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Sam Alexander
I can't keep up with school, my friends hate me, and the other Avengers... I get the sense that they don't want me around. I mean, really, there are more than enough superheroes in the world. I've been thinking lately that I need to start focusing on what's really important, You know? Figure out what I really need to do.
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Richard Rider
You gotta suck it up, kid.
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Sam Alexander
Sorry?
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Richard Rider
Look at me. I'm currently trapped inside a pocket dimension after sacrificing myself to entrap an intergalactic warlord. So now I'm stuck here, trapped inside an alien supercomputer for the rest of my life. I'll never see my home, my friends or my family ever again. And I would do it all again because of one simple reason: what would have happened if I didn't. Peace and order aren't the natural state of things. They had to be invented and they have to be constantly defended. That's why the Nova Corps was created. That's the legacy that you carry on. Yeah, I know, down on Earth, you've got the X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Man, everyone. I can seem like things are taken care of. But relative stability... It's a house of cards, Sam. And there are people and things trying to blow it all down every single second. We need all the heroes we can get. I'm sorry Sam, but you have the power to help and save people. You're not allowed to give up.
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Sam Alexander
I know you're right...
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Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

Sam Alexander is overwhelmed inside the WorldMind. The artificial intelligence explains that Sam is both inside the WorldMind and is also speaking to a physical representation of the WorldMind. Nova asks the digital avatar what exactly is the WorldMind. It replies that he is a sentient computer consisting of all the minds of the Nova Corps and the citizens of Xandar.

Sam asks if his father is among the downloaded consciousnesses. The WorldMind states that Jesse Alexander's consciousness has not been uploaded to its collective. It also mentions that he does not have adequate information on Jesse's current location.

Sam asks if Rich Rider's consciousness is in the WorldMind. Oddly, the WorldMind responds that he believes Rich is inside but hasn't looked for him in a while. Sam Alexander questions the sentient computer if it is Richard Rider. The WorldMind says no.

When the WorldMind asks Sam what brought him to this section of space, Nova responds that he wants to know how the Black Nova helmet works. The artificial intelligence explains that the Nova Force is a powerful energy source that is channeled through the Nova Corps helmets. However, it explains that the Black Nova helmets are different and runs on its own on-board reactor.

As they continue their conversation, Sam begins talking about his mother. Suddenly, the WorldMind begins to change. It asks if Sam's mother's name is Gloria. The teenager replies that his mother is Eva and asks who is Gloria. The artificial sentience surprisingly reveals that Gloria is his mother!

The metallic features and voice of the WorldMind begin altering into a more human form as Sam realizes that it is indeed Richard Rider!

The now human form of Rich asks Sam why he would consider giving up the Nova helmet. The teen hero explains that being Nova has been extremely difficult on him and his family. He also feels the rest of the super hero community doesn't want him around and his friends at school don't like him any more. Sam thinks it might be best for everyone if he gives up being Nova and focus of what's important.

After a quiet moment, Rich Rider advises Sam to suck it up.

Rich lectures Sam Alexander about how he had sacrificed himself to save the universe from Thanos and is now trapped inside the WorldMind. Although he realizes he will never see his family or friends again, he would do it all over again because the consequences of not doing it would be too great.

Rich Rider understands that Earth has a large number of heroes but with all the threats the universe faces, it needs all the heroes it can get. Nova Prime sums it up in the simple statement that Sam isn't allowed to give up because he has the power to save people.

The teen Nova realizes his new friend is right. He asks a final question about keeping his Nova identity a secret from his friends. Rich advises him to tell them because being a hero is hard but it doesn't have to be miserable.

After a few more minutes, Sam realizes the WorldMind is beginning to try and exert itself again. But he also can tell Rich Rider's consciousness is also fighting back. Before he leaves, Sam Alexander asks Rich if he can come visit again but the older hero can't really answer him. Nova Prime tries to explain about fluctuations in space-time but Sam isn't able to understand it. Suddenly, Sam is back in normal space.

Back on Earth, Sam and his mother hug as he returns home. He gives Eva a gift from Rich Rider. It's a tracking device that will allow her to know where Sam is at all times. Her son explains that he has to keep being Nova because he has the power to help power. Eva Alexander smiles.

Later, Sam meets up with his friends on the street. He reveals to them that they were right and that he is Nova.

His friends are excited and happy to know the truth. Suddenly, the teenager gets a text from Iron Man. He is needed on Avengers business. The other teens asks if they can see him put on the Nova uniform. Sam reluctantly agrees.

As he takes off, Nova doesn't pay attention to his environment and flies into a tree. His friends collapse in laughter! They point out that it's a good thing he has a helmet. Sam smiles.

Elsewhere, Gloria Rider answers her front door to find that her son Richard Rider has come home!

Solicit Synopsis

• Sam Alexander has led a busy life as NOVA, but after all of his intergalactic gallivanting, is it time to hang up the helmet?

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