<-- Previous Issue | Next Issue –>
This issue opens with a bang as we see Garthan Saal flying through the time stream, believing himself to be the last surviving son of the dead planet of Xandar, in a desperate search for Nebula, the one who destroyed his planet. After being tricked by the Avengers to look into the time stream for her, Garthan Saal has had little luck finding her, at the cost of his own sanity.
With the power of all the Nova Corps within him, Garthan Saal became determined to do one thing – extract justice. He became the personification of what he believed justice was, unbeknownst that the very power within him was rapidly corrupting his once noble motives.
As he flies through the time stream, all the time believing himself the last remaining son of Xandar, he sees something flowing around him in the river of time; something he can scarcely believe. He sees there is another who has the powers of the Nova Corps – and it is someone he knows. An Earthling named Rich Rider. But how could one who willing turned his back on Xandar and fled back to Earth have the power of the Nova Corps? Garthan Saal realizes he must return to Earth and confront the coward, Rich Rider.
The New Warriors, meanwhile are responding to a threat from Asylum, whose darkforce power once ran exceptionally wild during the Forces of Light, Forces of Dark storyline. Nova hastily goes in to punch Asylum out and only finds himself engulfed within Asylum.
Within Asylum, he is suddenly confronted by his worse fears; which include feeling the powers ripped from him; seeing his family slaughtered; seeing it and feeling it all happen as if it were real.
Firestar drops Speedball inside, who reveals that her darkforce powers can never touch him since he can keep the kinetic shield about him; then use it to rapidly expand, which makes Asylum, explode into shadowy shards, with only the mask remaining behind. It’s interesting to note that when Firestar attacks the shadowy force, it does not recoil as it did previously; and both Speedball and Firestar noticed.
When Firestar and Speedball check on Nova, he shouts that he is fine, then quickly apologizes and leaves. While flying he thinks about his own insecurities, and realizes if he had a nickel for every teen angst within him he would be a “gajillionaire.” Nova quickly changes and meets Laura for a date. While on the date, he tells her that he kissed Namorita and fears that he likes Laura, but he also really likes her as well. Before either of them could say too much more, Garthan Saal appears demanding for Nova to appear. Rich gives Laura a number to call and races off to change.
Meanwhile in an uninhabited world in the Anthares System, a mechanical form housing the sentient spirit of Gabriel Lan, a former Xandarian named Air-Walker, herald of Galactus, is normally not affected. But this time, he awakens and has Firelord at his side. Realizing that it’s coming from Earth, Firelord and Air-Walker fly towards Earth.
Garthan Saal defeats Nova and begins “reclaiming his power as rightfully his” as the New Warriors meet up with Air-Walker and Firelord, who reveal that as of four minutes ago, Garthan Saal has killed Rich Rider.