unbiased opinion, right?) the best Nova series to date. Nova remained in his cool, sleek armored look. Returning once more to Earth, Nova comes in conflict with Iron Man because of the events of Civil War; then Penance, who had been Nova’s former teammate Speedball, is send to capture Nova; and the two of them fight it out. Then the series goes on to bring on Gamora as a new love interest, and brings Rich in conflict with the likes of the Silver Surfer, Super Skrull, and finally the Shi’ar; as Nova tries to help his other former teammate, Darkhawk, in figuring out why he assassinated Lilandra, the ruler of the Shi’ar Empire. (To find out why Darkhawk had done what he’d done; check out the upgrades that Darkhawk also got in War of Kings / Ascension). Nova would team up with Darkhawk as well as Black Bolt of the Inhumans to battle The Sphinx, yet again by the time the series came to a drastic end. Richard Rider would give his life, using the Nova Force to trap Thanos in the Fault / Cancerverse. While others, also thought to have perished have returned, Nova had not.

NOVA_V6_N001Eventually, a new Nova would be launched – featuring a new character Sam Alexander. While initially not thrilled at the idea of Richard Rider being replaced (especially after thoroughly enjoying his latest series), when I learned that the character Sam Alexander was named after Jeff Loeb’s son, Sam, who had died of Bone Cancer in 2005; my heart softened. I ended up giving this new Nova a chance; and while initially, it was “entertaining” – it was missing something. I feel like when Duggan came on the book, it seemed to find it’s footing and pacing a little more as he brought in characters like Beta Ray Bill to interact with Sam Alexander from time to time, as Sam sought his father (who had also been a member of the Nova Corps). Sam would bump heads with Rich’s old foe, Diamondhead, and a few unique foes of his own, before finally finding his father and being reunited with him, bringing the series to an end.

NOVA_V7_001But, in typical Marvel (and Comics in general!) fashion, Marvel rebooted the title a short time after concluding the previous one, and kept Sam Alexander in the book. The story in this book begins with essentially undoing the entire previous volume, by explaining that Sam’s father isn’t even his father; but a clone to kill him and take his helmet; but the clone had become attached to Sam. This version of the Nova series would only last eight issues.

Many fans have been furious that Richard Rider, as Nova, has not yet returned; but characters like Thanos and Black Bolt have. A portion of those fans were also extremely furious about Sam Alexander taking over the role as Nova; and saw it that as long as Sam Alexander existed, that their beloved Rich Rider would not return. (Logically, this would make sense… But if you look at Marvel’s history; there’s currently two Captain America’s running around {Steve Rogers & Sam Wilson}, there’s two Thor’s running around {Jane Foster & Thor}, and – well, there’s probably more, but I think you can see my point).

The Return of Richard Rider?

The Return of Richard Rider?

Well, now it seems like Marvel is listening… and this hint has been “confirmed” that Richard Rider is returning and that he and Sam Alexander will star in an All New Nova Series. However, no creative team has been announced; so we don’t know who the writer and artist are (and yet, they’ve already supposedly got it all mapped out that both Rich and Sam are in the same title?)

I admit. I have my doubts that what Marvel has been alluding to is all that it appears to be.

I won’t believe that Rich Rider has finally returned until I see it in print. Because if you ask me, this sounds like a really familiar April Fool’s Day trick

 

UntitledI guess only… Time Will Tell.

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Civil War II: Choosing Sides (Night Thrasher).

CWII-01CIVIL WAR II: CHOOSING SIDES.

NOTE: The review will only cover the Night Thrasher story that takes place in Civil War II: Choosing Sides.

First, a little background about Night Thrasher. He was the founder of The New Warriors, and a leader of the team during a majority of its existence. During a time that The New Warriors had done a reality show, documenting the lives of super heroes, they fought several villains; one of them was Nitro. Nitro, after being slammed into a bus by Namorita, igniting himself; incinerating Namorita, Night Thrasher, and Microbe. Speedball survived, but suffered greatly and took up the mantle of Penance for awhile. Fast forward quite a few years, in the recent pages of Contest of Champions, Dwayne is plucked seconds before his death, and forced to be a part of the Contest of Champions. When the battle is over, he is (mistakenly) teleported back – alive, rather than returning him back to his time, just before his death. Now he finds the world has not changed all that much since his death and he finds himself in the middle of the second “Civil War” among heroes. And so begins, Civil War II: Choosing Sides

CWII-04The issue opens up in Times Square, where an alien invader is wreaking havoc; and we get a lot of great, internal thoughts about Dwayne and his life. How he had been given a privileged life, but not without it’s consequences. And it is through those consequences, that he has learned that he learned there is no such thing as “luck”; and that it never runs out, because it’s all an illusion to begin with. You can’t run out of something you never had. In all the chaos happening around him, we see cameos of (one of the Spider-Men, I couldn’t tell you which one), Nova (Sam Alexander), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Captain America (Sam Wilson), and even Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). There’s some great internal dialogue about Dwayne’s “dislike” of Tony Stark; and how they used to run in the same circles. There’s so much here that suggests how well tied in Dwayne is with the rest of the Marvel Universe.

CWII-02Dwayne has also done some wonderful modifications to his armor, as well as his Skateboard, which he is seen, once again using. He even makes mention to Tony Stark that it’s more than a “skateboard” now; though Dwayne himself, still calls it a Skateboard. His armor is able to pick up the  heartbeat of a young girl trapped in a bus, and Dwayne has a pretty cool, tender moment, rescuing this frightened girl, again using his newly modified “skateboard” as a tool to cut her free from the scrap metal that’s trapped her.

CWII-03The story does such a great job of giving us a look inside Dwayne’s head, and give us what he’s feeling; that it’s easy to see that writer Brandon Easton clearly has his finger on the pulse of this character – and that moment shines the best, when Night Thrasher does some cool stuff, and Iron Man gives him a thumbs up, and Dwayne thinks to himself, “I’m tempted to return a different finger to Stark.” That moment right there, pretty much nailed it for me – that I knew the rest of this story – and the handling of Dwayne Taylor – was going to be in good hands. Because in that single panel – that single sentence – I knew Brandon understood Dwayne Taylor.

And now, I eagerly look forward to see what comes next.

For the story centered on Night Thrasher in Civil War II: Choosing Sides, it gets an easy “A+” from me – in terms of story, pacing, dialogue, and art. This thing is a complete package; and I understand, you may hold back on buying it because you’re only purchasing it for one story out of the three; but I am telling you now, it’s worth it. Pick it up. Tell you friends to pick it up. Buy a copy for them – tell them why you picked it up – tell them about Night Thrasher. Tell them about the New Warriors. Get them interested.

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