Make It So: Nova the Movie by Jerry Whitworth
For nearly two years, development of a Nova movie has been rumored as Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has made no secret of his desire to see it made and James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy director, is an admitted superfan of the character. More recently, Nova is rumored to be in development with claims that phase five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will focus around the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Blade, and Nova. Created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita, Nova the Human Rocket debuted in 1976 as a teenage New Yorker superhero in the vein of Spider-Man. Following the destruction of the Nova Corps by alien conqueror and warlord Zorr, the surviving leader of the Xandar-based peacekeeping organization in Nova Prime Rhomann Dey sped to Zorr’s next target: Earth. Suffering from fatal wounds inflicted by Zorr, Dey passed on the awesome power of the Nova Force to a random teenager named Richard Rider. Informing Rider of his new powers and warning of the coming of Zorr via a mind link, the youth fought Zorr and defeated him with aid from Dey before his demise. Taking the name Nova, Rider became a superhero combating the likes of the Terrible Trio (Diamondhead, Condor, and Powerhouse), Sphinx, and Nebula (Zorr’s daughter). Becoming a founding member of the New Warriors and one of the most prominent cosmic heroes in the Marvel universe, Nova seems tailor made for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
From the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, the stage has been set for Nova with the introduction of the Nova Corps as the force that initially brought the individual members of the Guardians together. Further, Rhomann Dey (played by John C. Reilly) featured prominently in the story as the Nova Corpsman who gave the Guardians and Ravagers the opportunity to help protect Xandar from the forces of Ronan the Accuser (portrayed by Lee Pace). However, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Nova Prime was Irani Rael who was played by Glenn Close. Also, it appears the Nova Corpsmen were not empowered by the Nova Force as in the comics. In Avengers: Infinity War (2018), it was revealed Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) wiped out the Nova Corps and killed off half of Xandar’s population. While these developments set-up Nova, aspects of recent stories in the MCU may also indicate why the character is slated to make his debut soon.
In the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), it was revealed that Nick Fury (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson) had moved offworld following his return via Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo) and the Infinity Stones and was on a space station occupied by Skrulls. Further, set photos from WandaVision reveal that the organization S.W.O.R.D. will feature into the Disney+ streaming series. In the comics, S.W.O.R.D. is an off-shoot of S.H.I.E.L.D. whose focus is on extraterrestrial threats to Earth rather than those Earth-based. It’s then likely that following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Fury managed to convince the World Security Council to not only re-institute S.H.I.E.L.D. (as evidenced by its presence in Far From Home) but to expand into S.W.O.R.D. calling upon the Skrulls aided by Captain Marvel (portrayed by Brie Larson) in her 2019 film (considering Talos and Soren, respectively played by Ben Mendelsohn and Sharon Blynn, reprise their roles from the motion picture as Fury and Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, again respectively). From this, certain details can be extrapolated.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) established a peace treaty between Xandar and the Kree after a millennia old conflict as Captain Marvel (2019) revealed the Kree responsible for the near genocide of the Skrull. For over two decades, Captain Marvel traversed the universe offering aid to less fortunate worlds as Nick Fury developed his Avengers Initiative for the Earth. The establishment of S.W.O.R.D., its likely alliance with the Skrulls, and the destruction of the Nova Corps likely creates a through line that can link together to establish the premise of the Nova film. As detailed in “Who Are The Young Avengers?,” it’s also entirely possible the alleged moves being made to bring about the Young Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe could also play into Nova as the character was originally a teen character in the comics as well as co-founder in the youth hero group the New Warriors (not to mention, a new teenage Nova in the comics in Sam Alexander is a prominent member of the youth hero group Champions which largely supplanted the Young Avengers as the company’s team of young heroes).