This week saw the last issue of the current volume of Sean Ryan, Cory Smith, Andres Mossa and Albert Deschesne's Nova, which over the course of eleven issues has been a real coming-of-age story for Sam Alexander, who has grown into confident and worthy successor to the Nova name.

In the final issue, Sam finally got answers about where his powers come from, but along the way he set in motion events that returned an iconic Marvel hero to the spotlight.

Spoilers follow. Stop reading if you don't want to know what happens in Nova #11.

The issue starts with Sam Alexander in the Xandarian Worldmind, the repository for all Nova knowledge, as well as the rest place of all fallen Nova Corps members. Over the course of his conversation with the Worldmind's artificial intelligence, it becomes apparent that he is actually talking to the consciousness of Richard Rider.

 

 

Richard Rider was the first Nova introduced in Marvel Comics, and underwent a resurgence in popularity thanks to the event Annihilation. He stepped up from being a New Warrior to savior of the galaxy and one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe, but sacrificed his life alongside Star-Lord to keep Thanos at bay. Since then, Star-Lord and Thanos have both returned to life, but Richard has apparently been trapped in the Xandarian Worldmind.

In his conversation with Sam, Richard stresses the importance of the responsibility that comes with the Nova helmet, and notes that he'd make the same sacrifices again, even knowing where he'd end up. The conversation is enough to remind Sam about the importance of his heroism, and he returns to Earth with a newfound confidence about being Nova.

However, in an epilogue after the letters page, the Rider household gets an unexpected visitor when their son Richard returns, in the flesh.

 

 

It's not too much of a surprise if you've been paying attention to the solicitations, as a new Nova title by Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez launches in December, and promises the return of "CLASSIFIED." It's been clear for months that the mysterious return would be Rider, not least because his specific Nova helmet appeared in the promotional material.

How did Richard Rider escaped the Xandarian Worldmind? I guess we'll just have to wait a few months for the new Nova #1 to find out.

 

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