Summary

  • Xandar’s destruction sets the stage for Richard Rider’s Nova introduction, aligning with the comics.
  • Rhomann Dey’s presence links to Nova’s backstory, creating a smooth transition into MCU narrative.
  • Star-Lord’s potential mentorship in Nova project provides seamless connection for both characters’ futures.

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A Nova project has recently been confirmed to be in early development as part of the MCU, with the franchise already including several elements that tease the character’s introduction. Nova’s superhero origins and powers make him one of the more beloved from Marvel Comics, though the character also known as Richard Rider has been absent from the MCU since its inception. That said, this is set to change in the future with a potential Nova MCU TV show receiving a significant boost from Marvel Studios’ Brad Winderbaum.

Winderbaum confirmed to Comic Book that the studio is in early development on a Nova project, leading many to wonder how his MCU introduction will come about. While it has not been outright confirmed whether Nova will be an upcoming MCU movie or one of the studio’s Disney+ productions, a previous report by Deadline from 2022 supports the idea of a small-screen debut for the character. Regardless of whether Nova debuts in a movie or an upcoming MCU TV show, it remains the case that the franchise’s prior projects have already laid the foundations for Richard Rider’s live-action debut.

It is only assumed that the MCU’s Nova will focus on Richard Rider, though it could be a possibility that the character’s second iteration – Samuel Alexander – is the center of the project.

7 The Nova Corps Were Introduced In Guardians Of The Galaxy

The basis of Richard Rider’s story has been in the MCU since 2014.

One of the more obvious ways the MCU has teased Nova’s appearance is by the introduction of the Nova Corps. The Nova Corps first appeared in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy as an intergalactic peacekeeping force based on the planet of Xandar. In Marvel Comics, Richard Rider is chosen as the successor of the Nova Corps, gaining the powers of a Centurion from the organization. With the Nova Corps already having been part of multiple MCU projects, the Nova series/movie will not have to establish this aspect of the titular character as heavily.

6 Rhomann Dey Is Already An Established MCU Character

John C. Reilly’s MCU character has a massive Marvel Comics connection to Nova.

John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey talking to Glenn Close as Nova Prime in Guardians of the Galaxy

In Marvel Comics, the most important character in Nova’s origin story is Rhomann Dey. Rhomann Dey is the last surviving Centurion of the Nova Corps after a pirate named Zorr decimates the planet of Xandar. After tracking Zorr to Earth but being unable to fight him due to his injuries, Rhomann chooses to pass on his Centurion powers to a random human. Richard Rider is then chosen, with Rhomann Dey helping to guide the newly-appointed Nova to continue the mission of the Nova Corps as the last surviving Centurion.

With Rhomann Dey already being established in the MCU, this necessary part of Nova’s backstory has also been teased and would require little introduction.

Alongside the planet of Xandar and the Nova Corps, Guardians of the Galaxy also introduced Rhomann Dey to the MCU. Played by John C. Reilly, Rhomann Dey appeared at length as one of the Nova Corps’ top operatives, opposing then later aiding the titular Guardians against the assault on Xandar by Ronan the Accuser. With Rhomann Dey already being established in the MCU, this necessary part of Nova’s backstory has also been teased and would require little introduction.

5 Xandar’s Destruction By Thanos Sets Up Richard Rider’s Introduction

The Mad Titan’s MCU genocide completes the third vital aspect of Nova’s origin story.

Thanos on Titan facing the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers Infinity War

With the Nova Corps and Rhomann Dey already being part of the MCU, the last part of Nova’s comic book origin story has also been established. The idea that Xandar has been destroyed is already part of the MCU, even if not from the pirate Zorr like in Marvel Comics. In 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, Thor revealed to the Guardians of the Galaxy that Thanos laid waste to Xandar and the Nova Corps in an attempt to secure the Power Stone. This could be the final piece of the puzzle the MCU needs to tee up Nova’s introduction.

Like the comics, the MCU could have Rhomann Dey be the last known survivor of the attack on Xandar. This could then lead him to Earth, where he passes on the power of the Nova Force to Richard Rider. This would not only provide Nova with a similar origin story to the one in Marvel Comics, but it would tie it into a major part of the franchise’s history in a logical change from the source material.

While Rhomann Dey’s Nova powers were not highlighted in Guardians of the Galaxy, his being the last surviving Centurion would explain his increase in abilities before passing them to Richard Rider.

4 Rhomann Dey’s Relationship With Star-Lord Sets Up Richard Rider’s Nova Powers

Rhomann’s past MCU friendships could tie into Richard Rider’s Nova origins.

Chris Pratt's Star-Lord in Ravager jacket in Guardians of the Galaxy

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Rhomann Dey was, at first, an antagonist to Star-Lord and the other Guardians. However, when the Guardians vowed to stop Ronan from destroying Xandar, Rhomann was the first to advocate for Star-Lord’s character. Rhomann defending Star-Lord played a large role in the Nova Corps joining the Guardians and the Ravagers against Ronan, proving how their relationship went from humorous-yet-antagonistic to respectful.

This relationship is another way the MCU has set up Nova, albeit less directly than the aforementioned elements. If the MCU follows the story of Marvel Comics and has Rhomann Dey seek out a human to carry on the power of the Nova Force, it would make sense because of his relationship with Star-Lord. With the Xandarians gone, Rhomann would likely seek out a race in the cosmos who he knows are capable of goodness after he saw such with Star-Lord, leading him to Earth and Richard Rider.

Nova’s Marvel Comics Powers

Brief Description

The sole host of the Nova Force

Nova Corps Centurions are collectively powered by the Nova Force. When Richard Rider becomes Nova, he is the sole host of the power, explaining his augmented abilities.

Superhuman strength

The Nova Force makes Rider more powerful than the average human.

Superhuman speed and agility

Richard Rider’s speed and agility are greatly increased by the Nova Force.

Superhuman durability

Rider is almost impervious to most types of physical damage.

Superhuman accuracy

Rider’s other powers are boosted by his incredible accuracy granted by the Nova Force.

Superhuman stamina

Nova can utilize his powers for much longer than should be humanly possible.

Superhuman reflexes

The quickness of Rider’s reflexes is drastically increased by the Nova Force.

Flight

The energy Nova can exhibit allows him to fly at supersonic speeds.

Energy beams

The Nova Force’s energy can also be weaponized, from energy-based beams to force fields and barriers.

Regenerative healing

The rare instances in which Nova is damaged can be resolved by his enhanced, accelerated healing.

Xandarian Worldmind

The collective knowledge of Xandarian culture is embedded in every Nova Corps warrior.

3 Guardians Of The Galaxy 3’s Star-Lord Tease Could Tie Into Nova

The hint that “the legendary Star-Lord will return” could be used for the MCU’s Nova project.

The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return post-credits sign on Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3

At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it was teased that Chris Pratt would return as Star-Lord in the MCU’s future. Given that the film effectively ended the story of the Guardians that began in 2014, many have been wondering how Star-Lord could return in a way that feels satisfying. However, the recent Nova announcement could provide the perfect way for Star-Lord’s seemingly inevitable return.

Quill could be the mentor to Richard Rider in convincing the new Nova why his powers are important, and what the Nova Corps used to stand for.

If Rhomann Dey gives Richard Rider his powers as is the case in the comics, it would make a lot of sense for the former to tell the latter to seek out Star-Lord. Peter Quill has a vast knowledge of the MCU cosmos, especially Xandar. As such, Quill could be the mentor to Richard Rider in convincing the new Nova why his powers are important, and what the Nova Corps used to stand for.

Related

Legendary Star-Lord’s Return Tease Sets Up His MCU Replacement

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 teases a return for the Legendary Star-Lord, and that could come through introducing another hero as his MCU replacement.

2 The MCU Has Laid The Groundwork For The Xandarian Worldmind

An interesting Nova power has been similarly explored in the MCU’s past.

In Marvel Comics, the people of Xandar are all connected by the Xandarian Worldmind. This is an endless hive of knowledge based on Xandar’s culture, people, and society that every member of the Nova Corps also possesses. This would mean that Richard Rider, should he be introduced, would be the sole possessor of the Xandarian Worldmind as he is with the Nova Force. While this concept may seem difficult to introduce, the idea is similar to the MCU’s Kree Supreme Intelligence from Captain Marvel and The Marvels, another way in which the franchise has subtly teased Nova’s inclusion.

1 The MCU Needs More Cosmic Superheroes

Future Marvel heroes need to move away from the Earthbound characters of Phases 4 and 5.

Since Avengers: Endgame, only the new Guardians team from the ending of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and the titular heroes from Eternals have been new cosmic additions to the franchise. All other new characters have been bound to Earth, something that somewhat diminishes the cosmic storytelling of the MCU. In some ways, this can be seen as a set-up for Nova to spearhead the MCU’s future cosmic superheroes. In the absence of the old Guardians, Nova could become exactly what the MCU needs to reignite the otherworldly explorations of the franchise.

Recent rumors out of Marvel Studios suggest characters like the Eternals and Captain Marvel will be pushed to the side in favor of “stronger franchises,” further paving the way for Nova.

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