Richard Rider was born in Hempstead, New York. As a teenager, he was chosen at random by the alien Rhomann Dey, last surviving Centurion of the planet Xandar's elite Nova Corps, to inherit his power and succeed him in the rank of Nova Prime following the destruction of his world by the intergalactic pirate Zorr. Having been mortally wounded in the battle that tore Xandar apart, Dey succeeded in tracking Zorr to Earth, but he was unable to exact vengeance himself due to the extent of his injuries. At death's door, Dey had little choice but to transfer his power to an unsuspecting human on the planet below, gambling that whoever he found would be willing to take up his cause and prove worthy of the powers he had given their recipient.
The sudden infusion of power overloaded Rider's body, and he was hospitalized. While Rider was comatose, the moribund Rhomann Dey explained to him telepathically what had happened to him and what his mission was. Rider's recovery was as sudden as his incapacitation had been, being preceded by eye-blasts that knocked a doctor out of his room. Discharged, he tried to resume his normal routine.
But the very next day, Rider was alone in his bedroom when Dey suddenly transmitted to him Dey's last gift to Rider, his Centurion's uniform. Rider discovered that he now possessed super strength, near invulnerability, the power to fly, and a uniform with a sealed life-support system, but with little instruction as to how to use these new powers. Indeed, he barely had the opportunity to test out these powers before radio circuitry contained in his uniform's helmet alerted him to Zorr, who was on a rampage in the heart of New York City. Rider was able to locate Zorr and engage him in combats, although he was unable to fatally wound Zorr. Using a telepathic link Dey was able to use Rider to lock onto Zorr's location. Dey then teleported Zorr aboard his Nova-Ship and used the energies of its Computer P.R.I.M.E. to disintegrate Zorr, leaving behind only the alien's life-support suit. The energies of the Computer P.R.I.M.E. are so powerful that Dey's body was itself destroyed in the process.
Rider, having taken up the mantle of Nova, was enamored with his newfound abilities, albeit he did not have the any idea as to how he was supposed to use them. Still, he took up the life of a superhero, fighting costumed enemies such as the Condor, Powerhouse, Diamondhead, the Corruptor, and others in New York as he gradually learned how to use his new powers.
After a brief career as "Nova: the Human Rocket," he was called into space to serve in the protection of the recently reconstructed planet Xandar, where his powers originated. Eventually, his life of constant intergalactic war was beginning to become tiresome. Hoping to rejoin his high school friends, Richard Rider requested to return home to Earth. When he was told he had to relinquish his powers in order to do so, to which Rider agreed.
For a time, Rider lived a relatively normal life. Working in a fast-food restaurant kitchen, he was barely able to make enough money on which to live due to his disrupted education. He spent his time trying to pick up the pieces of the life he had left behind, all the while wishing he could find a way to regain the powers he lost. During this period, the planet Xandar was destroyed again in an attack by the space pirate Nebula, unbeknownst to him.
Rider led a languorous life. Depressed by the loss of his powers, and unwilling to go back to the high school from which all his friends had graduated, he settled on working odd jobs in order make ends meet. One day, he met Night Thrasher, who promptly kidnapped Rider and dropped him from the top of a building. As he plunged towards the ground, his powers were reactivated and he flew up, avoiding harm. With his powers reinvigorated, Rider lunged toward Night Thrasher, but was quickly subdued. It was later explained that after analyzing Richard Rider and his abilities, Night Thrasher came to the conclusion that if he could induce a high adrenaline rush, he could reactivate Rider's powers. However, when he performed his "experiment" he didn't know if it would actually work. After Rider calms down from his initial rage, Night Thrasher explains he is building his own superhero team. Rider eventually agreed to join his team. Nova proved to be a valuable asset for the Warriors.
Dubbed "Kid Nova" by the media after the Warriors' debut, Rider had to work harder to regain the respect of the public after his absence. Working with the New Warriors, Rider also began a flirtatious relationship with his teammate Namorita, although they did not move beyond friendly squabbling in the first few months.
When a woman claimed the power of Nova's old enemy, the Sphinx, she reorganized reality into a version that appealed to her. Here, Rider had achieved prominence as a member of the Avengers and the respect he craved as Nova. But Sayge, the Embodiment of Truth, nonetheless confronted Nova and made him see this reality was a lie. Recruiting the other original New Warriors, Nova fought the Sphinx and made her reverse her changes.
Nova and Night Thrasher finally buried the hatchet after this adventure, and Taylor provided Rider with an upgraded version of his original uniform, allowing him to cast off the media-given "Kid Nova" name completely and operate unchallenged as Nova again.
In an encounter with Garthan Saal, also called Supernova, Rider used the full power of the Nova Force to help restore Xandar and its population, including Adora and many others, through the planetary cloning banks that the Worldmind controlled. Although his powers were increased, Rider was reduced to being one of many personnel of the Nova Corps. With Xandar now under the protection of the Shi'ar Empire, Nova had superiors to whom he had to answer as a Corpsman.
Nova had difficulty in maintaining his duties as both one of the Nova Corps personnel and a New Warrior. He met an alternate reality Nova, "Nova O:O," who helped Rider develop his powers. He also saved Earth from destruction by preventing the detonation of the "Deathstorm" bomb. But dealing against the Deathstorm bomb had meant ignoring a call from the Nova Corps, and that amounted to dereliction of his duties. Thus Rider was stripped of his Nova powers. His power was given to Garthan Saal, who came to Earth as Nova in his place.
After several months as a powerless associate of the New Warriors, Rider and Saal confronted the Dire Wraith queen Volx, who fatally wounded Saal. The Xandarian passed his powers on to Rider, exactly as Rhomann Dey once had, and Richard Rider's identity as Nova was again reinstated.
Relationship with Namorita
From the first time they met, it was clear that Richard Rider and Namorita had a certain rapport. This bloomed into a romantic relationship, although a somewhat strained one at that. When Nita underwent a change, turning into the blue-skinned Kymaera, Rider was there for her, not caring about her change in appearance. Later, Rider began a separate relationship (in his civilian identity) with a girl named Laura Dunham, although they drifted apart when she found out about his superhero activities.
Nova and Nita continued their relationship, but it eventually fell apart. Nita, undergoing another change in appearance/powers, needed Rider's support, but this time he turned away from her because of his own personal problems. Rider later became jealous of Nita's relationship with Johnny Storm (the Human Torch), and almost began his own relationship with Mickey Musashi (Turbo) while also dealing with Ginger Jaye and her accusations he had killed her husband. Shortly after this the New Warriors began filming a reality TV show where they would travel to small towns across America and deal with their supervillain problems. Nova remained a member for a short time but left the team sometime before they began filming in Stamford, Connecticut.
Most of the Nova Corps and Xandar had been destroyed by the Annihilation Wave. Richard Rider now contained the Worldmind and Nova Force, giving him substantially increased power to fight against the threat. However, it was not known how long he could contain the power without going insane as others had and he found himself reluctant to utilize it. He soon met up with Drax and Cammi who he helped get to safety and who offered to assist him in controlling his power.
In an effort to buy more time for the evacuation of the besieged planet Nycos Aristedes, Nova and Quasar punched through the Annihilation Wave to meet Annihilus face to face on his own command ship. In the ensuing battle, Quasar was killed when Annihilus consumed his and, though Rider was forced to flee, his efforts, combined with the timely intervention of the Worldmind, succeeded in driving the Annihilation Wave to retreat from the sector and secure the planet's complete evacuation. Faced with the universal threat Annihilus now posed, Rider and the Worldmind agreed to abandon the search for a safe haven and remained joined together to fight the Wave head on.
To oppose the Annihilation Wave, 205 days after Annihilation Day, Richard Rider formed an army which he called the United Front. His land-based army included Drax the Destroyer, Gamora (whom he had begun sleeping with), Ronan the Accuser, and Peter Quill, while his outer-space forces consisted primarily of Firelord, Red Shift, and Stardust, former Heralds of Galactus. Rider and his forces fought valiantly holding off the wave as best they could, gaining small victories here and there. Other allies joined the United Front like Super Skrull and Phyla-Vell. The Front, ultimately, was made up of hundreds of species all fighting to stop the Wave.
After months of fighting, Nova finally confronted Annihilus and the two began a fierce battle. Phyla-Vell attempted to join but found that Nova had sealed her and Quill in an energy bubble, wanting to face Annihilus alone. Using the quantum bands, Annihilus proved to be too much for Nova. Phyla-Vell forced her way out of the bubble and attacked Annihilus, attempting to wrest the quantum bands from him. Annihilus threw her aside, but the quantum bands abandoned Annihilus and joined with Phyla-Vell. Annihilus fought on, but Nova surmised that the gap in Annihilus' armor was his mouth. Taking advantage of that, he forced his hand down Annihilus' throat and tore out his entrails, yelling, "THIS IS FOR NOVA CORPS!!!" Both Annihilus and Nova slumped to the ground as Nova looked up to see the veiled figures of the 'spirit' of Thanos and Lady Death looking over him and smiling. Nova told them, "Better luck next time."
The war was over, Annihilus' forces were defeated and treaties were signed. Ronan, who had now become the Emperor of the Kree Empire and ruled in the name of the Supreme Intelligence, offered to make Nova an honorary Kree. Nova was left debating his future and wondered if he should return home to Earth.
Post Annihilation/Civil War
Richard Rider and the Worldmind went to maintain the duties of the Nova Corps by himself, but Rider found himself overwhelmed by his sense of duty. As he recklessly tried to shortcut one of the mission travels, he ended up crashing on Earth in wake of The Initiative.
He went to his parents, learning about the Stamford incident, involving the New Warriors accidentally causing the death of 612 people, most of them children, while chasing super villains. Then suddenly, S.H.I.E.L.D. stepped onto the front lawn, having presumed Rider to be an extra-terrestrial threat due to his high power level. Hostilities calmed down when Iron Man, who had become the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Nick Fury's absence. Rider asked for 24 hours before he would make a final decision. He then met Justice on the launch deck, who also asked him to join the Initiative. However, while Rider slept on it, the Worldmind secretly took over his body, frightening his parents. By morning, he decided to show the Worldmind his hometown, when he was attacked by Diamondhead who had been waiting since Stamford for him to return. He managed to subdue Diamondhead, but after turning his foe in to the police, he was confronted by Thunderbolts, the government's hunters of unregistered superhumans.
The fight was shortly stopped by Iron Man, and he was given a short tour of Rider's old school, where they debated the different ideologies between common purposes and abuse of powers. When he returned home, Rider's parents thought that he was crazy and asked him to register and get himself "looked at" by S.H.I.E.L.D., but he simply did not know what to do. Penance, revealing himself as Robbie Baldwin, came to Rider's house and urged him to register, to make things better. But Rider thought that his world had gone insane. Saying his goodbyes to Penance and his parents, he eventually went back to his Nova Corps duties.
Upon leaving Earth, distress calls from all over Kree space summoned Rider to the planet Hala, the seat of the Kree Empire. Approaching the planet, Rider encountered a contingent of Phalanx-possessed Kree Sentries that attacked him without provocation. The Worldmind reported that these Sentries were carrying viral programming that nearly succeeded in invading its own systems. Cutting and running, Rider attempted to open a stargate and flee, only to impact at full speed against the energy barrier the Phalanx were using to seal off Kree space from the rest of the universe, mortally wounding himself in the process.
Flung to Drez-Lar, a planet on the far edge of Kree territory, Rider's charred body came to rest in a crater near the encamped survivors of a downed Kree vessel. Working quickly to protect its host's remains from incoming Phalanx attackers, the Worldmind chose Ko-Rel, a female commander of the former warship, conferring on her the powers and rank of a Nova Corps Centurion and the designation Nova 0001. Nearing death, Rider was transported to the safety of Ko-Rel's ship to give his suit's healing systems time to attempt repairing his broken body. Later, the Phalanx Select Gamora snuck on board the ship and infected Rider with the Phalanx transmode virus, accelerating his recovery and making him a Select.
Now a slave of the Phalanx, Nova rekindled his affair with Gamora and spent a brief time as a Phalanx Select. Tasked with killing Rider before the Worldmind could succumb to the transmode virus, thus allowing the Phalanx full access to the Nova Force, Ko-Rel attacked him, guided by Worldmind's fast thinking. But once she incapacitated him, she hesitated to finish the job only to be killed by Gamora in retaliation. Upon Ko-Rel's death, the remainder of the Nova Force transferred back into Rider's now fully healed body, enabling him to contain his transmode virus infection and break free from Phalanx possession. Fleeing, Nova utilized the gravity of a nearby neutron star to create a wormhole and escape. In hot pursuit, Gamora and new Phalanx Select Drax followed Rider into the wormhole.
Hurled haphazardly through space, Rider found himself far on the other side of the universe where he discovered Knowhere, a small, self-contained city carved into the massive severed head of a long dead Celestial. He met a telepathic dog named Cosmo, who explained that Knowhere is being threatened by the Abyss, a powerful entity and arch-nemesis of the Luminals, Xarth Three's equivalent of the Avengers, who was able to turn anyone into zombies. Rider is able to seal the prison the Abyss was held in, by using the transmode virus to repair it, allowing Knowhere to resume its daily life. Cosmo also provided Rider information about Kvch, the homeworld of the Technarchy, the Phalanx's parents. Using Knowhere's near-universal teleportation technology, Rider made his way to Kvch. However, Gamora and Drax followed him.
Eventually arriving on Kvch, home planet of the Technarchy, Rider was able to enlist the help of the mutant Technarch Warlock and his adopted son Tyro, who succeeded in completely curing Rider, Drax, and Gamora of the Transmode Virus before accompanying them back to Hala to engage the Phalanx. Bursting through the Phalanx's recently weakened energy shield, Nova saved Star-Lord's life and aided in the battle against Ultron.
Post Annihilation Conquest
After the Phalanx conquest, Rider helped Star-Lord start the Guardians of the Galaxy before returning to his normal Nova duties. He arrived on a planet known as Orbucen that was about to be eaten by Galactus. He helped the people of the planet to evacuate and fought the psionic entity Harrow that was killing the evacuees. Harrow was able to jump from mind to mind, but Nova captured him. Unfortunately, the ships that were supposed to evacuate the people were disabled by Galactus' electromagnetic disruption. Nova tried to beg Galactus to wait a few hours so the people could escape but Galactus ignored him.
The Silver Surfer then engaged Nova in combat and was able to force Nova down onto the planet, but Nova pleaded for the time to save the people, and the Silver Surfer utilized the Power Cosmic to shield the space ships. Nova returned to find that Harrow had escaped, and had to fight it so all the ships could escape. As he was fighting directly under one of the ships, the ship started its star-drive engines which killed Harrow and knocked Nova down for a few seconds. When he regained composure, he found himself trapped on the planet.
Worldmind blamed him for his carelessness in protecting his gestalt. Nonetheless, Rider was determined to escape before the planet was destroyed. He attempted to use one of the energy siphons to get onto Galactus' ship. Worldmind said that that plan was crazy, but he went through with it. With great difficulty, Rider was able to get onboard Galactus' ship, despite Worldmind going offline in the process. His suit's user support systems then detected the Harrow in its true form: that of a hideous insectoid. He attempted to kill the horrid creature, only for the Harrow to react to him, overwhelming his defenses with his telepathy. Through it, Rider learned that Harrow was hitchhiking with Galactus, feeding off the terror while Galactus feeds on a planet. Nova revealed Harrow to the Surfer and Galactus. The latter incinerated Harrow, before teleporting Rider five light years away, possibly out of a gratitude. However, the Surfer warned Rider that Galactus doesn't spare anything twice.
The Skrulls lured Rider to an isolated planet under the pretense of a Phalanx infestation, intent on killing him before he could return back to Earth and discover their invasion. However, Kl'rt, the original Super-Skrull revealed himself in the squad and saved Richard. He informed Rider that his people were on a religious crusade and that they were attacking Earth. Shocked, Richard immediately rushed back to Earth, taking Kl'rt with him. The original Super-Skrull hid his ally from the others by pretending to turn on him. He headed over to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. to help his brother Robbie, where he also aided Darkhawk in defense of the facility. Amazingly, Project Pegasus revealed that they had restored Wendell Vaughn to life and reactivated Worldmind, who empowered the Minion drones in the complex, turning the tide of the battle. Just as a Skrull warship appeared to destroy the base, it itself was destroyed by what appeared to be Nova Centurions, saluting Richard as Nova Prime.
The New Corp
The Worldmind revealed to Rider that it had taken control of his body while he was asleep, recruiting individuals to restore the Corps. Though feeling a little bit betrayed that Worldmind was acting behind his back, Rider decided to use the Corps to clean up the fallout of the Skrull invasion, taking down various villains, including the Serpent Society and Dragon man.
But Rider would soon become horrified when he discovered that Worldmind had recruited Robbie into the Corps. And worse, it had lobotomized Ego the Living Planet , to use as a base to restart the Nova Corps. Richard was cut off from the Nova Force after protesting the Worldmind's plan, in which the Xandarian supercomputer claimed to the Corps that the Nova Force had addled his brain.
Powerless, Rider decided to go to P.E.G.A.S.U.S. to get examined on whether his mind was affected by the Nova Force. He also requested that they lure in some Centurions to confirm if they were being controlled by Worldmind. The latter proves correct, as Worldmind was using endorphins and subliminal messages to control the Centurions. Worse, he discovered that having hosted the Nova Force for so long had caused extensive damage to his body at the molecular level and he was in a state of molecular decay. He would die within 48 hours. Unfortunately, Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was being closed down by H.A.M.M.E.R., before they could find a cure.
One of the facility's researchers, Eve Necker, took him to secret lab beneath a drive-in movie. However, he noticed a beekeeper uniform nearby and realized that Necker was working for A.I.M. He rushed out, refusing to be part of any sick A.I.M. experiment and smashed the quantum flask that could have possibly healed him. Just as he smashed the flask, Wendell appeared before him. Wendell had retrieved the Quantum Bands from Maelstrom after Maelstrom had stolen them from Phyla-Vell. Taking the bands, Richard was given a second chance on life and became the new Quasar.
War of Kings
Along with Wendell, Rider returns to Nu Xandar to retake the Nova Force and stop the forced recruitment. Unfortunately, Ego had a massive cosmic awareness and could not be taken by surprise. Therefore, Rider created quantum copies of himself to make his assault. Once inside Nu-Xandar, he soon discovers that Worldmind did not subvert Ego, but rather Ego had suppressed Worldmind. With Wendell's coaching on how to use the quantum bands, he created a sanctuary, resembling his old room from Long Island, to protect himself. Conjuring up Rhomann Dey and Ko-Rel, both remnants of the Worldmind, Rider learns that when he took Worldmind to help him prevent the Nova Force from making him go insane, it neglected to do the same for itself. The Phalanx virus and the tangle with Galactus only made it worse, making Worldmind unstable, who called out to Ego for help. Rider then sped off to regain the Nova Force. Once he became Nova Prime once more, he lobotomized Ego. Unfortunately, Worldmind had to reboot its personality because of the damage it had sustained. The new interface became Ko-Rel.
Rider then went off in search of Robbie, who had left to find Xenith, the Shi'ar Praetorian who had massacred multiple Centurions. He tracked him to Kree-Lar, where he managed to defeat Xenith.
Realm of Kings
In the aftermath of the War of Kings, Rider admitted that the galaxy does need the Nova Corps. But knows that throwing untrained recruits in the fray would only get them killed, he decided to train the few remaining Centurions as probationers. To assist in this matter, Rider recruited Zan Philo, an MIA Centurion who had returned to his proper universe thanks to the time-space tear known as the Fault.
Rider soon learned that his fellow New Warrior Darkhawk was wanted for murdering Lilandra Neramani. While chasing his friend and learning about a Fraternity of Raptors who all resemble Darkhawk, they are pulled into the Fault by their old enemy The Sphinx. At the end of the battle, Rider and Darkhawk returned to their universe, unintentionally bringing along the former's lost girlfriend Namorita.
Rider was called upon by Steve Rogers to join his covert team of Avengers as a reserve member. While on his first mission to Mars, Rider became possessed by the Serpent Crown. In order to save Richard, Worldmind transferred the Nova Force from the possessed Richard Rider over to Steve Rogers. After the Serpent Crown was destroyed, the Nova Force was returned to Richard. As he recovered from the incident, he aided Spider-Man in stopping extraterrestrials from robbing a bank in New York City. Afterward, the two had a friendly conversation, congratulating each other for finally making it into the Avengers. Shortly after this he received a distress call from the Guardians of the Galaxy, which forced him to leave and also forced Steve Rogers and Hank McCoy to search for another cosmic level hero to take his place.
Rider was alerted by Quasar, who had returned from a scouting mission in the Fault, that the tear led to a Cancerverse, filled with demonic versions of Earth's heroes. He headed to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., where Vaughan's counterpart was searching for something on Earth. He chased his quarry all the way back to the Fault, where Adam Magus summoned the creatures of the Cancerverse. In the ensuing battle, the Revengers, dark counterparts of the Avengers, kidnapped Namorita, determining her to be an anomaly.
Nova, along with other powerful cosmic beings such as the Silver Surfer, Gladiator, Ronan the Accuser, Beta Ray Bill, and Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), attacked Sanctuary, the base of the Undying Lord to free Namorita and the other anomalies captured. They succeeded, but were almost blown to pieces when Sanctuary exploded.
Later Nova traveled to the Cancerverse just in time to save the Guardians of the Galaxy from the Undying Lord and his Revengers. When the Cancerverse was seemingly destroyed by Thanos who had summoned Death, Nova and Star-Lord remained to prevent Thanos from endangering any more realities. The duo, along with Thanos, were presumed dead, with a statue erected in their memory as well as those of the recently fallen heroes and heroines.
Thanos, Star-Lord, and Nova remained in the Cancerverse fighting over the Cosmic Cube. A returned Drax joined the brawl against the Mad Titan. After Star-Lord starting losing control over the Cube, Thanos offered Quill to give him the Cube, as he could control it, to get back to Earth-616. However, Star-Lord killed Thanos with it. As Thanos reappeared and killed Star-Lord from behind, who also returned, the heroes discovered death was impossible in the Cancerverse, as one would merely re-spawn in another location.
After killing Thanos for the third time, the heroes' discussion on what to do was interrupted by the arrival of the Cancerverse's Revengers. Following an extremely long battle, the Revengers got hold of the Cosmic Cube. Thanos managed to retrieve the Cube and defeat the Revengers, but was soon opposed by Drax, Quill, and Nova. As the Mad Titan was distracted by Drax, Nova picked up the Cosmic Cube, and decided to use it along with the Nova Force to open a gate to Earth-616; however, Rider couldn't come as he was acting as the door between the two universes. As his last wish, Nova asked Peter not to tell Gamora about this event, as it would devastate her. Peter Quill and Drax were then returned to Earth-616, but unknown to him, this also returned Thanos.
Richard Rider succumbed to the Cancerverse and after death his consciousness was uploaded into the Xandarian Worldmind where it lay dormant until, with the help of Monark Starstalker, Sam Alexander, the new Nova, entered the Fault seeking answers regarding the specifics on how his helmet functioned.
After learning from the Worldmind that his father's consciousness was not present, Sam went on to speak with Richard, whose consciousness awoke after Sam kept talking about his family, who encouraged him to continue his work with the Avengers, as well as gave him a device which his mother could use to better keep track of him and not worry so much. Sam then returned to Carefree, while unbeknownst to him, Richard somehow returned to life as well, arriving in Hempstead to visit his own mother, Gloria.
Return to Earth
Following his surprising and mysterious return, he was informed about his father's death and met up with Sam Alexander, who, after teaming up with Rider and defeating an otherworldly monstrosity, noticed his strange behavior which was revealed to be caused by the horrors of the Cancerverse that followed him when he left that dimension. Eventually, they broke free, and, to prevent them from taking over his home planet, Richard traveled back to the place where "death has no meaning". There, the story of his escape was finally told by none other than the Xandarian Worldmind.
After using himself to help Peter Quill and Drax get out of the Cancerverse, Nova was, for a long time stranded there and had to overcome the many challenges of this reality, such as the Revengers. He later decided to leave the Cancerverse behind, so he figured out how to use the Cosmic Cube. He had to load it with energy, sacrificing the Worldmind and the entire Nova Force in the process. Worldmind felt betrayed and, after being left behind, seized control of the Cancerverse.
Samuel followed Rider, where he found him taken over by the Many-Angled Ones and the Worldmind. He freed him from the curse after a short duel, and together they try to convince the Xandarian supercomputer to come with them, but he refused, stating that it had felt way too many deaths to not prefer a place without it. The two Corpsmen soon found the Cosmic Cube, and recharge it together to return to Earth, where they continued their lives as Novas.
Nova became the target of the Dark Guardians, a team dedicated to preventing Thanos from resurrecting. The Dark Guardians believed that Thanos would come back transferring his consciousness to Rider's former lover Gamora and attacked him to force him to reveal Gamora's location. Nova managed to escape and went to the Guardians of the Galaxy to warn them of the Dark Guardians. Rider discovered that the Guardians had already reunited with Gamora, and he realized that the Dark Guardians would follow him to Gamora. The Dark Guardians then attacked and forced to the Guardians' ship to crash on a planet. After a brief fight, Nova and the Guardians were defeated by the Dark Guardians, and Gamora was captured.
Using the teleportation ability of Lockjaw, Rider and the Guardians boarded the Dark Guardians' ship to rescue Gamora. They learned from Gamora that Thanos didn't come back in her body but in the body of his brother Starfox and was being aided by the Asgardian death goddess Hela and the Black Order.
Rider, the Guardians, and the remaining Dark Guardians joined forces and invaded Knowhere to stop Thanos' resurrection. Gamora stabbed Starfox while Thanos was transferring his consciousness into his body. This ruined the transference process, bringing Thanos back with a fractured mind. Rider, the Guardians, and the Dark Guardians later fled Knowhere when a black hole generation was triggered, causing Knowhere along with Hela and Thanos to be sucked into the black hole created.
While Rider was away on a mission, the Nova Corps was wiped out entirely by the Universal Church of Truth from an alternate future. Being the only surviving Nova, Nova became very depressed and drowned his sorrows in alcohol. While drinking, he was unexpectedly approached by Annihilus who asked for the Nova Corps' help in fighting an invasion of the Negative Zone by the Scourge from the Cancerverse. Nova reluctantly agreed to help Annihilus. When they couldn't access the Negative Zorn using Annihilus' means, they used a portal created by Mister Fantastic. The pair was transported to a moon that orbited the planet Ollrig, whose people chose to kill themselves than fall to the forces of the Cancerverse. Rider and Annihilus found a few of Ollrig's survivors and stayed with them for a few hours. Nova then fought off Negative Zone beings possessed by the Scourge. Nova was winning but was then attacked by the leader of the Scourge, the Void who was disguised as the Sentry. After getting beaten by the Void, Rider was prepared to be added to the Scourge's ranks. Rider panicked and fled, using a device that belonged to Annihilus to return to the Posiverse.
Rider later returned to the Negative Zone with a large contingent of heroes to help fight off the Scourge. However, the Scourge's numbers were overwhelming. Nova and other heroes helped restrain the Void so Silver Surfer could reunite it with Robert Reynolds to stop the Scourge. This didn't work as the reunited Sentry told Nova that the Cancerverse was drawn to him as he was once infected by it. Nova drew the invading Scourge away to the source of the invasion before consuming the creatures to contain them. Rider's allies helped reinforce his body so he didn't explode as it swelled to many times its size to contain the creatures. Sentry then killed Nova with an optic blast so the creatures died with him, finally ending the Scourge's threat to the Negative Zone. While Nova's allies mourned his death, Annihilus revived Nova with the Silver Surfer watching on to repay him for saving the Negative Zone. He then told Nova to leave the Negative Zone.
Deeply traumatized by the constant crises, Nova learned that the Olympians had returned, reborn as blood-thirsty despots. In order to stop their quest of contest, Richard enlisted the help of the Guardians of the Galaxy to send New Olympus into a black hole. A portion of the team turned their backs out of concern for their safety and desire for a quiet life, but Star-Lord was one of the members that joined Nova's mission. Although the team was successful, Star-Lord sacrificed himself to manually detonate the black hole, sending himself to a different dimension alongside the Dark Olympians. Quill's apparent death shattered the Guardians, causing the Guardians who had refused to join Nova's mission to walk away and form a new team. The two teams ultimately clashed over competing sides in a mission, but reached a truce. At the insistence of his new teammate Hercules, Richard started therapy to start overcoming his many traumas, including blaming himself for Quill's death.
The Guardians of the Galaxy were eventually reunited with Star-Lord, who had spent, unaging, over a hundred years in the other-dimensional world of Morinus. When the Dark Olympians had escaped from their impisonment, Peter returned to his home dimension to lure them away from Morinus. The Guardians stood their ground in Daedalus 5 and ultimately defeated the rogue gods. Afterwards, the Galactic Council sanctioned the Guardians of the Galaxy as protectors of the cosmos in light of the increasing uncertainty of the galactic landscape, providing the Guardians with headquarters in the space station Proscenium while Nova became the leader of the team.
Originally, Rider was cocky and humorous, and he frequently bantered in battle, a trait comparable to Peter Parker. However after Annihilation and receiving his scar, his personality underwent a dramatically dark change.
Richard Rider is the host of the entire Nova Force, a vast energy source that he can access to grant himself a number of superhuman attributes. As host to the entire Nova Force, which was previously used to empower all members of the Nova Corps throughout the universe, Rider is now possessed of tremendously augmented strength and durability as well as enormous quantities of energy that allows him to hold his own against other powerful beings such as the Silver Surfer.
Superhuman Strength: Rider is able to channel the Nova Force for the purpose of increasing his physical strength to vast levels. While the full extent of his strength level is not known, he is listed well above the class 100 limit. The Nova Force grants Rider sufficient strength and power to engage and even stalemate the likes of the Silver Surfer in combat. He has even stated that his best shot can destroy everything within 3 miles. He was even capable of going blow for blow with the likes of Annihilus himself in combat, and was even able, quite literally, to tear Annihilus' insides out.
Superhuman Speed: By channeling the Nova Force properly, Rider can grant himself the ability to run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete. While the upper limit of his running speed is not known, he can at least run several hundred miles an hour. He can move at speeds faster than light.
Superhuman Stamina: Due to the Nova Force's augmentation of his musculature, Rider's muscles produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a normal human. While the full limits of his stamina are unknown, he is able to exert himself physically for at least 24 hours before fatigue toxins impair him.
Superhuman Accuracy: With the Xandarian Worldmind's help, Nova can shoot beams of energy with an accuracy of millimetres.
Superhuman Durability: Rider's body is highly resistant to all forms of conventional physical injury. He can withstand high caliber bullets, falls from tremendous heights, exposure to extremes in both temperature and pressure, powerful energy blasts, acidic corrosives, and tremendous impact forces without sustaining injury. While employing the Nova Force, Rider can easily withstand the rigors of deep space indefinitely. He can withstand attacks from powerful beings such as Annihilus relatively unharmed. He was able to withstand, without any significant damage, the raw energy and power stored in the reservoir in Galactus's ship, which contained power siphoned from the destroyed energy of entire planets. He was even capable of withstanding a massive omni-directional blast from an enraged Galactus himself, at near point-blank range, which was so powerful that it encompassed and destroyed more than three entire solar systems.
Superhuman Agility: Rider's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are far beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Reflexes: Rider's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are far superior to those of the finest human athlete.
Regenerative Healing Factor: In spite of his great physical resilience, it is possible for him to sustain injury. On the rare occasion that Rider is injured he can purposely channel the Nova Force to rapidly heal damaged bodily tissues. However, the Nova Force cannot regenerate lost limbs as Rider couldn't replace the right arm he lost from the Revenger Captain America.
Flight: Rider can use the Nova Force to propel himself through the air at tremendous speeds. Nova is fully capable of achieving faster than light velocities and can enter and traverse hyperspace, which he often does while traveling through space. However, moving as such speeds while in the atmosphere of a planet would cause devastation to the planet itself, so he travels much slower while within a planetary atmosphere; generally at supersonic speeds.
Energy Generation: Rider can channel the Nova Force and expel the energy in the form of extremely powerful concussive blasts that he often uses in combat situations. A few of the abilities he has shown are:
- The ability to manipulate the Nova Force to create hyperspace portals in space such as Space Gates.
- The ability to release extremely powerful gravimetric pulses and beams, either from specific parts of his body or from his whole body surface.
- The ability to create powerful shields and forcefields using the Novaforce
- The ability to emit powerful electromagnetic discharges that can nullify gravity.
Xandarian Worldmind: Aside from housing the Nova Force, Rider was also the host of the Xandarian Worldmind. The Worldmind is a sentient collective created to govern and maintain all forms of Xandarian culture. The Worldmind contains all knowledge collected by the Xandarian people including art, science, history, and philosophy. Rider can access any aspect of this technology by communicating with the Worldmind verbally or mentally. As a result, The Worldmind often contacts Rider unbidden and usually offers advice, instructions, insights, recommendations, and even criticisms. Rider's bond with the Worldmind is highly useful, however, also in the fact that the Worldmind is crucial in helping Rider maintain self control when tapping into the full might of the Nova Force.
. A few other capabilities demonstrated by the Worldmind are:
- Helps Rider contain the whole Nova Force while keeping his mind and sanity intact.
- Downloads profiles of opponents directly into Rider's mind.
- Detects nearby energy surges, including those used in teleportation.
- Can assume control of Rider's body as he sleeps.
- Auto-translates languages around Rider, allowing him to speak, read and understand any language that the Xandarian Worldmind is familiar with or that it can analyse the meaning of.
- Access other computer systems, including heavily-protected terrestrial computer networks (such as S.H.I.E.L.D. records).
- Analyze attackers, including detecting adrenaline surges in their bodies.
- Detects approaching super-humans with energy-based powers (like Penance).
- Enables Rider to hack into satellite TV broadcasts, and transmit his voice and image to individual TV sets.
- Can help to contain the Transmode Virus, though this took 83 percent of the Nova Force to achieve.
- Can protect Rider from psionic manipulation using Psi-shields.
Skilled Combatant: Rider is a formidable combatant and has been trained by Chord, though he is naturally more comfortable at using the Nova Force's energy generating capabilities during combat. However, he can access the Xandarian Worldmind and instantly gain knowledge of Xandarian hand-to-hand combat techniques which he sometimes uses in combination with his energy powers.
Rider uses the Xandarian Worldmind to help maintain his mood and mental stability. Without it, utilizing the full power of the Nova Force would overcome Rider's mental stability, causing a severe mental breakdown and possibly insanity. Rider was also bonded with so much of the Nova force for so long that the molecular structure of his body cannot survive for more than two days without it or an appropriate substitute, like Quasar's quantum energy.
- Nova Corps Uniform: To further stabilize Rider during his manipulation of the Nova Force, the Worldmind has specifically modified Rider's Nova uniform. The material of the uniform helps to contain and regulate some of Rider's powers by siphoning some of the energies of the Nova Force. The uniform also contains inhibitors that can manipulate various hormones in Rider's brain for the purpose of moderating his moods as needed. The uniform also has self-repairing capabilities, allowing it to seal rips and tears on its own. As with past models, the helmet Rider uses with his current uniform resembles and feels like cloth when he is not wearing it, though it adopts a metallic look and feel when he wears it. Rider can also alter the appearance and nature of his uniform to suit his needs.
The helmet contains radio circuitry enabling Nova to pick up radio transmissions, monitor transmissions, telescopic sights, night vision sensors, and heat imaging sensors, as well as overlay a visual heads-up display for tracking energy signatures. The helmet also contains a synaptic scrambler to use on opponents in close quarters (such as Xenith or Gladiator). Nova's helmet has a rigid construction and shape when worn, but becomes as malleable as cloth when it is not, allowing Rider to hide it in his civilian clothes when desired.
Nova, in his responsibility of "Guardian of the Terran Sector" for the Xandar Space Corps, controlled a satellite orbiting the planet. Flight under own power. While a member of the New Warriors vehicles supplied by Dwayne Taylor.
- Rider was considered by the Nova Corps to have a minimal threat level, but that could be potentially universal, considering that the vast powers he possessed at the time of the evaluation could possibly erode his stability over time.
- The internal computer of Rider's Nova uniform includes a music library.
- Rider's surname was consistently misspelled "Ryder" in Rom #24.
- Nova shares the nickname "Buckethead" with fellow Warrior Darkhawk.
- 426 appearance(s) of Richard Rider (Earth-616)
- 40 minor appearance(s) of Richard Rider (Earth-616)
- 32 mention(s) of Richard Rider (Earth-616)
- 504 image(s) of Richard Rider (Earth-616)
- 39 quotation(s) by or about Richard Rider (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Richard Rider (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Richard Rider (Earth-616) on Marvel.com
- Richard Rider (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- The Nova-Prime Page