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The issue begins with Nova finding himself under attack by the new Thunderbolts – Venom, Moonstone, Radioactive Man, and Penance. With minimal effort, he dodges Venom, but finds himself blasted by both Moonstone and Radioactive Man. However, even after being slammed, Nova rises, as if barely affected.
He blasts Venom with one hand, while blasting Moonstone with another. He takes another hit from Radioactive Man’s blast. Venom jumps on Nova, and Penance is commanded to bring the building down – and with a massive blast – does so.
(Now, it is odd that Robbie Baldwin became Penance, to “pay for his sins” that resulted in the death of over 600 people – many of them children – and this is why he is “Penance.” And yet without even checking, brings down an entire building on Nova. Here’s hoping there was no one in said building… – NewWarriors.com)
Nova breaks free, once again, showing no signs of wear and tear. But before the fight can escalate any further, Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. show up and command – no, force – Thunderbolts to stand down. Though the Thunderbolts don’t report to Iron Man, his threat is clear enough, and the Thunderbolts do indeed stand down.
Iron Man talks to Nova again about registering as they walk through Nova’s old high school; which has now been shut down and fallen to shambles. Nova again tells Iron Man he will give it some thought.
Nova returns home where both of his parents encourage him to register. It results in a verbal exchange, which has Nova walking out the door – where he is greeted by Penance. Penance removes his mask and reveals it is Robbie Baldwin. They talk briefly about the things that have happened, and why they are where they are. In the end, Nova tells Robbie Baldwin to never let anyone change who he is. Nova realizes that too much has changed – or perhaps he has changed too much – or both – but his place is no longer on Earth. And with that, Nova takes off into space.
He broadcasts a message through his parent’s television telling him of his choice, then turns on WorldMind and asks for his next destination for distress calls – and leaps through a Star Gate…