| Next Issue –>
The issue begins seventeen years ago, 42.2 Light Years away from Earth, where we see Jesse Alexander, one of the Black Novas, along with Titus (a humanoid tiger) and Mister Z’zz (an insect like alien), all fighting off an army of aliens. They make their way into a chamber, where they rescue Rocket Raccoon and Gamora – who are already, at this point, apparently calling themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s noted that the Black Novas, sometimes called the Super Novas, operated differently than the “Gold Dome” Novas (such as Rich Rider). They were the search and rescue, almost Black Ops type of Nova Corp members. As they make their escape, they’re attacked by an alien ship – Jesse blasts through the ship, nearly sacrificing himself. Titus catches Jesse, and together they escape, but not before Titus injects Jesse with something.
The story fast forwards to just six months before current events, when Jesse is explaining to his son, Sam, that one day he might get called to go back into space. His son, not believing any of the stories that his father has told him, simply nods and agrees. Sam helps his father into the garage, where we see a galactic map on the wall with yarn pinned to it, as well as a Black Nova helm sitting on the shelf.
When Sam goes into the kitchen, his mother asks how his father is doing – and he explains that he’s doing fine, after he’s done his job for him, and got him safely home. His mother tries to explain that Sam’s father is going through a rough time, but Sam doesn’t want to hear any of it.
The following day, Sam runs into Moffet, the school bully, who taunts Sam after punching him. The potential fight is broken up when Mr. Philbin gives Sam his skateboard, and recommends that Sam gets a helmet if he insists on riding his skateboard. Later still, Sam is skating and talks to Carrie, who offers to help Sam cover for his father’s work. Sam shakes his head and says, “The place has come to a dead end when the cutest girl in town is willing to help clean toilets ‘just to have something to do.'” Carrie is pleasantly surprised that Sam noted her as being cute.
The story skips back to fifteen years ago, as Jesse tells about another tale of being space, this time to Sam’s younger sister, Kaelynn. He describes a story in which they took an android being known as a Recorder, from an alien species known as Rigellians. The story explains that Jesse had to leave Titus and Mister Z’zz so that he could return to Earth to see Sam being born. Sam overhears him telling the story and turns to see his mother watching him. Sam mocks the fact that his father can’t even remember the same stories that he tells her, the way he had told it to him. The mother explains that his father has made a lot of sacrifices, and that she hopes that Sam grows up to be half the man that his father is. Sam, furious, leaves on his skateboard, and stops at a sign just at the edge of town.
Sam returns home and finds Kaelynn still awake. He speaks with her and is about to tell her that their father’s tales are nothing more than that – just tales, when she says that their father was the greatest Nova that lived. Sam stops himself and says, “You should ask him to tell you about how he painted another ring around Saturn…”
The next day, Sam goes to school and sees a restroom out of order, and is furious that his father isn’t doing his job. Moffet appears in time to taunt Sam, so Sam takes a swing at him, but misses, however Moffet lands a solid blow, knocking Sam down. Mr. Philbin appears and demands that Sam goes to his office.
Later Sam comes home and bursts into the garage, to yell at his father, because he’s been suspended – only to find a massive hole in the wall. Sam, believing that their father has run out on them, gets on his skateboard to look for them – only to fall and hit his head. He lands in the hospital and is visited by his sister, Kaelynn, and his mother. He later gets a visit from two, far more unusual visitors – Rocket Raccoon and Gamora, who explain they’re looking for his father.