Marvel’s Nova: All We Know So Far

Marvel's Nova is heading to Disney+ and will tell the story of Richard Rider

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Sources have indicated that Marvel has a new project: Nova. While details about Marvel’s Nova are currently sparse, we are figuring out as much as we can, getting all the clues as to what it could be about, and doing some rampant speculation while we’re at it.

After all, Marvel Comics has literally decades of obscure characters to dust off and bring to the light of the MCU, so we will sometimes have to do a check-in and see what we know. And in this case: 

MARVEL’S NOVA IS LIKELY TO BE A SERIES

Marvel Nova

Currently, it is only known that Marvel is developing a Nova project. It is not currently known whether it will be a theatrically released film or series, but we have some ideas about that.

In the past, most new characters have been introduced to the MCU via either a starring feature film (like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc), by being a supporting character in someone else’s feature (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, etc), or by popping up in the end credits scene that you sat through in the dark for (Nick Fury, Nick Fury, Nick Fury, etc). 

More recently, Marvel Studios has begun to utilize the Disney+ streaming platform to introduce new characters, like Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop version of Hawkeye. It looks like Marvel czar Kevin Feige is finally making the leap to premiering entirely new characters in their own series via Disney+, with the upcoming Oscar Isaac-starring Moon Knight and Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk. We would put the safe money on Marvel’s Nova being a Disney+ series. 

NOVA IS RICHARD RIDER

While the upcoming Marvel’s Nova will likely make some modifications to the character, Nova is traditional a human named Richard Rider. He is a New York City high school student who is tasked by a dying member of an interstellar police force to become his replacement, giving him superhuman powers (and a costume) in the process.

Unsure of how to use his powers, Richard Rider becomes a superhero, learns on the fly, and eventually is inducted into The Nova Corps, said interstellar police force. While we are not throwing any shade at legendary Marvel Comics writer Marv Wolfman, who created the character, you might remember this as being the exact same origin story as DC Comics’ Green Lantern. 

Marvel Comics debuted Nova in 1976, and the character ran in his own series until 1979. After some appearances in Fantastic Four and the equally little-remembered Rom the Spaceknight, Nova fell out of rotation. He was revived as a character in the late 1980s, and became a fixture of cosmic/space-oriented storylines like Annihilation and The Thanos Imperative. 

NOVA COULD FIT INTO THE MCU THROUGH THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

We will have to once again speculate here, but we will guess that the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry point for Nova will be connected to The Guardians of the Galaxy in some way.

Nova has frequently been associated with the motley found family of Marvel Comics space odysseys, and actually is a longtime love interest of Gamora (played by Zoe Saldaña in the MCU).

Given that the current status of Gamora is that she is a time-displaced version of herself that has no memories (or to put it another way, has not experienced) her romantic relationship with Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), there seems like a lot of potential for group conflict there. 

In a way, Marvel has actually already introduced Nova. By which, we mean:

THE NOVA CORPS WAS IN THE FIRST GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY MOVIE

The Nova Corps were introduced way back in 2014, in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Similar to their characterization in Marvel Comics, The Nova Corp were portrayed as a kind of space police force. They were led by Nova Prime Irani Rael (Glenn Close), and John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz played officers.

In the comics, members of The Nova Corps wield the “Nova Force,” a fairly non-specific power source that imparts the typical superhero powers of strength, flight, shooting energy beams, all standard stuff.

The Nova Corps of the MCU, in contrast, did not evidence this, being seemingly equipped with alien technology. As of Avengers: Infinity War, it appeared The Nova Corps had been decimated by Thanos, so it will be interesting to see how they tie this new Nova in. 

As mentioned, the main members of The Nova Corp we’ve seen so far have been Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, and Peter Serafinowicz. So there’s a decent chance they might show up in some capacity. Alternately, they have not been seen or referenced since Guardians of the Galaxy, so they might be straight-up dead. Our vote: a grizzled, embittered Glenn Close acts as a The Last Jedi-style Luke Skywalker mentor to whoever Marvel chooses to play Nova. 

SABIR PIRZADA IS WRITING MARVEL’S NOVA

One of the facts we know so far about Marvel’s Nova is that it will be written by Sabir Pirzada. Currently, Pirzada has written several episodes of the upcoming Moon Knight series, so it feels like Kevin Feige likes the cut of his jib. Prior to that, he wrote for the CW show Roswell, New Mexico and CBS’ Person of Interest. 

So that’s what we have so far! Stay tuned for Marvel’s Nova news.