Real Name: Richard Rider
Aliases: The Human Rocket, Kid Nova, Bucket Head
Occupation: Soldier, Nova Corps Member; (Formerly) student, short-order cook, reality TV star
Citizenship: United States Citizen
Place of Birth: Queens, New York
Known Relatives: Charles Rider (father), Gloria Rider (mother), Robert Rider (brother), Ralph Rider (uncle, deceased)
Group Affiliation: Nova Corps; formerly Champions (of Xandar), New Warriors, Secret Defenders
First Appearance: Nova #1
History: Chosen at random by the dying Xandarian Rhomann Dey to receive his Nova Corps powers, teenager Richard Rider found himself thrust into the role of superhero, a role he grasped with relish. He battled foes such as Dey’s nemesis Zorr, the winged mutant criminal Condor, the amnesiac Powerhouse (actually a Xandarian sent to locate the missing Dey), and the mysterious Sphinx. The latter eventually kidnapped Nova and several others, using Dey’s spaceship to transport them all to Xandar.
Learning that Xandar was threatened by the Skrull Empire, Nova and his fellows (bar the Sphinx, who had returned to Earth, and Dr. Sun, who teleported to an unknown location) pledged their aid; the Skrulls were eventually driven off with the help of the Galadorian spaceknight Rom. Homesick for Earth, Richard agreed to give up his powers, which were needed to help rebuild war-ravaged Xandar’s defenses, and returned home a normal human once more.
Or so it seemed. Months later Richard was tracked down by Night Thrasher, who believed Richard’s powers were merely dormant and wished to recruit Nova for his prospective hero team. To test the theory, Night Thrasher dropped Richard off a roof; luckily for both of them, Night Thrasher was correct, and the adrenaline rush reawoke Richard’s abilities. Alongside several other teenage heroes he founded the New Warriors, and also resumed his solo career. He fought alongside the New Warriors for years, including encounters with Nova’s old foe the Sphinx and a brief stint during which the Warriors worked with Cable and X-Force. He was eventually hunted down by Super-Nova, the Xandarian who held the rest of the Nova-Force inside his body and had been driven mad by it. The two of them, aided by the New Warriors and Galactus’ Xandarian heralds Firelord and Air-Walker, ended up setting off protocols that led to Xandar’s resurrection. The StarCorps was reinstated, and Rider was appointed Centurion Prime and assigned to guard earth’s sector of space.
Returning to Earth, Rider was confronted with dual lives as Centurion Prime and a member of the New Warriors. He also encountered another Nova from an alternate timeline named Nova 0:0. Nova 0:0 attacked Rider to prepare him for defending his Earth from the force that had destroyed Nova 0:0’s Earth, the Deathstorm. After stopping the Deathstorm and saving Earth, Rider was replaced as Centurion Prime for Earth’s sector of space by Garthan Saal, the former Super-Nova, after failing to follow orders at a crucial time.
When Saal sacrificed himself to save earth from the Dire Wraith queen Volx, he passed his powers back to Rider. He continued to fight alongside the New Warriors until the team broke up, reformed, and broke up again. He agreed to come back as part of the New Warriors reality TV show, and travelled the U.S. with the team, fighting menaces that’d taken up residence in communities that didn’t have resident heroes. The team fought several criminals who’d escaped the Raft during the massive prison break that led to the reestablishing of the Avengers, before being recalled to Xandar alongside the rest of the Nova Corps to deal with the threat of the Annihilation Wave. Rider was the only StarCorps member to survive the Wave’s surprise attack, and has become the bearer of the entire Nova-Force, as well as the Xandarian Worldmind, the living computers that contain the entire record of Xandarian civilization as well as the minds of all its deceased members.
When Nova returned to Earth, he found the state of heroes in disarray, having missed the Civil War. He first encountered Iron Man, who had forced him to try and register. He then encountered Penance, who he did not initially recognize as his former team mate on the New Warriors; Speedball. When Penance reveals who he is and explains how things have changed, Nova realizes that there is very little to keep him on Earth for now and returns to space.
In space, Nova finds himself in conflict with the Phalanx. The Phalanx use control of the Kree Sentry to try to bring Nova down, but he manages to use a star-gate to escape. Gamora, infected with the Phalanx, swears that she will personally hunt Nova down. Nova crash lands on a Kree planet, where his outfit is found by a Kree by the name of Ko-Rel. When she touches the outfit, she finds herself transformed into a Nova Corp. Gamora manages to capture Nova, while Ko-Rel is busy fighting the Phalanx and infects Nova to become one of the Phalanx Select. With Worldmind’s assistance, Nova is able to battle the Phalanx influence, only after Gamora has tragically murdered Ko-Rel. Nova later manages to rescue and free both Gamora and Drax from the Phalanx influence.
Nova eventually returns to Earth and pays a visit to Project PEGASUS, where he reconnects with long time friend and former teammate, Darkhawk, who is the chief security officer at Project PEGASUS. The Skrull Invasion begins, and just as they attack Project PEGASUS, five Nova Corps suddenly arrive! They are Shi’ar born, Malik Tarcel; Irani Rael, a Rigellian; who like the rest of her race, are perhaps one of the most intelligent species in existence; Qubit, a synthorganic being from a species called The Manufactured Harmonites; Fraktur, a hulk sized female humanoid lizard with wingswho is of the same species as Fing Fang Foom; and Morrow, a male Mephistoid. While they prove to be effective against such threats as the Serpent Society, Nova has concerns about Worldmind’s recruitment without his consent. Nova’s concerns deepen as Worldmind then removes himself from Nova’s helmet, stating that Nova is too dangerous (as his recent encounters with the Phalanx and Galactus had nearly cost Worldmind’s data) – and has now managed to take over Ego the Living Planet. Worldmind, threatened by Nova (who refuses to infuse the Worldmind with the Nova Force) simply strips Nova of his powers, informing him that without the Nova Force to hold his body together, Richard Rider will die.
Doctor Necker, of Project PEGASUS approaches Richard Rider on Earth, and gives a container to him called the Quantum Flask. He shatters the flask and Quasar, who had recently perished appears in an energy form. He gives the Quantum Bands to Rich, who then transforms into an outfit similar to what Quasar had always worn. While Rich and Quasar try to figure out how to get the Nova Force back from Worldmind, the Nova Corps are being decimated by the arrival of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, who take no prisoners after offering the Nova Corps a chance to surrender. With Quasar’s help, Rich is able to get the Nova Force back and free Worldmind from Ego. Worldmind then takes the form of Ko-Rel, the Kree who died at Gamora’s hands.
While tracking down Darkhawk, who is accused of murdering Lilandra of the Shi’ar Empire, they are attacked by another “Darkhawk” and displaced in time. During this time, others are pulled with them – including Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Namorita. Together, the team up with Sphinx to fight yet ANOTHER Sphinx within the Fault. After managing to gain a victory, everyone begins returning to their proper times; Nova grabs Namorita, knowing that if he lets her go, she will die and trigger the Civil War. He kisses her and when he opens his eyes, he has returned to his time, with Darkhawk; as well as Namorita!
Nova returns to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and speaks with Quasar, who has returned to a solid form. Nova expresses concern about Project PEGASUS but is assured by Quasar that everything is all right; and that they have locked down Project PEGASUS simply to ensure that nothing came back with him from his scouting into The Fault. He also explains that his scouting into the Fault is what allowed him to become solid once more. When “Quasar” realizes he has been discovered he begins attacking Nova. Meanwhile, Darkhawk discovers a creature coming through a rift that resembles a demon from some kind of nightmare; a huge brown mass of flesh, with a giant mouth, and numerous tentacles; eyes all over the creature, with one massive eye above its giant maw, filled with rows of endless teeth. Director Gruenwald arrives, and explains that since Darkhawk has seen the Horrorscope, he must be killed.
Nova pursues the “Dark Quasar” towards the Fault. The regular Quasar, along with the Shi’ar acknowledge Nova’s broadcast. Nova eventually catches up to the Dark Quasar, and the two begin to battle – unaware that Magus has managed to approach also. The Worldmind informs Nova that he should flee, due to the intense power readings from Magus, whose power intensifies with the more believers he has. Magus ignites all the planets and ships around the edge of the Cancerverse, and rips the portal wide open. At that same time, Thanos who had been imprisoned on Knowhere manages to make his escape. Moon Dragon, Mantis and Cosmo however, manage to use their united telepathic powers to subdue Thanos once more; wondering how he had managed to escape. At that same time, Magus is in turn slain by Lord Mar-Vell – the Cancerverse version of Captain Mar-Vell!
The Nova Corps, along with Namorita, find themselves fighting off Cancerverse invaders; and while Nova and Quasar appear to help out; it’s not long before the Revengers – the Cancerverse version of the Avengers show up to cause more problems! Their version of Iron Man detects an anonymity and concludes that Namorita is “out of place” – and kidnap her! Elsewhere on Knowhere, the Guardians find themselves facing off against the Cancerverse version of the Defenders!
While the Guardians deal with the Defenders, the Abstracts, such as Galactus, join the front line battle against the Cancerverse; however, the Cancerverse responds in kind, by releasing the Galactus Engine; a living horror, part machine, part flesh that dwarfs all of the Abstract beings in size! One of the Abstracts is slain in front of Nova; which releases a psionic energy that Nova is unable to protect himself from. Later, Nova appears with the others who are counseling what to do about the Cancerverse war. He explains that the Abstract, in its final moments, shared Cosmic Awareness with Nova, which permitted him to “see” where Namorita was being kept. Nova proposes a small, strike, task force consisting of Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, himself, Silver Surfer and Ronan the Accuser.
On Knowhere, during this time, Drax and Thanos begin to fight with one another; and Drax manages to land something on Thanos’ chest which apparently disintegrates Thanos! Thanos however is shortly after reborn again; cursed to never be by the side of his one, true love – Death. He then grabs Drax and seemingly incinerates Drax!
Within the Cancerverse, Dark Quasar and Lord Mar-Vell continue to torture Namorita – just as Nova, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Silver Surfer, Ronan and Quasar arrive! They are quickly greeted by the Cancerverse versions of Venom as well as the X-Men! The Revengers join the fight – but still, Nova and the others refuse to give up. Namorita is successfully rescued. Nova then “lends” some of the Nova Force to Quasar, since Quasar had previously loaned Nova the Quantum Bands. Nova gets a message from Star-Lord about the arrival of Thanos. Nova knows there’s no other choice but to join Star-Lord. Meanwhile, Thanos and Lord Mar-Vell begin to battle; when Thanos suddenly swears an oath to Lord Mar-Vell if he can grant him the one thing he seeks – Death.
Thanos surrenders himself and Lord Mar-Vell brings Thanos before the Many-Angled Ones; the creature of a thousand eyes and a thousand tentacles and even more teeth! Well all seems lost, Nova appears and begins blasting the Many-Angled Ones, in an attempt to free Thanos. However, Lord Mar-Vell runs his sword through Thanos and unknowingly welcomes Death into the Cancerverse. Death, who touches Lord Mar-Vell and incinerates him. There is an explosion that devours all those who were a part of the Cancerverse. Thanos kneels before Death and pleads with her to take him, so that he can remain faithfully at her side; but she says nothing. The Guardians teleport away as the Cancerverse begins to collapse upon itself; except for Star-Lord and Nova, who jump off the teleporter’s range, with the intention of keeping Thanos occupied so that he collapses with the Cancerverse as well. Star-Lord pulls out the Cosmic Cube, and in that moment, he and Nova charge Thanos as the Cancerverse collapses upon itself; with Nova and Star-Lord seemingly sacrificing their lives to save the Universe from Thanos.
Weight: 190 lbs.
Powers: Flight, enhanced strength, speed, and durability. Nova derives his powers from an energy source called the Nova-Force, which all Nova Centurions wield. Richard Rider had the greatest potential for control as his knowledge of his power increased .
Accessories: Nova wears a standard Xandarian StarCorps uniform, designed to accommodate his powers without being damaged by them. In addition, the uniform has a life support function that can sustain Rider under the most extreme environmental conditions. It can act as a space suit by locking off the mouth and eyes of the helmet. The helmet can also pick up radio transmissions, as well as act as a heads-up display for tracking energy signatures.