Nova The Human Rocket

By Eric S. Brown | Aug 06, 2014
Artwork by: Stephen Platt Courtesy of

In 1966, Nova was created by Marv Wolfman and Len Wein. It wasn't until 1976 however that Richard Rider became a member of the Nova Corps that we know today.

"The Man Called Nova" issue 1 hit stands in that year and ran for only 25 issues before being canceled. He reappeared in later issues of the "Fantastic Four" and several other Marvel titles not getting his own series again until 1994. Both that second Nova series and the third were again canceled quickly.

The fourth attempt at an ongoing solo title for the character did fairly better, lasting for a three year, 36 issue run. The fifth Nova series began with the Marvel Now relaunched and featured an even younger version of the character named Sam Alexander.

While Richard Rider learned how to be Nova on his own in the original series, Sam Alexander received some limited training from Gamora and Rocket Racoon before truly taking flight as a hero. This tie in to the "Guardians of the Galaxy" is no coincidence. Marvel's “phase three” plans for their universe on the big screen includes a "Nova the Human Rocket" film as a spinoff/follow up to "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Some folks may argue that Nova is nothing more than Marvel's answer to DC's Green Lantern as both the Green Lantern Corps and the Nova Corps are essentially interstellar cops.  So why does a character who hasn't been able to sustain an ongoing title of his own deserve a feature film?

Well, "Nova the Human Rocket," despite his lack of success in terms of sales as a solo hero, is an iconic Marvel character. If you were reading comics in the 1970s, Nova was one of the coolest heroes around. Recently, he was even voted one of the top 100 comic heroes of all time in a poll by IGN. Nova is also a character that easy to relate to for most readers.

Like Spiderman, his out of custome life is very down to Earth and filled with family/romantic drama. Both Richard Rider and Sam Alexander were young teens who suddenly found themselves with cosmic powers. Through their eyes, the Marvel Universe itself takes on a whole other level of awe-inspiring fun as they learn how to fly and encounter other heroes like the Avengers, Spiderman, etc. for the first time.

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie features not only the planet Xandar, home of the Nova Corps, but supposedly some members of the corps as well.  I have never been a huge fan of the Guardians but you can bet I'll be seeing the film for that glimpse of what a big screen Nova film could be like.


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