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.

  • New Warriors Dot Com


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.