Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N: Nova!



is for Nova.

Debuting in 1976, Nova was an homage to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Spider-Man. A teen with working class roots, Richard Rider was chosen at random to receive the powers of Nova Prime and becomes a centurion in the "Nova Corp"...an elite, intergalactic, police force. Having been described as a cross between Spider-Man and D.C. Comics character, Green Lantern, Nova lasted twenty five issues before it was cancelled. 

As Nova, Rider's power came from the 'Nova Force' (sort of like the Green Lantern's power battery), which all Nova Primes could wield. This force gave him the powers of flight, super strength, great speed, some limited invulnerability and the ability to absorb certain kinds of energy. His uniform also allowed him to survive the rigors of space and his helmet had an array of sensory enhancing features as well as communication capabilities. 

This character, as well as the above pictured cover has some sentimental memories for me because, I remember this as being the first #1 issue of a comic I had ever bought....at thirty cents, no less! When I got into comic books, most everything had been going for, at least, a few years so when I found this issue...and saw a new character debut, I was pretty excited to get in on the ground floor.


After Nova's initial run was over, the character was brought back in the 90s as a member of Marvel's teen group, the New Warriors. Rider has grown and developed and was last seen trapped in an alternate dimension after saving the galaxy from the galactic menace known as Thanos. 

Check back tomorrow for someone you may have heard of, but might not recognize....

44 comments:

Carrie Butler said...

What? I want a uniform that allows me to survive the rigors of space! I'd float around and sing The Ballad of Serenity. "You can't take the sky from me..."

(This is why I shouldn't comment in the middle of the night.)

Samantha May said...

I was thinking the same thing as Carrie. I want to be able to just chill in space! So jealous :D

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Cool that they created a hero that was a working class teen. And that uniform is awesome.

Imogen Elvis said...

Working class teen chosen to be a superhero. Purposefully chosen. I think that's that great idea for a hero.

S.P. Bowers said...

I like the idea of a superhero being chosen instead of it just being accidental.

So, not knowing much about classic comics I have no idea if 25 issues is a long time or a short run that didn't do so well. I know some of the ones you've discussed have had many more issues but I really don't have a frame of reference. I was just curious.

Melanie Schulz said...

The first time is always the best, isn't it?

John Wiswell said...

I remember when he first lost his powers and jumped off a building to see if they'd come back and save him. That was such an outlandish idea that it's stuck with me for twenty years.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

Elizabeth Seckman said...

When I started dating my husband he had a Nova...now that car seems just a little cooler!

jaybird said...

Wow- I NEVER heard of Nova. Where are you finding all of this stuff? Awesome job Mark!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not familiar with Nova. Cool you have the first edition. Think I have the first edition of the Teen Titans.

Heather M. Gardner said...

YEAH! STAN LEE!

My 7 yr old can pick him out of all the movies!

Heather

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Some of the comic art is amazing. I loved the second image.

Whole Foods Living said...

I just have to laugh. Nova. As in "no va"..."no go"... great name for a super hero! HA! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

Christine Rains said...

Nova is a new guy to me. Looks pretty cool!

Al Diaz said...

A cool name and a cool outfit. So after being trapped, there was no word about him again?

Julie Flanders said...

How fun that you have the first edition. And how incredible that it only cost 30 cents! I don't think you can buy anything for 30 cents now.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

I have never heard of Nova...seems pretty cool. Would love to blast off into space and float around. and that invulnerability thing sounds pretty cool, too.

Amanda - The Southern UnBelle said...

Ooh, he was chosen at random? That means I still have a shot at a career in spandex that doesn't involve a stationary bike or climbing stairs to nowhere.

Mark Means said...

@Carrie: Actually, I was thinking you -should- comment in the middle of the night..especially if it's Firefly related :)

@Samantha: Not sure if I'd get claustrophobic, or not, but it'd be a heck of a view!

@Sheena: Agreed and I always thought that uniform and the helmet, especially, was pretty cool.

@Imogen: Me too :)

@S.P.: Twenty five issues isn't -bad- and, at a monthly rate, that's around two years. Some never make it even that long.

@Melanie: In this case, and back then, I thought it was awesome :)

@John: LOL...yep, I hear you there. It did the trick, though :)

@Elizabeth: Haha...yes, but could it survive the rigors of space?? :)

@jaybird: Most of these are heroes I liked/read about, when I was young. Obviously, a long time ago :)

@Alex: Well, I used to have it...I sold most of my books a few years ago.

@Heather: LOL...that's awesome. Old Smilin' Stan is still a real presence in the Marvel Universe.

@Lee: I know and that's what drew me to many books, the art. Great stuff!

@Angela: Heh...well, this one could really go! :)

@Christine: Definitely cool, for sure :)

@Al: Well, not -yet-, anyway. In comics, you can never say 'never' :)

@Julie: I know...especially since, now, comics cost $4.00.

@Rebecca: It would be quite the adventure, for sure!

Mark Means said...

@Amanda: Yes, instant buff-ness!! wouldn't that be nice?? :)

Shallee said...

Never heard of this one! Marvel is always brilliant, though.

Robin said...

Now seems like a pretty good time to just hang out in space. Like the first commenter, I'd be singing the Serenity Theme Song, too. Of course, if you could cruise through space, chances are you'd eventually find another habitable planet that had food and stuff. So, maybe things would work out for the Awesome!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

30 cents - those were the days!

Misha Gericke said...

Nova sounds really cool. I'd have given him a chance, I think.

Sherry Ellis said...

Do you still have that first issue? I bet it's worth a lot more than 30 cents!

Mina Burrows said...

I don't remember Nova. Shoot. :(

Ella said...

I want Nova back! He is cool...no I don't remember him, but love his powers~

Yeah, do you still have it? Now that would be cool ;D

Pk Hrezo said...

Poor Nova. Hate it when I get stuck in alternate dimensions.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like some super powers. Do you think if just one of those heroes were real we might have world peace.

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm not familiar with Nova, but then in terms of comic books I only knew the very popular superheroes.

Elise Fallson said...

Nova's cool. I like his glowing chest plate. :P Now you've got me wondering what O character you've got in store for us tomorrow . . .

The Golden Eagle said...

Nova sounds like a cool character! And the Nova Corp--that's an interesting idea.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

It would have been nice to see a superhero from its beginnings and watch the storyline develop. Too bad it didn't last too long.

Hey, I've been meaning to ask. Have you ever watched that Stan Lee TV series, "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" I loved that show and was so disappointed when it didn't air anymore.

Nick Wilford said...

I can imagine your little face lighting up like Nova when you got your hands on that first edition!

Mark Means said...

@Shallee: They sure are!

@Robin: These days, it sort of seems that way...I agree!

@Diane: No kidding!! Those -were- the days!

@Misha: I wish you had been in charge of Marvel, back then :)

@Sherry: No, I got rid of it years ago and can't remember if I sold it or traded it.

@Mina: Well, he was from way back, so he might have been under your radar

@Ella: He'll probably turn up sometime in the future....a lot of these characters cycle through.

@P.K: I know, me too! :)

@Susan: Possibly....or a horrible dictator...it'd be hard to tell.

@J.L.: He's on oldie, but a goodie :)

@Elise: You've probably heard of them....or even seen them t.v., at some point :)

@Golden Eagle: I agree...it's a very neat concept.

@Nancy: Actually, I loved that show. I didn't think I would (it looked sort of hokey), but after I watched the first episode, I was hooked. It was a neat premise :)

@Nick: Haha....yep, you're absolutely right :)

Shell Flower said...

That is a cool superhero to discover at the first comic. Nice. Is 1976 the year the Chevy Nova came out, too? Sometimes I think I'm a superhero stuck in an alternative dimension.

Mark Means said...

@Shell: Heh, no the Chevy came out in 1962, I think...a bit before The Man Called Nova!! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love this post, and loved Carrie's comment about floating around and singing the theme song from Firefly!

klahanie said...

Hi Mark,

It seems a shame it was cancelled after only 25 issues in its first run. I reckon those old versions would be worth a lot more than thirty cents now.

Gary :)

Manzanita said...

Mark
Pretty exciting for you to get a first edition. One of the reasons I love the A-Z is that we can gain new information about a subject that has been unfamiliar before. That is what comic books were to me, but thanks to your posts, I am looking at them in a different light. I bet it is also the art work that attracts readers and not just the biff, bang, boom. I really wish I had been introduced to them when I was young. Thanks, Mark.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I am learning a lot about comics. For one, they used to be really cheap!

Valerie said...

I love Nova!!!! His character was on that new Spider-Man cartoon, Ultimate Spider-Man.

I'm so siked I knew this one!

Hugs!

Valerie

Lisa said...

I find it amazing that even though a lot of comic heroes have powers in common, there is always a twist, or combination that no one else has! How cool that Nova continues that seeming tradition.

Melissa Bradley said...

Nova sounds very cool. Especially that suit. i'd love to travel around the universe in that thing.

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