Robot 6

A tale of two Novas

OS-GOTG18coverMarvel announced on Monday that as part of its “Original Sin” event, the fate of the original Nova, Richard Rider, finally will be revealed in August’s Guardians of the Galaxy #18, by Brian Michael Bendis and Ed McGuinness. The character last appeared in 2010; since then, the mantle of Nova has been held by Sam Alexander, who’s yet to win over vocal fans of the original Human Rocket.

Green Lantern fans are probably having a ’90s flashback right about now. While Richard Rider wasn’t turned into a homicidal villain, he and Hal Jordan both were summarily shuffled off at the climax of a big event to make way for a younger replacement. Longtime readers initially hated Kyle Rayner, but DC Comics stuck to its guns, as over the following decade he remained the primary Green Lantern in the DC Universe. While a vocal minority never relented, the work of writer Ron Marz and others attracted a new following for the character, and converted some old fans too. Rayner remains a major character in the Green Lantern titles today, even after the return of Jordan in 2005.

A similar story has been playing out at Marvel, although we don’t yet know whether Rider will experience a similar triumphant return. As with the Green Lantern Corps, the Nova Corps concept allows for others to take over the role of Nova. So someone other than Rich Rider being Nova isn’t far-fetched — in fact, Nova has given up or lost his powers on a number of occasions since his 1976 debut. And other Novas have taken his place, although usually they ended up as villains.

However, Nova is no Green Lantern. While there are some conceptual overlaps, Nova just hasn’t had the same longevity or stability as Green Lantern. Marv Wolfman introduced the character as a way to bring back some of the classic, carefree Spider-Man vibe he felt was slipping away in the mid-’70s. The character, and his book The Man Called Nova, was intended for newer, and slightly younger, readers. It won over some fans, but the industry just wasn’t in any shape to support it. After a year and a half, the title moved to a bimonthly schedule, and a year and a half later it was canceled.

The character had some guest appearances, but by the early ’80s, he was gone. He returned in the early ’90s as part of New Warriors, and despite beginning with the embarrassing Kid Nova moniker, he eventually earned his own spinoff series. Everything might’ve worked out, except that it was the ’90s, and halfway through the decade the direct market crashed, and both series were canceled; Erik Larsen’s attempt at a third series in 1999 lasted just seven issues. Meanwhile, aside from a brief hiccup or two, there has been a near-continuous string of Green Lantern series or miniseries since 1960.

To put it mildly, Nova fans have a bit of an inferiority complex. They see great potential in the character, and yet it was so rarely realized. That all changed with the 2006 event miniseries Annihilation, and its companion prequel Annihilation: Nova. Suddenly Nova was burdened with the power of the entire Nova Corps, the rest having been killed off in a brutal alien invasion. On top of survivor’s guilt, he had to deal with a computer uploaded into his brain lecturing him on responsibility. The result was a fun twist on the buddy-cop concept, with the by-the-book partner living inside the head of the rogue officer. Aside from that great conceptual twist and writing, the miniseries and the subsequent Nova series that followed, the character was finally being taken seriously as a hardcore superhero/science fiction mash-up. Some fans had waited 30 years for this: It was a huge payoff, and for the cyclical illusion of change usually found in superhero comics, incredibly unlikely and unexpected.

That Nova series ran for 36 issues, longer than any before it. But the Laws of Comic Sales Attrition eventually won out and the series, and its sister title Guardians of the Galaxy, were discontinued with lead-ins to The Thanos Imperative miniseries, which ended with the two stars of those books, Nova and Star-Lord, locking themselves off in another dimension to stop the invasion. It was far from going out with a whimper. It’s the kind of development you wish major characters would get. But if you’re going to get actual character development, an arc has to end. And so it did. For their service, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were canonized by Nova fandom.

But this being monthly superhero comics, that wasn’t really the end. Suddenly Star-Lord resurfaced with nary an explanation of what happened in that cancerous dimension, while Nova remained MIA. Meanwhile, the minds behind the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series were eyeing Nova as part of their supporting cast of heroes, and somewhere along the line it was probably decided some cast diversity would be nice. So Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb created the Hispanic Sam Alexander as the new Nova. Named after Loeb’s late son, the character quickly debuted in Marvel’s comics ahead of the show’s premiere, although it was initially unclear whether he was Rich Rider or someone new. After Ultimate Spider-Man‘s first season began, a new Nova series by Loeb and Ed McGuinness followed. By then it was clear in several ways that this wasn’t Rich Rider.

Fans who had finally gotten three years of what they wanted, after waiting for 30 years, were none too happy. This new Nova was a dopey kid who had little knowledge of Rich Rider or the Nova Corps history. The series itself was barely acknowledging Rich Rider. Where was he?

Nova #18

Nova #18

But for those not clinging on to a lifetime of dashed hopes, it wasn’t a total loss. In a rare moment of synchronicity with the animated series, the comic was being written for a younger audience, the same one that might also be watching Nova on television. While probably unintentional, it was a nice nod to Wolfman’s original idea for the character: an accessible, fun adventure for those that haven’t been reading comics for decades.

And the series hasn’t been without an awareness of its history: The legacy of the Nova Corps and Rich Rider hangs over the book, both in how other characters compare Sam to his predecessor, and how his father’s disappearance, possibly tied to Rich Rider’s own, remains unsolved. The series is even lightly peppered with allusions to Sam’s time as a Nova being finite. Yes, the writing has been choppy and overly cutesy at times, but under the current creative team of Gerry Duggan and Paco Medina, it has finally found its footing. Sam is a truly likable hero in the classic Marvel sense: He’s in over his head, he’s flawed, he has trouble at home, and he’s doing the best he can. In many ways, it is a spiritual successor to the original Nova of the ’70s . Having said all of that, I don’t necessarily enjoy it more than Abnett and Lanning’s Nova, which I do miss. But the reality is this is what we have: a Nova for a new generation. He doesn’t need to speak to me.

So will Richard Rider really return this August? I suspect we’re only going to learn of his fate. Even Marvel.com’s interview positions the story as Star-Lord revealing what happened to him, and oh yeah, by the way, Nova too. So I’m not expecting a triumphant return. So is that it? No Rich Rider for 10 years? As Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, points out at least once a week on his blog, Marvel follows the sales. If no one is buying Sam Alexander, he’ll fade away and Rich Rider will probably come back. So if sales could indicate Sam’s longevity and Rich’s return, let’s take a look at sales:

Click to stop squinting

Click to stop squinting

Diving into The Comics Chronicles sales estimates, I created a handy chart comparing sales estimates of the last four Nova series, which is about as much is publicly known about the character’s sales history. The first issue of Nova by Loeb and McGuinness did more than double the sales of every other Nova series since the late ’90s. After that, it drops down, setting pretty much neck and neck with Abnett and Lanning’s Nova, usually trailing slightly behind and occasionally slightly passing it. With the last few issues, it’s started to sink lower, but the character is about to get a big push as a significant character in Marvel’s summer tentpole Original Sin. Two tie-in issues will also no doubt give the series a sales boost. The Abnett and Lanning series was also tying in to an event at Issue 17, which it continued to do every year until it was canceled. Sam Alexander may end up being put on a similar track if his numbers keep dipping to the low 20,000s. Another factor is that the Sam Alexander Nova benefits from another sales channel that no other Nova had the benefit of: Digital sales have been projected by some creators to be about 10 percent of print and still increasing. It’s impossible to know for sure, but that could be closing the gap between the two series’ sales. Of course, the entire 2007 Nova series has since been made available digitally, so it’s likely retroactively racking up sales too, but comiXology’s bestseller lists consistently suggest that new releases sell better than material that’s been sitting there, which is consistent with trends of other entertainment products.

However you cut it, it’s fair to say the two Novas are reasonably equal in terms of sales. We might see Sam Alexander around for 36 issues before some new status quo is presented. Or maybe Rich Rider will indeed return in Guardians of the Galaxy #18, and he and Sam will form a new buddy-cop dynamic. It’s easy to complain about the stale recycling of superhero comics, but who would’ve thought Rich Rider would get a true hero’s journey. These comics can still surprise, so best to strap in and see where the ride takes us.

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45 Comments

Except the new Nova didn’t show up until 2012.

I don’t care if Marvel keeps Sam Alexander as the only active Nova in the universe, just don’t turn Richard Rider into a villain or have him killed by Star-Lord. Don’t ruin his sacrifice just to mix things up.

Good article Corey! I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Sam Alexander is Hispanic? News to me.

Quesada said right here on CBR that sales weren’t the major factor in cancelling DnA’s stuff.

Keep spinning more BS for Marvel, CBR.

Thanks for catching that typo on the chart, Michael. Just corrected it.

Kevin, I guess technically he’s half-Hispanic from his mother, but yes.

Dave, that doesn’t necessarily mean sales aren’t a factor in whether to keep Sam on as Nova or bring Rich back. Even so, there are obviously more factors than sales, which I why what I wrote above isn’t exclusively about the sales.

Bilderberger

May 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I prefer the female, herald of Galactus Nova, but that’s one character Marvel doesn’t seem to want to bring back.

Kyle Rayner is half hispanic as well, but on his father’s side. (a retcon, but still canon as far as I know) Interesting how things end up mirroring each other…

Solution (a la Green Lantern): Rich in space, Sam on Earth, with the occasional team-up and mentoring visit. Two books, two spins on a great character, and then of course the market will decide.

Rider/Sam would be a terrific combo

DnA’s Nova (and GotG) had almost zero marketing push from Marvel while they were going, before being suspiciously dropped. Now, the new series get very frequent marketing pushes from Marvel. I believe if DnA’s run on Nova had had the same marketing attention, sales would have been much higher.

(I really wanted to see where the Fraternity of Raptors story was going, and other seeds DnA had planted)

Two Novas? Richard Rider in space and Sam on Earth?

I have a better idea, courtesy of Christopher Yost:

Richard Rider in space, facing cosmic threats and overseeing the complex reconstruction of an interplanetary, intergalactic peace-keeping force.

Sam Alexander in the Thirteen Heavens and the Nine Hells (Mictlan), facing gods of the Aztec pantheon with the New Warriors as well as all sort of otherdimensional creatures, Eternals, Celestials, Deviants and Inhumans… assuming that the recent New Warriors series goes into its second year.

Thanks for pretty much summing up my thoughts on Nova, new and old. I have to think the quality of the DnA stories (and yes, they never got the marketing push and the top artists) might have lead to the Guardians movie. But once there was a whiff in the air of the GotG and possibly Nova coming to the big screen, Bendis and Loeb are all over with it with a new direction, the benefits of marketing and top artists. And we never get an explanation of how Star-Lord or Thanos are back but not Rich Rider?

I certainly would like the Rich Rider character to return (in a positive way as a hero) but I am giving the new guy a chance. The art is very good with the redesigns to the helmet and the recent storyline with Beta Ray Bill clicked and was a lot of fun. The whole teen with problems with a bully & school and family obligations is getting a little tiresome (does this really appeal to young new readers?) but there is potential there. Especially as Sam searches for his father, perhaps Rich Rider could be that father figure.

I had similar hopes for the new New Warriors book but it just isn’t working as well. I know more about the guy with the horn than this Hummingbird character even though the later is part of the team? I guess? I’m not really interested in these new characters and wish they would embrace the 90s book more with those characters besides just Speedball and Justice.

We already had a Nova for a new generation and that was the new, improved, very powerful Rich Rider.

NINO is just re-packaged Spiderman for the past generation.

Of course, Marvel is determined to push NINO, so Bendis will either kill Rich off, villainize him, or in some other way complete the total disrespect that Marvel has shown Rider and his fan base.

The only acceptable outcomes as far as I’m concerned are for Rich to remain marooned and have us wait for a more talented writer/editor team to come along and pick up where DnA left off; or to bring Rich back and have him stay in Andromeda to resurrect Xandar and re-constitute the Corps.

Bendis will do neither of those as they don’t result in NINO being the Lone Ranger that the current regime at Marvel wants.

NINO just needs to go away and never come back. Like The Sentry. NINO was a bad idea and it has sullied the mythos and legacy of The Nova Corps. The entire idea is dumb. Would any of you buy a story about a 13 to 14 year old whose soldier dad get killed in Iraq so he goes over to Iraq to take over his duties? Sound dumb? How is NINO any different? Why do any of the adults in the MU let an irresponsible child play with a weapon of mass destruction or risk his life out in space? Shouldn’t his parents be reported to child protective services? Shouldn’t the Avengers also be reported for encouraging it? Shouldn’t his mother be in trouble for constantly letting him skip school? Ready to admit the whole premise and concept of NINO is just stupid? Respond quickly as I’m sure CBR will delete this ASAP like they do anything critical of Bendis, Loeb, and NINO.

Corey, great piece, but you missed a REALLY OBVIOUS factor in your consideration:
The Guardians movie!

Based on DnA’s work, and heavily featuring the Nova Corps, it’s predicted, one way or another, to lead into the debut of a new Nova for the Marvel Cinematic U. (Don’t hold your breath for a film spin-off, but you never know). Still, add in the casting of John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey, the original Corpsman who gave Richard Rider his power, and you have a strong hint as to where they’re going.

Of course, they could always just flip it and have Dey recruit Sam Alexander, so we’ll have to see.

When Richard Rider makes his return he has to be shown he’s a hero by having him deal with tragedy.
I pray Charles, Gloria and Robert Rider are murdered (as well as Ginger Jaye, Bernie Dillon, Caps Cooper and Laura Dunham), Rich finds their corpses, investigates who murdered them and discovers it was the space pirate Nebula.
This motivates him to lead the Nova Corps to wage war against mutant Skrulls who are the enslaved army of Nebula. Will his thirst for revenge override his sense of justice? I reason it is interesting to deal with that.

I LOVED it when a Shi’ar death-squad murdered the entire Grey family, since the entity Phoenix had lived it’s life by making a body of itself of Jean Grey down to the molecular level and with the same pheromone output.
It made a lot of sense to me that the Shi’ar did that since the Phoenix entity (in the guise of the public identity of Jean Grey) was guilty of genocide.
Rachel Grey had to deal with choosing between vengeance or justice.
Richard Rider is an ideal character to deal with that too.

Sam Alexander is barley Latino. He has white guy name, he looks like a white guy, he’s based of a white guy(R.I.P) and has no respect towards his cultural heritage.

Personally I don’t mind Sam Nova. Sure he isn’t as cool as Rich was in Annihilation but he isn’t supposed to be.

I hate fans like the people at Cosmicbooknews.com who are so sore about losing Richard that they condemn everything Sam, even the amazing Original Sin #0. Fanboys like that, who boycott a book just because their favourite character was given a true heroes death that masterfully finished his story arch and character development. God I hate them. It’s like since their Nova is dead they selfishly wan’t to kill a new generations Nova. Also, Richard Rider is hardly a marketable name. A replacement makes sense.

I have hopes that Sam will grow like Richard did in the past to a true Cosmic Hero.
I can’t wait to hear about what happened in the Cancerverse finally. I just hope it makes at least a little sense. Drax and Starlords resurrections seem like there was no thought put behind them at all besides “they are in a movie soon!”

Question: i don’t buy the new Nova series regularly, but I do pick it up from time to time. In the most recent issue, Sam is returning a helmet to the body of a dead Nova. The dead Nova seems to have the same uniform as the lost Richard Rider, though Sam doesn’t know who this Nova is (and there is no reason he should). This development is not mentioned in this column. Am I off base on this observation?

@R.R. Werner: “I had similar hopes for the new New Warriors book but it just isn’t working as well. I know more about the guy with the horn than this Hummingbird character even though the later is part of the team? I guess? I’m not really interested in these new characters and wish they would embrace the 90s book more with those characters besides just Speedball and Justice.”

Hummingbird came from the recently ended Scarlet Spider series by the same writer of New Warriors, Christopher Yost. She was rescued by Kaine from a human trafficking operation that went badly – among the corpses of immigrants and kidnapped people inside a shipping container (Kaine was looking to make a quick buck by kicking everyone’s asses and taking the money to be exchanged, but didn’t expect what he found instead). When an assassin with powers went after her in the hospital, Kaine saved her again – protecting her “second chance at life” – and got told by a police officer and her assigned doctor to take her with him as otherwise she would be deported to Mexico and be at the mercy of whoever send the super-powered assassin.

She later exhibited a lot of odd traits (amnesia, capable of reading everyone’s thoughts, suddenly learning fluent English and other languages, strange and creepy portents in her dreams about the Sixth Creation and Mictlan rising, etc). When a pair of mystic werewolves who were also leaders of a drug cartel attacked them, she remembered how she got into that shipping container: turns out a mysterious old guy in a tuxedo called Mr. Moctezuma – always in the company of a coyote animal – ordered the Lobos cartel to put her in the container and “let it steam under the desert sun for a day or so” before delivering it. When a cartel guy told him they were supposed to bring live test subjects, Mr. Moctezuma answered that the cartel “had much more to gain from him and much, much more to fear”.

It later got revealed she is somehow connected to Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war associated with hummingbirds – the werewolf woman called her “possible reincarnation of Huitzilopochtli; opinions vary” – and a scene taking place in Mexico showed Mr. Moctezuma killing one of the werewolves by taking his soul from his breath and casually throwing the werewolf woman with one hand. He exclaimed now that Huitzilopochtli was now awakening and that “he will come to kill me from what I have done. The girl, her spider, I will be ready for all of them” and showed the female werewolf (and the reader) a bunch of cool-looking god-powered people at his service.

Later, in the X-men school, when Kaine was coerced into assassinating Wolverine and brought Hummingbird/Aracely to make a distraction, Rachel Grey tried to enter the mind of Hummingbird and that triggered some sort of reaction: a voice came from her stating “I’m Huitzilopotchli and I require blood” and all of the psychic people at the school (Rachel Grey, Jean Grey, Blindfold and Quentin Quire were brought to their knees writhing in pain. They later allied with the X-men to take them the people coercing them, etc.

At the end, Aracely/Hummingbird stood by Kaine’s side when their life in Houston came crashing down and the two went to Mexico to try to find her parents and solve the strange mysteries behind her. This is where New Warriors starts.

I’m sure Bendis will go for the most obvious cliché – the Parallax treatment. He’ll villainize Rich then have NINO kill him and just before Rich dies he becomes himself again and hands the torch to NINO. Puke. But that does sound like Bendis doesn’t it?

I hate fans like Thanos – fanboys who regularly celebrate the mediocrity that is NINO and who delude themselves into believing that Sam Alexander is somehow a marketable name and a replacement makes sense – when NINO’s sales have fallen to below that of Rider’s and anti-NINO sentiment grows with each new issue – despite the marketing hype thrown at NINO that Rider never received. And Original Sin should’ve been titled “Un -Original Sin.” It’s hardly “amazing” storytelling with Waid borrowing the “non-interference” concept from decades of SF. Better Star Trek stories about non-interference were done in the 1960′s. NINO is not a “new generation’s Nova” – he’s a past generation’s repackaged Spiderman and he’s not even done half as well as Wolfman’s version from 1976. The powerful new bad-ass Rider Nova Prime is the new generation’s Nova. Thanos also ignores the absolute absurdity of NINO as pointed out in my prior post. And BTW Thanos, it is story “arc” not “arch.”

Thanos – but the fans at CBN are right. Nothing was wrong with the previous stuff and it didn’t get any attention the way NINO does from Marvel.

Oh yeah , DnA Nova sells better.

Quick question: what does NINO stand for?

Everybody has the right to support a book with their money. I don’t care for the way Rich was replaced so I haven’t spent a dime on the new Nova series. Nor will I.

There is a lot of pertinant data relevant to the “sales” discussion that is relevant to a head to head comparison.

how about the fact it doesnt include the figures from the Anny mini or the fact that almost all of the cosmic event always competed with big mainline marvel events and had no relevance in them.

Not the case for Sam…who’s now been featured on two mainline marvel events, a cartoon, and certainly benefited from cosmic news in the MCU theater..

Rich never got a Loeb or Ed MCG art either..must be nice..

I think the article makes some decent points but doesnt go far enough on some basic levels.

BTW I have a much more long winded rant on the message boards thread..so check it out if u want.

@Travis.. Nino=Nova in Name Only

I can’t wait for Richard Rider to come back, the new Nova comics are so bad in comparison

Kudos to Corey Blake on a very well done article! Glad this is finally being discussed openly.

This apparent “favoritism” and catering to what fans have cleverly labeled as “Rockstar Creators” leads to this feeling of “OUR COSMIC”: the ambitious and often overlooked Annihilation Era vs “THEIR COSMIC”: the Corporate Minded instead of Creative Minded “let’s try to ape the movie” NOW Cosmic that has the full backing of their stronger than ever Marketing Machine.

Intentional or not this divide does exist now and considering how niche this market is it doesn’t bode well at all for the new NOVA. Losing a small ” vocal minority” (as most Richard Rider fans have been labeled by many at Marvel) of even as little as 1000 readers gets retailers worried, and that can put a comic book in cancellation range FAST, as is the case with the current Nova book.

Two major publishing event pushes, a weekly animated show, a superstar art team, and 3 different HIGH PROFILE writers(4 if you count New Warriors) has NOT helped Sam Alexander. Plus, having a back story so flawed and shamelessly inconsistent with the era that defined modern cosmic is proving to us that Sam is about as forced down our throats and “by committee” as it gets. As a result the Sam Alexander character may go down in history as the next Adam X “The X-treme”. He is to us what “Poochie” was to “Itchy and Scratchy” over on The Simpsons: A rather obvious and poor attempt by a group of out of touch older people at reaching “today’s youth” complete with backwards hat and skateboard in tow. Yikes!

I sincerely hope Bendis/Marvel realizes how big a deal this possible “return” of Richard Rider actually is and that he’s bringing whatever “A-Game” he has left in his tank to do it justice. Because,they CAN turn this around.

Richard Rider, NOVA PRIME is the very last connection readers have to the Annihilation era.
He’s the one MAJOR character left from that run that hasn’t been RADICALLY CHANGED and watered down in the pursuit of the ever elusive “new reader”. I suspect the hope that many Comsic fans have is that with “OUR” Nova’s return, Marvel Cosmic will begin looking more like it did when it provided the inspiration for a major Hollywood film franchise. We want that combination of humor, action, and solid SCI-FI that has sorely been missing from the current run. However, if he does drop the ball again here then it’s pretty easy to predict the “Bendis Hate” will reach NEW “Liefeldian heights” and “THEIR” Nova is going to find himself in an even worse spot on the sales charts then he’s already in no matter WHO they put on his book or how much harder they try to push him.

As Joe Quesada recently said when promoting Winter Soldier: “You have to make the CORE fan base happy…If not then the public will also reject it.”

Here’s your chance MARVEL…our fingers are crossed!!!

Nova wasn’t just a Marv Wolfman creation. The character was actually created by him and Len Wein back in their fanzine days of the 1960′s before either went pro. Which means that the character technically doesn’t belong to Marvel, they only control it until the copyright renewal comes up in a few years since it obviously was not created as a work-for-hire property. I don’t know if Wolfman or Wein intend to exercise their creator rights and reclaim the copyright from Marvel at that point. I am merely pointing out that that, legally, they can.

Jeph Loeb may have been better served in creating a fictional legacy for his son by creating an all new concept for a super-hero to be named for him. Rather than appropriating the creation of other people that Marvel can lose the rights to.

Nova Spaceknight

May 11, 2014 at 3:45 am

It was good to see an overall positive article. However, I must strongly disagree with this notion that Richard Rider’s story was “done” and that we had to “move on”. That’s not how Abnett & Lanning wrote off Rider, Quill, Drax, and Thanos at the end of The Thanos Imperative. We already had a Nova for this generation to look up to. There was absolutely nothing wrong with Nova vol.4. Richard Rider was the true embodiment of what the Nova Corps of Xandar stood for. As seen in dream sequences, Rohman Dey could not have been more proud. NINO should never have existed in the first place in the Earth 616. If not an entirely brand new character created from scratch for the memory of Loeb’s son, then a place in Earth 1610 would have been just fine.

If Marvel had pushed, marketed, and given the full attention and care with Rider like they have been with NINO we would not be in the mess we are today. We could have already had Annihilation be made into an epic animated motion comics adaptation as well as a Japanese animated movie. As with seeing a take on Abnett and Lanning’s GOTG vol. 2 team in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes then so could an Annihilation story featuring Rich be done as well. Instead of promoting NINO in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, they could have continued with the young Rich Rider as already seen in Marvel Adventures. Surely that would please the young reader demographic as well as those older readers who like to read that kind of thing because it has “cool art”. Nova had some respectable artists but nothing like the level of talent in NINO.
Deciding to go with the cliche “passing of the torch” scenario with NINO by outright replacing Rider in order to try to re-capture the nostalgia of 60s Peter Parker and 70s Richard Rider and create a “Nova” in their image was the wrong move, imho. What makes my head spin and frustrated are the number of readers who have never read Nova before NINO, are now reeled in because he is supposedly the Parker/Rider of today in our economic climate with all the problems and hardships, and having read vol.4 are still (still?!) okay with Rich gone and stick with NINO.

Nova Vol.4 has received many positive and critical acclaim from such sources as this site, as well as Wizard, AICN, to name a few. NINO, with all its dazzling marketing and promotional push, does not have the same level of critical acclaim and accolades. The Core Fan Base is of course not happy with Richard Rider being cast aside. Avi Arad stated recently that Peter Parker will be the Spider-Man in the films because “The one thing you cannot do, when you have a phenomena that has stood the test of time, you have to be true to the real character inside…”.

I would not mind having Rich become a mentor and be a continuous “big brother” positive role model for Sam. Keep the new kid in check. I would support having Rich continue being the intergalactic space cop in his own series and have Sam’s responsibilities closer to Earth. It wouldn’t be so bad to have Rich visit Earth every now and then to vist friends and family during some down time.
And, being reunited with Cosmo would also be another on the priority list in order of business.

Its less about hating the NINO character and more about strongly disagreeing and failing to see the reasoning behind the character in the first place. Its truly uplifting to see the overall positive response and support for Richard Rider in many comments online. Although I was aware of Nova as a kid, I only started reading Nova in the 90s with the vol.2 series. Nova finally became my favorite comic book character when Erik Larsen’s Nova Vol.3 #1 came out. After years of collecting, I finally had a superhero I could proudly tell people who my all-time favorite was. Nova vol.4 was what kept me looking forward to new comic book Wednesdays.

Marvel, it is critical you pay attention. Readers already had the best Nova to root for in Richard Rider. This everyman from Long Island, NY was the (CINC)Commander-in-Chief of the United Front during the Annihilation War, held his own against the likes of Annihilus, got Galactus’ full attention, defeated the terminal Phalanx virus threat in his body, helped form what would be The Annihilators, and so forth. That’s iconic Captain America and Superman material right there, in many eyes.

A lot of people look past what Rich’s post Annhilation story of his return to earth meant and compared to veterans of the Iraq/ Afganistan conflict. What DnA did in that book really had some significcant meaning…and it still does. TO this day nobody gets what RIder fought in and did for earth, who were busy with their ridiculous CIvil War…shame on marvel for not recognizing this great theme.

BTW Whatever happened to ANDY SCHMIDT or KEITH GIFFEN at marvel? Isnt Annhilation now voted a top 10 All time marvel story??

Joe Q (in cup of Joe) didnt even mention Annhilation as his “best of the year” the year A1 came out..he ignored it…and mentioned Civil War and Silent War or somesuch

@MarioHerald

Thanks for the backstory on Hummingbird. It helps. I still haven’t given up on the NEW WARRIORS book yet, hoping that things will click rather than the already tried “a couple of the old members mixed with an all new cast” approach.

The New Warriors doesn’t have a long and rich history but there are some good characters from the 90s run they could come back to. The Rage/Speedball dynamic was always good. Why Watersnake when you can use Namorita? (Brought back in the DnA Nova series). The Firestar and Justice relationship. Why Sungirl when you can have Turbo? And I always liked the diversity if the old 90s cast. That is an element that can work and appeal to an audience today.

Wow. It’s funny to see the old Nova fans rally against Sam Alexander in such a stark way. I’ve only read him in New Warriors, but I think he’s a great character from what I’ve read.

I think Richard Rider will have a cool role in comics when he comes back. Even if Bendis doesnt bring him back, you can’t keep a good comic character. It would be nice for him to return and help mentor Sam Alexander a little bit. I think Marvel has had big plans for the Nova property ever since Rider’s inclusion in UMVC3.

The MCU needs a good teen superhero, I think either Nova would be a good place to start.

I like Rich Rider and I love the new Nova. Honestly, fanboy crybabies aside, I don’t understand why they can’t both co-exist. There’s more than one Green Lantern. But rather than raise the popularity of both characters the old fandom diehards would rather bring them both down. I don’t understand this mentality of there can be only one . . . Even Highlander had more than one immortal. Seriously. There’s room for more than just one. And even if Rich Rider were dead, this is comics. Seriously. He will be back. We should be very clear about us not wanting Marvel to bring him back as a villain. That’s a greater threat than him being dead and forgotten forever.

Nova is in a cartoon, he’s not going anywhere . . . that kind of name recognition is not something Marvel is going to throw away.

Well JSanchez – the reason that we can’t have 2 Novas is because Brevoort has decreed there can only be one – and he wants that one to be NINO. Go to his tumblr page and complain:

http://brevoortformspring.tumblr.com/

If there can only be one – I want it to be Rich Rider. NINO needs to fade into oblivion with The Sentry.

And while you’re there, complain about his shabby treatment of the Rider Nova character and Rider Nova fans.

oh god listen to them cry……..

Nova Spaceknight

May 11, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Co-exist…such a “politically correct” term in a “PC” society scared even of its own shadow. NINO/Sam Alexander, the Black Novas, etc should have never existed in the first place. Let us get that straight.

Nova(Richard Rider) was doing just fine. Just read all the praises the vol.4 series had from Wizard Comics Magazine, (AICN) Ain’tItCoolNews, etc. What accolades can NINO truly claim other than Marvel’s newest “teen hero sensation”. Why would the core fan base of Richard Rider fans want a Justin Beiber-type as some watered down bastardization of “Nova”? Only the best of Xandar became part of the Nova Corps. And only the best from that group became elite Nova Corps Centurions.
The vol.4 series did not get any fancy promotions with all the trimmings from Marvel. Sure, Rich had some models, mini-busts and action figures made and even upped his street cred with new fans when he was one of the more dynamic playable characters for the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 game.

Now we are stuck with Beiber-Nova. At least allow Rider to continue carry on with what he was doing.

In case the forgot about what happened to Xandar and the Nova Corps in Annihilation: Nova…Richard Rider was the last surviving Nova Corps member known at the time and was in close proximity. It would be good to visit more surviving former Nova Corps members as well as the deceased.

Nova Vol.5 #11 was the first NINO book I picked up since #4 solely because it featured a short sequence where Beta Ray Bill tells Sam how he first met Classic Nova. Bill has long been in my top 5 list of favorite all-time Marvel characters. It was pretty sad seeing Bill written watered down in the whole story arc but at least Duggan was a bit respectful with the first meeting between Rich and Bill.

We already have a “good teen superhero” in the Spider-Man films. We do not need one in the MCU in the form of Sam Alexander just because Disney is the new owner. I know I don’t want or need to see a tween 13-year old Richard Rider in the MCU any more than I want to see a NINO . Marvel Comics is better off creating its own original “teen superhero sensations” from scratch for the MCU to use instead of hacking more established characters and passing them off as modern day versions of classic characters or carrying their moniker. I’d rather just leave the teen fantasy wish-fulfillment fare in animation form like “Big Hero 6″. Yeah, what responsible parent would ever want thier inexperienced 13-year old kid go running around facing danger and risk of being killed by hanging with the Avengers or GOTG?

Looking forward to the raptors storyline as well as Saal, Wendell and Nita then they never returned Rich and they messed Chris amulet by transferring it to different users, hopefully they’ll make amends to this. Rich=the only Nova, heck even Saal’s Nova > Sam

This is why I hate those Cosmicbooknews guys. They throw around their coined phrase “NINO” and just repeat themselves every article and forum post. We get it. You guys are still sad over Rich dying. But guess what? Comics are not made specifically for you. Everything must come to an end and it was Novas time.

DNA’s run was the best Nova has had, but lets be serious here. Once they got their hands on GotG, they lost interest in Nova and the book suffered. Every Nova issue after Conquest was worse than the one that preceded it. It was always intended to be a story of Rich rebuilding the corps. He did, then things got boring. That whole Rich Quasar and Ego the worldmind arc was pretty poor compared to the previous arcs.

If DNA’s Nova just went on and on like Cosmicbooknewsers wanted it would have continued completely losing steam and in the end killed all enthusiasm for the book. All good things need to come to an end before they drag out.

Sure Sam isn’t for those fans who fell in love with Rich in Annihilation. Annihilation Nova was a complete 180 for the character anyway and not even very true to the original besides the term “blue blazes”. DNA took a teen hero and turned him in to a gritty war veteran selfless hero. His entire arc since Annihilation was building to his death. It was foreshadowed since the Annihilation mini.

Stop being such cry babies and man up. Oh no, you didn’t get your way! better start endless rants every week on why everyone who likes something you don’t is wrong, and only Dick Rider is Nova, and the entirety of Marvel is dead to you. Boo Hoo. It’s like throwing a fit because Heisenberg died in the Breaking Bad finale and boycotting AMC because you never wanted the amazing series they gave you to end.

And give up on the NINO thing. It will never catch on and is not hip in the least.

I’m pretty sure my generation vowed not to be like the jerks who put us down back in the days for being young and liking new stuff………

THANOS- Pretty much disagree with all your points about DnA…really GoTG was suffering the same problems..too many tie Ins…too many events.. too little relevance in the main Bendis driven marvel U..THe events were madated too often, and they all tried to prop up new characters instead of galvanizing what they had…in the end they got too far away from the vision of Annhilation and Keith Giffen Andy Schmidt and DnA team that made things great.

I dont deny a creative shift may have been needed…bringing some new talent would have maybe worked…maybe a reboot on the same level as some of the other marvel books like Cap or Carol Danvers got.

But we didnt need Poochie from itchie and scratchie nor to pretend everything we had follwed since 05 never happned. Nothing worse than feeling you wasted your time.

As for NINO, i think that is basically timelord there, and his many alias..lol.

..and fans of guys like Captain America , Iron Man or the Hulk wouldnt say “Ok swell we had our hey dey of stories were cool with our favorite hero being cast off”…so why should we?

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