Quote1 I can do anything, Angel. I can see in the dark. I can juggle cars. I can fly in outer space. Yeah, I can do anything...including burning the surface of this screwed-up planet to ash in order to find her. And if that's what it takes...then that's what I'm gonna do! Quote2
-- Nova

Early History

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 was unable to exact vengeance 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, praying whoever he found will take up his cause and prove worthy of the powers he had given.[7]

Rider gained great strength, invulnerability, the power to fly, and a uniform with a sealed life support system, but little instruction on how to use these new powers. Still, he took up the life of a superhero, fighting costumed villains such as Condor,[8] Powerhouse[8], Diamondhead[9], Corruptor[10] and others in New York while gradually learning 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, the same world where his great powers originated. Eventually tiring of a life of constant intergalactic war and hoping to rejoin his high school friends, Richard requested to return home to Earth. When he was told he had to relinquish his powers in order to do so, Rider agreed.[11][12]

For a time, Rider lived a relatively normal life, flipping burgers, and barely making ends meet 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. Unknown to him, during this period, the planet Xandar was destroyed again in an attack by the space pirate Nebula.[13][14]

The New Warriors

Rich led a listless life. Depressed by the loss of his powers, and unwilling to go back to the high school that all his friends had graduated, he worked odd jobs until the day he was approached by Night Thrasher. Night Thrasher was attempting to build his own super-hero team and had read Richard Rider's analysis that Rich's powers might be reactivated if he suffered a great enough adrenaline rush. In order to accomplish his "experiment," he kidnapped Rich and dropped him from the top of a building. His powers were then reactivated and, after his initial anger at Dwayne, he eventually agreed to join his team. Nova proved to be a valuable asset for the Warriors.[14]

Dubbed "Kid Nova" by the media after the Warriors' debut[15], Rider had to work harder to regain the respect of the public after his absence. Working with the New Warriors, Rich also began a flirtatious relationship with his teammate Namorita, although they didn't move beyond friendly squabbling in the first few months.[16]

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. 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.[17]

Nova and Night Thrasher finally buried the hatchet after this adventure, and Dwayne provided Rich with an upgraded version of his original costume, letting him completely cast off the media-given "Kid Nova" name and operate unchallenged as Nova once more.[18]

New Warriors 042-23

Nova Corps

In an encounter with Garthan Saal: Supernova, Rich 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 controlled by the Worldmind. Although his powers were increased, Rich once again became just one of many members of the Nova Corps. With Xandar now under the protection of the Shi'ar Empire, Nova had bosses to answer to as a Corpsman.[19][20]

Nova had difficulty in maintaining his duties as both a member of the Nova Corps and the New Warriors. He met an alternate reality Nova, "Nova O:O," who helped Rich develop his powers.[21] He also saved the Earth from destruction by preventing the "Deathstorm" bomb from going off.[22] Dealing with Deathstorm meant ignoring a call by the Nova Corps, however, and so Richard was stripped of his powers for dereliction of duties. His power was given to Garthan Saal, who came to Earth as Nova in his place.[23]

After several months as a powerless associate of the New Warriors, Rich and Saal confronted the Dire Wraith queen Volx, who fatally wounded Saal. The Xandarian passed his powers on to Rich, just as Rhomann Dey once did, and Richard Rider became Nova once more.[24]


From the first time they met,[14] it was clear that Richard 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, Rich was there for her, not caring about her change in appearance. Later, Rich 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 Rich's support, but he turned away from her because of his own personal problems. Rich later became jealous of Nita's relationship with Johnny Storm (the Human Torch), and almost began his own relationship with Mickey Musashi (Turbo).[citation needed]
Nova Vol 4 1 Textless


Main article: Annihilation

Most of the Nova Corps and Nu Xandar had been destroyed by the Annihilation Wave. Richard now contained the Worldmind, giving him substantially increased power in order to battle the threat. However, it is not known how long he could contain the Worldmind. Drax had offered to assist him.

Later, 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 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.[citation needed]

205 days after Annihilation Day, Richard Rider formed an army, the United Front, to oppose the Annihilation Wave. His land-based army included Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Ronan the Accuser and Starlord (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 as they could gaining small victories here and there. Other allies joined the United Front like Super Skrull and Phyla-Vell. The Front was made up of hundreds of species all fighting to stop the Wave.[citation needed]

After months of fighting, Nova finally confronted Annihilus and the two began a fierce battle. Phyla-Vell attempted to join but finds 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, forcing his hand down Annihilus' throat and tearing out his insides, yelling "This is for the Nova Corps!!". Both Annihilus and Nova slumped to the ground as Nova looked up to see the veiled figures of Thanos and Lady Death looking over him and smiling. Nova told them "Better luck next time".[citation needed]

The war was over, Annihilus' forces were defeated and treaties were signed. Ronan now Emperor of the Kree offered to make Nova an honorary Kree. Nova was left debating his future and wondered if he should return home to Earth.[citation needed]

Post Annihilation/Civil War

Main article: Civil War

Richard and Worldmind went to maintain the duties of the Nova Corps by himself but got 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.[25]

Richard Rider (Earth-616) and Anthony Stark (Earth-616) from Nova Vol 4 2 001

Meeting with Iron Man

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. steps 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, current Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., recognized him. On the Helicarrier, they both talked about their respective wars that they've fought. Iron Man asks him to register with the Initiative, stating that him being a New Warrior and displaying unmatched discipline and responsibility, which the Initiative was striving for in their super humans, could revise the public's current issues about super humans and redeem the New Warriors. Rider asks for 24 hours before he makes 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, Worldmind secretly took over his body, frightening his parents. By morning, he decides to show Worldmind his hometown, when he is attacked by Diamondhead, who had been waiting since Stamford for him to return. He manages to subdue him but after turning his foe in to the police, he is confronted by Thunderbolts, the government's unregistered superhuman hunters.[26]

The fight was shortly stopped by Iron Man, and he was given a short tour of Richard's old school, where they debated the different ideologies between common purposes and abuse of powers. When he returned home, Richard'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 just didn't know what to do. Penance, revealing himself as Robbie Baldwin, came to his house, and urged him to register, to make things better, but Richard thought that his world had gone insane. Saying his goodbyes to Penance and his parents he eventually went back to his Nova Corps duties.[27]

Annihilation Conquest

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.[citation needed]

Flung to 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 sneaked on board the ship and infected Rider with the Phalanx transmode virus, accelerating his recovery and making him a Select.[citation needed]

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 incapacitates him, she hesitates 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.[citation needed]

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 3's equivalent of the Avengers, who is 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 follow him.[citation needed]

Eventually arriving on Kvch, home planet of the Technarchy, Rider was able to enlist the help of the mutant Warlock and his 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.[citation needed]

Post Annihilation Conquest

After the Phalanx conquest, Rider helped Starlord to start the Guardians of the Galaxy, before he went back to his normal Nova duties. He arrived on a planet 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 (Norrin Radd) 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, then he fought 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 warns Rider that Galactus doesn't spare anything twice.[citation needed]

Secret Invasion

The Skrulls lure 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 informs Rider that his people are on a religious crusade and that they are attacking Earth. Shocked, Richard immediately rushed back to Earth, taking Kl'rt with him. The original Super-Skrull hides his ally from the others by pretending to turn on him. He heads to Project Pegasus to help his brother Robbie, where he aids Darkhawk in defense of the facility. Amazingly, Project Pegasus reveals that they have restore Wendell Vaughn to life and reactivated Worldmind, who empowered the Minion drones in the complex, turning the tide of the battle. But just as a Skrull warship appears to destroy the base, it itself is destroyed by what seems to be Nova Centurions, saluting Richard as Nova Prime.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

But Rider would soon become horrified when he discovers 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.[citation needed]

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 Centurion to confirm if they are 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. [citation needed]

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. [citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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. In the end of the battle, Rider and Darkhawk return to their universe, unintentionally bringing along the former's lost girlfriend Namorita.[citation needed]

Heroic Age

Rider was called upon by Captain America (Steve Rogers) to join his covert team of Avengers as a reserve member. Unfortunately, while on his first mission to Mars, Rider became possessed by the Serpent Crown.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

Thanos Imperative

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.[citation needed]

Nova, along with other powerful cosmic beings such as the Silver Surfer, Gladiator, Ronan the Accuser, Beta Ray Bill and Quasar, 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.[citation needed]

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.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33] 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.[34]

All-New, All-Different Marvel

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.[35]

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.[36]

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.

Richard Rider (Earth-616) and the Many-Angled Ones from Nova Vol 7 6 0001

Escaping the Cancerverse

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.[37]


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.

Power Grid [46]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
* Heightened intelligence when using Worldmind


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.
Nova after absorbing Super Nova's power

Superhuman Strength: Rider is able to channel the Nova Force for the purpose of increasing his physical strength to vast levels. While the full limit isn't 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.[38] He has even stated that his best shot can destroy everything within 3 miles,[39] He was even capable of going blow for blow with the likes of Annihilus himself in combat and was able to rip him inside 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 isn't 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 aren't known, 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 millimeters.

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' ship which contained power siphoned from the destroyed energy of entire planets[40]. He was even capable of withstanding a massive omni-directional blast from an enraged Galactus at near point blank range which was so powerful it encompassed and destroyed more than 3 Solar Systems.[41]

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.[42] However, the Nova Force cannot regenerate lost limbs as Rider couldn't replace the right arm he lost from the Revenger Captain America.[33]

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, to release extremely powerful gravimetric pulses and beams, either from specific parts of his body or from his whole body surface, and powerful electromagnetic discharges that can nullify gravity. He was able to lobotomize Ego the Living Planet.[43]

Xandarian Worldmind: Aside from housing the Nova Force, Rider is 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.[44]
  • Detects nearby energy surges, including those used in teleportation.[44]
  • Can assume control of Rider's body as he sleeps.[26]
  • Access other computer systems, including heavily-protected terrestrial computer networks (such as S.H.I.E.L.D. records).[26]
  • Analyze attackers, including detecting adrenaline surges in their bodies.[27]
  • Detects approaching super-humans with energy-based powers (like Penance).[27]
  • Enables Rider to hack into satellite TV broadcasts, and transmit his voice and image to individual TV sets.[27]
  • Can protect Rider from psionic manipulation using Psi-shields.[45]


Formidable/Skilled Hand-to-Hand 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 Xandrian Worldmind and instantly gain knowledge of Xandrian hand-to-hand combat techniques which he sometimes uses in combination with his energy powers.

Strength level

While his strength limit is unknown, he is listed well above the class 100 limit.


Rider uses the Xandrian 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 isn't 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 contained 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.[3]
  • His costume's internal computer includes a music library.
  • Rider's surname was consistently misspelled "Ryder" in Rom #24.
  • Nova shares the nickname "Buckethead" with fellow Warrior Darkhawk.

Discover and Discuss


  1. Nova Vol 3 #1
  2. Thor #412
  3. 3.0 3.1 Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files #1
  4. Nova Vol 4 #23
  5. Avengers: The Initiative #28
  6. Mentioned in Nova #22. Aunt Ellen owns a beach house the Rider family visits.
  7. Nova #1
  8. 8.0 8.1 Nova #2
  9. Nova #3
  10. Nova #4
  11. Nova #25
  12. Rom #24
  13. Avengers #260-261
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 New Warriors #1
  15. Thor #411
  16. New Warriors #3
  17. New Warriors #11-13
  18. New Warriors #14-15
  19. New Warriors #40-42
  20. Nova Vol 2 #1
  21. Nova Vol 2 #4-5
  22. Nova Vol 2 #14-16
  23. Nova Vol 2 #17-18
  24. New Warriors #75
  25. Nova Vol 4 #1
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Nova Vol 4 #2
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Nova Vol 4 #3
  28. Secret Avengers #1
  29. I Am An Avenger #3
  30. Secret Avengers #4
  31. Thanos Imperative #6
  32. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 #18
  33. 33.0 33.1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 #19
  34. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 #20
  35. Nova Vol 6 #10
  36. Nova Vol 6 #11
  37. Nova Vol 7 #1-7
  38. Nova Vol 4 #14
  39. Incredible Hulks #614
  40. Nova #15
  41. Annihilation #6
  42. Nova Vol 4 #15
  43. Nova Vol 4 #25
  44. 44.0 44.1 Annihilation #2
  45. Nova Vol 4 #13
  46. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 8

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