Its been a while since I added new bits to the blog. Time being short an all. So hopefully a few updates on the way. I'll be posting one of Rich's Reports on his recent activities with Galactus, The Surfer and Harrow (That's Nova 13-15). And soon: Skrulls. Project Pegasus. Robert Rider! Yeah, the kid brother commeth. Mabe we'll meet his new girl (as mentioned in Nova 2!). But if you haven't read Starscream Prologue yet. Well here's the jist. I've always wanted to write some Nova Fan Fiction. I love SF and stuff and Nova's well suited to that so for the last year myself and a fellow Nova fan, Bill, a "across the pond" partnership (He's from the US, me a Brit, just like Abnett and Lanning!!) decided to start a project to do our own take on the Rocket. We're setting our stories in the 615, just one-step from the Marvelverse. A few differences, mainly Conquest and the Phalanx never happened and other Nova characters are slightly tweaked as Annihilation lasted 2 years, not just under a year, in the 615 so here Rich is 26 years old, older, not necessarily wiser and still in control of the Nova Force...well for the moment. The first part of STARSCREAM, is set in the "not too distant future"; a future determined by what events happen in STARSCREAM and the other stories that I and Bill are writing. They include THIRDFALL which is the definitve take on what really happened when Xandar was overrun by the Wave under Annihilus' banner, featurng the return of Queen Adora is sexy armour! There's then UNITED FRONT and the GURELLIA WAR which chart Rich's United Front days as he battles Annihilus' forces with appearences of a lot of old Nova chracters! In the future there's a BROOD tale in the works. Life on Hala. And the Rise of Xandar! And behind all this a deadly enemy and Celestials! Comments welcome at any time. Oh: a warning. Some of what we're writing is a bit more mature so the un-cut versions will only be available at the NOVAVERSE 615 blog at Livejournal. However for a taste I'm publishing the first few chapters of Starscream here to get you in the mood!!
By DB Nova is property of Marvel Comics Novaverse615 created by BNB
Warning PG Rated
The Pillars of Creation. Beyond the Spiral Arm of the Milky Way.
The not too distant future.
There were fifty thousand voices in my head; courtesy of my direct neural interface. It's still an unsettling experience. I carried the Worldmind inside my head for nearly three years; far longer than the Gestalt ever wanted and far longer than I'd originally agreed. At least Worldmind utilized its consensus filter to communicate with me with one coherent voice which sounded like Ian MacKellan. I once asked how many separate personalities the super-computer's class-g collective matrix held. Worldmind said it was just under fifty million but that didn't take into account all the info it held on the known universe. So of course I asked how much that was and it replied its present storage capacity was one tredecillion; that's one followed by forty-two zeroes in case you want to know. With the interface, which I'd christened Xander, it’s a question of concentration. I've gotta focus all the time, stay sharp and keep the psionic babbling down to a minimum. If I don't then it’s like having the entire fan base for the Jets screaming all at once because the home team is losing. Hearing the roar occasionally isn't bad but just imagine having that echoing in your mind, looping over an' over again. It'd drive anyone insane eventually. Of course that was the constant risk of keeping the whole Nova Force/Worldmind combo inside me. Inevitably, even with the Worldmind keeping everything in-check, the Force would've saturated my neurons an' flash-fired them, making me go gaga. So in the end, after constant badgering by Worldmind and having to face up to the present crisis, I opted for an upgrade. So far everything's been swell. Xander's more pleasant and easy goin' to work with, should be because I got to choose which personality engram to base its core program around. And I chose Tom Cruise because I liked Top Gun. With Xander, I can tune the babbling: tone it down to make it bearable when the Interface is on. Even when it's off, it’ll always be there; ticking away in the background of my mind. Its also acts as my access to Worldmind's extensive database and several dozen cool radio and teevee channels to boot, that's when I'm in the home system. I had to concentrate hard now, ignore what was happening around me for a moment and filter out from the neural back-wash which "voices" were the most important. Concentrate. There! I locked-onto the minds of my six Battalion Captains, pin-pointed their locations and opened my sub-etheric link (scramble band). I gave them a series of four sharp beeps to get their attention. Their faces appeared on my visor, each one in six separate windows while the central display continued to monitor the front an' what was happening across the pond. Hybelia. Quill. Vaughn. Ronan. Stark. ....and I kept forgetting the name of my sixth; probably because his true name was so farking unpronouncible! Dru was also there. She was my framii-charm. And luck was what I needed. They looked at me and waited. Each of them had determined expressions on their faces.
Hybelia's gold and black armour reflected the reddish/green after-glow of the towering columns of cold gas and dust that spurted from the parent nebula. It was a spectacular sight that would soon be witness to one hell of a fight. I just hoped it would see our side achieve victory, but the odds were variable to say the least. Hybelia had proven himself to be a worthy member of our little band though his appointment to the Corps had been, to put it mildly, a major debating point. Peter thought I’d gone la la. They were war-criminals, fugitives from the Negative Zone. They committed acts of genocide under Annihilus banner. Kril cornered Hybelia on Omina Prime, deep inside the Ceded Territories. Kril assumed Hybelia was subjugating the population under Ravenous’ stranglehold. Turned out he was trying to liberate them. Kril gave them a warning, apparently using one of my more florid remarks as a means of keep them in check. When Hybelia ran into Consortium forces on Proycon Five, he’d fought them to a standstill. He was the only survivor of the massacre. He limped his way to our frontline, near death. I gave him sanctuary. Peter though he should been left to die, as he put it “a eye for an eye”. I pointed out that if Kril had given him a chance, then I would too. Besides, he had important tactical data on enemy movements and numbers; alive he could tell us what we needed to know. Dead; he’d be no use to anyone. Hybelia had undergone his rite of repentance and he now stood with me acting as my fourth hand. The Voltran had proven himself to be an effective B.C. and that to me was more than enough. Wendell was, I suspected, still thinking about his resurrection though from what he told me he's gone though it several times already. There's always a period of re-adjustment when you come back from the dead, or wherever he'd been. He was simply glad to be back though he didn't expect to be thrown into the deep end so quickly. Then again none of us did but that's the universe for you. It doesn't "page" you every time the next crisis is around the corner, or what kinda major-league disaster is gonna upset the cosmic apple-cart. If we did know; well life would be farking dull! Ronan looked tired. An' that was something of a rarity. I could see bags around his eyes. He'd been on the front line repeatedly during the Wave War; living' up to his Kree heritage, rousing the Kree battalions when pressing forward to engage the enemy an' ensure swift retreat to minimise casualties...and he'd done the same thing here. War was what the Kree were bred to do. They'd almost lost their purpose of existence thanks to the bugs but Ronan had, in the intervening years, fanned the flames once more. I once joked with Peter that when Terrans want to try and get some sleep they often count sheep jumping over a fence to make then drowsy. I suspected the Kree equivalent was shooting Skrulls through the head. We both laughed and then realized it was probably true. I'd visited the Hala Archives several times an' seen what Ronan had done in the past. My "brother" had more blood on his hands than I'd ever suspected. He was a wild-card; who'd fought the Fantastic Four and Avengers to a stand-still and yet to the Kree he was their adorned hero, now Emperor. Ronan was a valued ally but even he had limits. I still remembered how he flash-fired those Fiyeroians when they threatened to pull out from the United Front. He said it was a necessary act. I though it was $%%£ but he'd stood by it, I reluctantly supported it, and he an' K'lrt had joined forces; a Skrull and Kree, working together to overthrown an empire in chains. Who'd have thought that a Skrull and Kree would share the same room space? Not me. I’ve heard that they long since become drinking buddies. All that Xanth they consume; no wonder Ronan’s got bags under his eyes… And what of Peter? I still can't get over looking at him without his cybernetic implants. He opted for a neural interface like mine long before I'd contemplated having a Xandarian/Kree symbiotic core interface spliced into my own pre-frontal lobe. The girls on Hala loved his new looks. Probably why he decided to open that bar. He'd kept bragging to me that he was keeping score as to how many Kree he could sleep with in one Kree year; that's six hundred and eighty nine days if you really wanna know. He'd kept edging me to join in but I'd refused. Besides I had my own personal relationships to keep me pre-occupied. Well, one relationship nowadays. Dru looked weary too. She'd was ensuring that Medicom were keeping our soldiers on the line. I'd hadn't spent an evening with Dru for three weeks. Her life evolved around broken limbs; cloned body parts and pumping plasma into shattered bodies to keep them stable. Medicom had been moved back into geo-stationary orbit around Orienta so I'd only seen her face on my HUD. Her red auburn hair was almost as short as mine. Her face often showed signs of stress but every so often she'd flash a smile; her smile was so infectious. If there was one reason to ensure we won today was so that I could look forward to spending the night with Dru. Stark's face I couldn't read. His face, his entire body for that matter, was concealed beneath a second skin of state-of-the-art armour composed of crystallized iron, enhanced by magnetic fields over several layers of a poly titanium/ admantiumn composite. Well, that was Worldmind's description of Stark's tin-suit. I couldn't see his eyes; they were hidden behind two glowing force fields that looked like two square stars. He hadn't taken off his armour since he arrived from Sol Three several days ago. Well, not any time he'd been in my company, or anyone else’s for that matter. I wonder how he dealt with coping with those awkward bodily acts that we have to occasionally go an' do. Maybe he kept a bottle inside his suit, just in case, an no I don't mean a bottle of Jack Daniels. As for, well what was his name? Still can't pronounce it, let alone figure out what he/she/it was feeling cause there was still no way I could read any emotion on that face either. All I knew for sure was that he'd been an asset and that was enough. Before I spoke I glanced at the central display an' called up the long-range field array. It was a rotating octagonal grid divided into squares. Scattered on either end of the grid were red an' blue dots. Our troops were shaded blue, the enemy in red. If a kid looked at the display he'd think I was playing battleships, except when this game took place real lives were at risk, not imaginary ones. Both fleets had been gathering for several weeks. When you see all those fancy sci-fi war films, or comics, they often show ships "jumping" in tandem when they dive into hyperspace or whatever kinda prop they use to travel from one point in space to another. In reality, that used to be quite impossible. You see Nav-Coms are good but they're not brilliant. Chances are if one vessel makes one transitional jump from point a to b; another ship may not make the same jump to the exact same location the first ship arrived at. As such individual fleet vessels, no matter what kinda purpose they served, military or commercial, could be scattered over several light-years and would take weeks, even months to rendezvous together. On top of that, Einstein, that nutty professor with the weird hairdo, threw an extra spanner into the works; Time. Not only could vessels end up nowhere near each other; chances were they'd end up in different time periods. Nothing great I might add. Maybe a few hours into the future or several days into the past; in other words they had the potentiality to arrive before they'd left! Seriously! As time passed, advances in Nav-Com technology got around the fundamental flaws of translocation. Kree and Skrulls made the initial breakthroughs cause if they hadn't they'd would have been waging a forth dimensional war with no side ever hitting one of the other's ships. It would have been a war in slow-motion; by the time any side could've declared a victory their entire planetary economies would've collapsed, or their respective governments could've declared a truce or their home worlds would've ceased to exist because Galactus decided to have a take-away. Shi'ar got around the issue by creating fixed translocation points in key quadrants; stargates to you. More often than not, Kree, Skrull, even us Terrans, used them for their own purposes; intergalactic highways, hitching a ride to make carefully calculated and more precise jumps into enemy territories, or where less developed races could be conquered. The Shi'ar should've charged. They would have made a ££$% fortune! Xandarians got around the problem because Novas could generate their own gravemetric wormholes by using the Nova Force to "punch" through phasic-space and create link-nodes between designated co-ordinates, aided by a computer whose thought-processes boarded on the magical. Modern space-faring vessels had done the same; they called it lynch-pinning. However reliance on the Worldmind could've been a fatal flaw so Novas were trained to navigate; just like sailors on the open sea, they learned to navigate by the stars an constellations, recognizing the patterns and comparing them to known universal models. These days I know how to travel from Earth to Hala in less than twelve minutes without blinking; not bad for a kid that used to get lost every time he was sent on a errand by my Mom to take books back to the library. I had all of this data crammed into my brain when I underwent full emersion subliminal training just before I took on the role of Commander of the United Front. I'd never had proper training before. Everything I'd learned; fighting, using my powers, I'd done myself. Practice they say makes a better hero. Maybe if I'd become an Avenger in Training could've helped. Cap did offer once an' foolishly I'd never took up his offer. Nova recruits were given basic subliminal exercises during their time at the academy; they'd learned not only combat techniques, defence, but all kinda Xandarian stuff. Music. Art. History. Worldmind didn't think I could cope with the full deal; that my poor Terran brain would've short-circuited or blown up. But I had insisted. I needed an edge against Annihilus and the Wave. So it agreed. It even recruited a three-dimensional archetype of Rhoman Dey, to give me extra lessons, that was in-between harsher regimes by Drax. But I proved Worldmind wrong. How I did what I did was/is still a miracle considering I was the kid who failed his mid-terms and later flunked any chance of going to college because I'd been too busy playing superhero. Perhaps if I'd had a super-computer in my head when I first became Nova, maybe I would' ve been the one with a top position at NASA; not Rob. The rest, as they say, is history. But future history was on the line. Today we'd all know what kinda future lay ahead. Separating each of the fronts was a zone some ten light-years across. The enemy was still there; protecting the nebula. Their numbers swelling, regrouping just on the other side of the vast twisting spires of hydrogen, sulphur and oxygen. I could see their huge immense vessels; ebon, living warships armed with enough combined firepower to annihilate a billion stars if they wanted to. Their generals were well behind, probably deciding which way to force our hand. They had over two-hundred billion troops. But if they had their way, if/when their doomsday device was switched on, we'd really be in the shit. No one could miss it; a vast ring with one quarter missing measuring a thousand kilometres across made from the very stuff that the nebula was composed of. It was still under-construction. It lacked power. If Worldmind was correct (and I'd learned to respect its sage advice, rather than spurn it these-days), and it was, what the consensus had analysed its function to be, well let's say things would get bad. Really bad. While it was incomplete we had a chance to stop this mess here an' now. I just hoped luck was on our side today. I could also see Promethian. I couldn't still believe he existed at all though considering what I've seen an' been though since I got my powers; well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. He hovered a light-year in front of the enemy forward line, arms folded defiantly across his chest, his gold and black suit that mirrored my own mocked everything I stood for. I wondered what he was thinking. Whether our thoughts were the same? I had to make a decision about him, because while he remained on the other side he was an important cog in their war machine. I had to take him out. That was my priority in the battle to come. My cross to bear. I also noted that the lines of my forces were also in the process of forming rank. Six Groups; each containing fifty thousand soldiers. Kree. Spartoi. The race whose name I couldn't pronounce and the last of the fabled Xandarians. The Skrulls were no longer in any capability to aid us but at least the Spaceknights were here. They had been invaluable; after all they knew the enemy better than any of us, well had, until it turned out things were far more complicated than we all first assumed. At least during the Annihilation War it was a clear definition of who the enemy was after his forces had munched their way through several systems. But then again when you're a universal maniac, okay, correction: a trans-universal maniac you tend to announce your intentions in the loudest way possible. Not that what we thought Anni was actually up to turned out to be what he was really up to. It took a psychic to spill the beans and another megalomaniac to try an turn the tide but his own history got the better of him before he could do us all a favour and put an end to the conflict early on. Luckily, in the end the final coup-de-grace was down to yours truly. And I beat the odds and won. Praise aside, many good people lost their lives during the Annihilation war; things were never gonna be the same again but it didn't stop the most ardent of races trying to rebuild. But now everything was at risk again, just as it had been last year and here I am right in the thick of it again. Lucky Me! I'd thought the enemy we've been fighting for a year now had followed the same sorta route-map as Anni. They'd lead us astray; sent us down dead ends while making their moves elsewhere. Just like Anni. A lot of people I cared about have died because of their actions. Not just people. Entire planets. But then, just as you think you've figured them out, they threw a curveball. Several curveballs. Suddenly, it’s not just a trans-universal war. We realized it’s a multi-universal war. Other dimensions ended up getting pulled into this. Some had been allies of the enemy right from the start; keeping a low-profile till they were needed. Others have deliberated taking up arms and coming over to our side. We're still waiting for an answer. Whatever, one thing became clear as time elapsed; they'd been planning things for a hell of a long time. Now I've drawn a line. Let’s see if they'll cross it.
Mahmud Asrar, who comes from Turkey, is the excellent artist who recently illustrated the "past" sequences in Nova Annual 1. It was Asrar's first commercial work for Marvel, his most well known comic is Dynamo 5. Anyway Mahmud has a gallery at Deviant Art (I do too) and it has a link to his blog..so go and check it out and see a good selection of stellar art!The link is http://www.mahmudasrar.com/
You'll recall one of the questions I asked in a recent poll was "Muscular or Slim?" Every artist has their own particular preference of the definitive superhero body. So as a bit of fun, I did the above illustration to while away my time during a recent bout of flu. Could you imagine superheroes competing in Mr Universe? Nova would win the Under 25 catagory easily with a physique like that.
...and in case you think I've gone off the loop, above is a New Warriors piece by Darrick Robertson for one of the Marvel Swinsuit Specials. You figure out why Rich is smiling.....
Above are some of the more "abstract" and "ususual" takes fan artists have done with the Human Rocket. I especially like the last one entitled "Novacaine": next time you want to visit a dentist and have a painful tooth taken out; just get the dentist to call the Rocket to take your head "clean off"; that way you won't feel a thing! Also like the rare Ko-Rel piece. More soon.
Okay. Big Thank you to those that participated in my Nova Polls. The results of the three closed polls are as follows: Preference of Nova Artist to take over after Petellier moves to Guardians is 50% Wellington Alves and 40% Andrea Divito. Wellington is pencilling issues 13-15 for the upcoming Silver Surfer/Galactus arc! 41% prefer Nova to have a traditional Superhero "muscular physique" (Sal Buscema varient) while 38% prefer a slim but lean look. 69% of you prefer Nova to be a Lone Ranger while 30% want him to become leader of the Nova Corps. Well if the events in Nova Annual 1 come true, we only have to wait till Rich turns 25 (he's 24 if Current Nova chronolongy conjecture is correct) to see if he and Worldmind reform the Corps on Nu-Xandar but for now Nova as a solo force of good is your prefered choice! Okay two new polls: Which is your favourite Nova uniform. The classic John Buscema design or the Scott Kolins Annihilaion revamp? And with the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy in May, do you want Nova to be a member, reservist or just lend a hand as/when he's got a free moment? Vote today!
The above was done by a very tallented artist called Arley Tucker who posted some of his work at CBR. I decided to look at his other site at Devient Art and loved his stuff so I asked him to do a Nova piece! I've asked Arley to do a cover to one of the Nova Fan-Fiction stories I and few Nova Fans are doing. I hope he does as he's excellent' wotk reminds a lot of Michael Turner. Anyway visit his blog at http://www.theeyeofcomics.blogspot.com/
New Nova Fan Michael Bond has created a new Nova Forum. Looks good and compliments my own blog so as I'm a gent I've given him a plug. One thing about Nova thesedays; the amount of new sites, forums, blogs and such that feature Rich in many a country are popping up everywhere. Adding to the established favourites such as Nova Prime Page, where incidently you can now download Rocket Boosters; the 30th Anniversary Nova Zine I contributed to with a 10 page comic strip tied to Annihilation. Its FREE, In PDF format. Get a copy today in time for the Annual this Wednesday!
Check a splash page for the upcoming Nova Annual: the classic costume makes another welcome reappearence after Nova 7! The upcoming annual, the character's first, ties directly into the ongoing Phallax/Conquest arc and promises to show Nova's origins to new readers as well allow us old Novaphiles to relive those golden days from the 70's. The Annual goes on sale in February.
Thanks to participating in the Nova/Gamora Poll. From the results it seems it's pretty level where your loyalities lie whether you like Rich still having the hots for Gamora, or just being close friends (yeah would you trust a sexy green chick with a knife at your back?) or just a lot of fear and lothing! We'll find out as the relationship will be explored further during 2008! The other polls are still online; take part and I'll come up with a few more during February.
Okay the bad news. Despite a lot of good support from fans, clearly indicated in the poll, Paul Pelletier is off Nova to draw the new ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy! Bummer! So we're back to square one; will Nova ever have a regular art team that can last a full 12 issues or are we going to have different artists on different story arcs? Bill Rosemann hinted in Annihilation week that Wellington Alves will be returning but would he make a good regular? I think so; he draws a good Nova, very dynamic and a very sexy Gamora! But who would you really prefer? Take part in the latest poll today!
Like any hero, Nova has his admirers in the fan-art base. Some are convention sketches, others here are ones done by amateur artists. Here's a few that I found on the net. Incidently the photo-generated one is one of mine.
Verbal Log: Nova Corps Operative 11249-443961 Rider. Richard: LOG ENTRY 10/08: VORE
Okay. Put simply folks I'm in trouble. Really big trouble. Of course that's nothing new to me. I get into a lot of trouble all the times ever since I got these freaky powers but at the moment I'm in a "life and death" kinda situation; the worse kinda trouble there is...and just to make sure it got even worse my ex decides to show up outta blue. I'd left Knowhere (big floating Celestial head at the edge of the Universe, really weird!) and Cosmo (good dog, hope to see him again one day soon, I hope) behind and headed out to Kvch; home of the Technarchy. I hope when I get there I'll find a way to get rid of this damm virus that's slowly taking me over. I'd made good progress when suddenly I found myself somewhere else...and I wasn't alone. I was with her. And she was as much suprised to see me as I was suprised to see her! We'd gazed into each others eyes for about a mili-second; then the next thing we're at each other's throats! She's still Select and she's out for my blood! As she tries to stab me with her Godblade, I shout to her to remember the last thing that passed in her mind; we're both somewhere very strange and sureal and even I'm not sure how I got here. Maybe she knows but her bloodlust is warping her priorities. I summon a phased pulse and hold the energies at her throat as she's intent on stabbing me with that knife. I threaten to blast her head off and she tells me she was in the extradimensional vortex. She and Drax had caught up with me and they were about to take me on when we'd ended up here...but where the heck are we? I ask Worldmind but even he doesn't know; its too busy keeping the virus in check to perform a detailed scan of our surroundings. So for now, I tell Gamora that it's best we work together. An uneasy truce at best. I don't trust her. She doesn't trust me. It'll do for now. We come across another lifeform; a Voidnaut. It's injured, ensnared by the strange formations all around us. It's barely alive. Its vessel and the rest of its crew were also taken unexpetently. It's frightened. As I free it, Gamora senses danger. Then.. These things come at us in all directions, globs of multi-colored goo and protoplasm. They attack the Voidnaut. I try to help but Gamora stops me; the globs are eating it. The things turn towards us. I pick Gamora up; she angry and demands I put her down but I tell her what she'd prefer;staying alive or going the same way as the Voidnaut. I put a good amount of distance between the globs and a very ungrateful Gamora pushes me away. She calls me a moron and shouts that she can take care of herself. Worldmind still doesn't know where we are. I need to stop and rest. The virus is stronger now and sapping my strength. Gamora senses it, knows it. She says I'd be better off just letting it consume me and become a Select once more but I push her away. I won't become a monster, not again! I tell I remember what she did, how she used that blade to kill poor Ko. Gamora isn't buying it. She isn't repentant, calls Ko worthless. She shouts back and tells me that if I was still Select I'd done the same. That's hurts a lot. Cause I know she's right. I try and reason with her, tell her that's she's a warrior, not a killer; that the virus is making her a monster. But she looks away and tells me that she's always been a killer. Its in her blood, her nature. I then remember why I left her. The last days of the war I'd found out Kree soldiers loyal to House Fiyero were planning to betray the United Front. I'd asked her to interrogate the prisioners. Instead she killed them in cold blood. All one hundred and thirty nine of them. It made me sick. So sick I made sure that I kept as far away from her as I could. I'd lover her. I'd trusted her. And she told me that that I should never had trusted her, not one moment. The things came back and we were on the run again.Worldmind implored that I should leave Gamora behind to die. Ain't my way. I saw this big swirling vortex ahead and not even hestiating, not knowing what dangers were on the other side, we both plunged into it. I now felt sick, mentally, physically. Even more weak. Gamora shouted at me that the virus was killing me. If I only gave into it..I'd stay alive. I won't. She tells me I'm stubborn. Got that right. Then she tells me, tear in her eye that she too stayed away from me. She hated herself, hated the fact that she's a killer and that she loved me and didn't want me to die. I try to beleive her. I'm so farking confused. She tells me to give in. To stay alive. She begs me to. And then it's quiet. Worldmind tells me that its figured out where we are. Inside a Vore; a transdimensional predator and that the globs are its unborn children. We're inside the mother's birthing canal and she's about to give birth. We're nothing but food, sustanace for her babies. I enclose myself and Gamora in a gravity bubble and we're thrown out of the Vore back into the interdimensional flux. We both watch as the Vore gives birth.She tells me that we're safe She smiles. I can feel her blade behind my back and I stun her. As I hold her unconscious body in my hands I tell her quiety, sadly, that I never trusted her either. I find Drax and leave Gamora with her and head towards Kvch. Drax shouts my name; I don't think its the last time I'll see them. But I'm even in worse shape. The virus is out of control. I've got two hours left before the virus regains control of me or I die. I hope I can find a way out of this.. I really do....
Okay apart from Nova I do like a lot of other Marvel heroes so ocasionally I'll make a mention of my other favourites from time to time. First up is Wendell Vaughn aka Quasar. Presently the title of Quasar is in the hands of one Phyla Vell (cloned Daughter of Captain Mar-Vell..will be find out now that he's back from the dead..or hasn't died...hmmm time anomalies..don't you love to hate em?) whose appearing in Conquest alongside lover Moondragon (One Heather Douglas, Avenger, Defender, one evil Dragon of the Moon and was turned into a dragon before dying in Conquest 3) and Starlord. Wendell himself died in Annihilation Nova 4 at the hands of Annihilus; a Marvel death that has been one of the most talked about on-going arguments on many a message board, notably by the fans who run the Quantum Zone. I myself like both Phyla and Wendell so I'm strictly netural on this; boy it's tough keeping the Wendell/Vell supporters apart. They're like the Jets and Giants or Manchester United and City fans!
I first saw Wendell in his role as Head of Security at Project Pegasus in Marvel Two-In-One; a regular team-up book with the Fantastic Four's Thing in the 70/80's. After becoming one with the Universe thanks to cryptic entity Eon, Quasar was defined by Mark Gruenwald in an ongoing series which lasted 60 issues..a feat which I hope Nova will do! Wendell is a good guy doing good deeds aided by the powerful Quantum Bands. He has a very supportive fan base who last year joined in following Nova's own exploits since he "died". It's rumored that Wendell will make an appearence in the upcoming Nova Annual. I hope he does. Rich and Wendell would have worked well together! The Quantum Zone will be releasing their first zine at the end of the month from their website. I've contributed to it by supplying the above drawing. I hope it goes well. Look for it soon.
This Year Nova gets an Action Figure! Here he is. Cute ain't he? Nova features in Marvel Legends and comes out end of January (give or take). This is the second time Nova has had a figure (named Supernova previously as to distinguish Rich from then Galactus Herald, Frankie Raye, aka Nova!). But I was a bit disappointed to see Rich in the classic costume. Considering his new found status I WANT ANNIHILATION ARMOUR NOVA! I WANT GLOWING ROUNDELS ON CHEST!! I WANT GLOWING EYES!!! AND I WANT HIM TO TALK! For example he could say "Hey I killed Annihilus and saved the £$%^ Universe! What have you been doing lately Iron Dick?!" Oh by the way congrats to Marvel for naming Nova in their Top Ten heroes for 2007. He got to position 4! Guess who got the top spot? A hint: He's got a mega-budget film coming out in the Summer, caused a Civil War and drinks a lot when he gets really depressed....
And also out, though I had one since August here in the UK, Eaglemoss' Nova lead figurine (don't suck on it kids!!) And I'm glad he's wearing the Annihilation Armor! Now only if we can have a 12 inch poseable figure...then I'll be happy. ALL NOVA FANS WILL BE HAPPY! Get the hint Marvel and Bowen Studios???
That right folks! Nova's getting an Annual! About bloody time Marvel! It's only taken, well since 1976!The Annual (technically Nova 10.5) comes out on February 11th and continues the Phalanx/Conquest arc since Nova 4. Set after the events of Nova 10, Rich is in dire circumstances. The technophage is out of control and if he doesn't find a cure he'll revert back to being a Select, or worse! What happens in the Annual is still open to full debate but what we do know is that the Annual will be Abnett and Lanning's attempt to enlighten new Nova fans to the humble origins of the Human Rocket; in fact the cover by Nic Klien is a homage to the cover on Nova 1 from 1976! I won't spoil Nova's origin here but I'm gonna be very keen to see how DNA along with artists Wellington Alves and Mahmud Asrar (Dynamo 5) , bring up to date a very traditional superhero origin tale for the readers of the 21st Century. The events here will contnue in Nova 11 when Paul Petellier joins as regular artist. Can't wait!
Doug Smith has kindly awarded the Nova Zone the Centurion Award for being one of a number of sites that actively support all things Human Rocket! Thank you Doug. I really appreciate this. And if you haven't visited Nova Prime Page, check it out! There's a link; click it..be entertained... Anyway Nova 10 review tomorrow: I wonder who will be the one writing it this time?
2007 has been and gone and we're six days (as I write this) into 2008. So Happy New Year! 2007 was a very good year for Rich Rider; the year than brought Nova to the attention of the masses. No longer the Marvel C-lister who had been Earthbound and plagued with obscurity, the former jock from Harry S. Trueman, native Long Islander became a true citizen of the Marvel Universe. With the destruction of the Nova Corps, Richard became the custodian of the Xandarian Legacy. With the Worldmind giving him access to an extensive database of universal knowledge and tactical know-how and with the full energies of the Nova Force at his disposal Rich became serious..he had to leave behind his teenager roots and go forth being the Man Called Nova. Leading the United Front he fought valiently alongside Drax, Gamora (his new love), former Starlord Peter Quill and ended up becoming an honorary member of the Kree. As for Annihilus; the long time foe of the Fantastic Four...well that moment Rich ripped out his guts...that was the stuff of legend. No content with that Rich, when he returned to Earth, made no excuse for the way he felt Earth's heroes had lost their way with Civil War. "I became Nova because of them, I'll stay Nova in spite of them!" he bellowed at Peter when he first heard about what was happening on Earth and to add fuel to the fire he was more than happy to put Director Stark in his place "I pulled (Annihilus) him inside out and saved the universe. What have you been doing lately Tony?" The new improved bad-ass boy from Long Island was now here to stay. Having seen what Earth had become and finding out about the deaths of his New Warriors associates after Stamford, and also alienated from his own parents, Rich said goodbye to Earth and turned his back on it; now the stars were his new home. But space is a dangerous place... From out of one fire into another: Conquest. The Phallanx took over Kree space and Rich, the hero tried his best..and lost. He nearly dies when impacting upon the enclosing barrier surrounding Kree space..and while recovering has to deputize Ko-Rel, a Kree officer trapped on a radiated world in at the edge of the empire. But then...Gamora comes back and having been made into a Select coverts Rich with a "kiss" into a villain...who ultimately ends up being partly responsible for Ko's death. Worldmind manages to get Rich's true personality back but there is still a heavy price...heavily infected with the transmode virus..Rich, now at the edge of the known Universe, his having to rely on a fractional percentage of the Nova Force, the rest keeping his deadly disease in check...if not..he will revert back to being a killer. With Gamora and Drax hot on his heels Nova is still in dire straights as we head in 2008. Nova 10 is out next week and in Feb new readers will get to read a re-telling of Nova's origin in the first ever Nova Annual! Reader wise Nova's fourth volume remains at around 32,000 readers..hopefully that figure will imrove more especially if Nova takes part in Secret Invasion, this year's mega opus featuring the shape shifting Skrulls..and Nova has histroy with the Skrullls... Marvel itself recognsed Nova's new found popularity when recently at Marvel.Com Nova was placed 4th in the top ten most popular heroes of 2007. Quite a remarkable feat! Lets hope by the end of 2008 Nova gets Position 1!
Now this is something of a taboo point with lots of fans. Namely Nova and Green Lantern; Nova Corps and Green Lantern Corps. Two very similiar fans bases following two very similiar sci-fi oriented superheroes who have been part of a quasi-military/police organizations that patrol/support their respective universes at Marvel and DC. And yet when you surf the net and the countless message boards out there, you often come across the most bitterest comments when someone dares to speak about Hal Jordan or Kyle Rayner in regards to Richard Rider, or visaversa. Now me I can't understand why that is. I freely admit I don't follow Green Lantern a lot. I did read Ganthet's Tale by John Byrne and Larry Niven a few years back and really enjoyed it. But that's about it for DC except when I used to read Flash by Mark Waid and that JLA/Avengers crossover with lovely George Perez art. Recently the GL's have had a truly exceptional arc, the Sinestro Corps saga. Okay I've seen the reviews, read the comments and seen the lovely pictures on the net, especially Ivan Reis art, but for me I just don't read GL because I'm a Nova fan foremost. But they do have so much in common perhaps I should. Maybe also GL fans should check out Nova to see what they've missed. Okay they have similiar origins, similiar concepts, etc. In the end though, despite the similarities and the obvious differences, they're still good comic characters in their own right. So as a early new year resolution I'm going to try and read a bit of GL. As is, some Nova fans have always wondered how/what would happen if Nova and Green Lantern ever met. How would they react? Would they team up against the Anti Monitor or Annihilus or just have a ego match to see who was best? Likewise what if the Corps, Green and Nova, do if they met? Would they work in some dual cosmic partnership or have a good old tussel or have a tug-of-war contest! Maybe GL and Nova fans can enlighten me. At Nova Prime, a Nova fan suggested that we do a fan-fiction tale to explore this scenario for a fasebase point of view. Maybe one day it could become a comic! If you have ideas, post them! For now because a GL fan has crossed the great divide and posted a link to my blog, I can do no less than do the same. So please visit the Green Lantern Spotlight and share a few moments with the GL brigade. I will and maybe make a few new friends in the process! Daz.
The first asks whether you all think Paul Pelletier will make a great contribution to Nova as new regular penciller after he departs from Fantastic Four? Okay we've only seen a few samples of his pencils at Newsrama but from my viewpoint Paul is a good choice to follow on from Chen and Alves. I've given the poll a longer run-time to take into account future peviews as/when they crop up so we can compare inked and coloured pages. But I'm looking forward to seeing them!
Next up an old Nova fan favourite: Should Rich stay a solo act as the Lone Ranger of the post Annihilation universe or should he take heed of the Worldmind and get the Nova Corps up and running? Comments welcome!
Lastly, a bit of artistic merit to discuss. Many male superheroes, Nova included, pendng on who is drawing them often change a hero's physicality. One minute they're muscle bound stereotypes and the next they have a more realistic swimmers build. Take Nova; Ron Frenz draws M2 Nova like he's been hitting the weights often; he's gotta have 22 inch biceps in Spidergirl 15! And yet Chen and more recently Alves have kept to a slim but still toned version. Okay there in separate universe but which do you prefer. Do you care? Let me know!
Cosmo be here, present and correct to thought-speak view of Nova 9. Nova 9 is very good comic! How you say? The bees' knees! Of course have to be fair that Nova also Good Guy cause Comarade bought me a rubber bone toy from market! Things at Knowhere have been bad! Real bad since Luminals dropped off black box with bad guy inside. Abyss is name; pity Cosmo and Comrade Nova do not know what is inside box but considering zombies walking around Knowhere and causing all £$£"! maybe Cosmo do not want to know what's inside box. As Cosmo said to Comrade Nova; saw Linda Blair film and crapped behind sofa! Truly bad thing! Masters we're happy too so Cosmo hid them in my collar for safe keeping! Clever da! Cosmo is very worried for Comrade Nova's health; he be infected by transmode virus from Phalanx..$%%£ off-spring from almight Technarchy. Nova used transmode virus to keep Abyss inside box, which keeped him in check. But not good thing! First off Cosmo knows now that Comrade Nova is now even more worried about going bad himself. Cosmo heard him screaming in sleep last night while Cosmo slept in doggie basket with new toy for company.. He is Good Guy! He needs to sort out problem fast! So to help, have sent him to Kvch to find out all about Technarchy. Maybe he can find way to cure himself of the virus but is difficult thing da? But also worried becaue beautiful green girl with big bazomas and big green guy with tattos went after him! They're bad people; killed a lot of staff in Continuum Cortex chamber! Cosmo have very bad feeling about this! Also Cosmo comment that artist Alves made me and Nova look real good! And love that Cosmo work well with two good writers Comrades Abnett and Lanning! Cosmo hopes to meet Comrade Nova soon. Maybe join Nova Corps as mascot or Chief of Security! Could work from Knowhere till it falls of edge of Universe; that be a while away but for now Cosmo keep eyes on Abyss and make sure he stays inside big box thing but have dread feeling Abyss is going to get out! Hope Comrade Nova comes back! Cosmo want to go flying again! Whoo Hooo! Rocket Style! Spaciba! Cosmo: CS Knowhere The Rip
Okay! First Question, and this is relevent to me cause its an important factor in my Nova fan Fiction project! Do you like Rich Rider having a "relationship" with Gamora, the deadlist woman in the galaxy? Now Rich, has on the whole been very "unlucky" when it comes to have a full time relationship. Part of the Rider Rotten Luck syndrome methinks!
His first love, Ginger Jaye, was his school sweetheart at Harry Trueman. Okay they shared the occasional lip synch but in the end after getting kidnapped by Doctor Sun and serving in the Xandar Skrull War, he comes home, one year later and what does Rich find: She gone and got married!
Second was Namorita Prentiss aka Namorita. They flirted on and off during their early days in the New Warriors eventually going up to full "couple" status when Namorita finds Richie only wearing his "Marky Marks!" in the Crashpad! Then, fate tries its best to ruin the relationship by having Nita go all "blue" thanks to rampant genetic genes going amok. At first, when she reunites with Rich as Kymera, she's uncertain if he'll accept her as she is now is..and he did! In the end though one Eric Larsen ruined the lovers chances of becoming a permanent item and Civil War ends Nita thanks to Nitro going kaboomb! in Stanford! The Nova/Nita affair is fondly remembered by many fans and as I said earlier endures in a number of New Warrior fan-fics; use Google to search for em!
Also during his time in New Warriors, Rich had brief liasions with one Laura Durham and later, after Nita "dumped" him, with Turbo.
In Annihilation, Rich nearly got the kind of set-up any hot blooded male would love to have; a permanent relationship with a sexy blue alien chick, in this case Samaya, A Centurian member of the Nova Corps in Annihilation Prologue. But then, as she and Nova fly through a falling spaceport that's about to crash into Xandar after Annihilus decided to have his wicked way, just after she utters that famous line "If we get though this, I'll mate with you for life!!" What happens? She looses her head! Literally! What a lost opportunity Rich!
But then along comes Gamora, green skinned like an Orion Slave girl on perpetual heat. Sultry and handles any weapon she chooses to wield. Former lover to one Adam Warlock, she an Rich have a "night of passion" on Dadelus Five and he's been seeing her on/off, though at some point while he's on Earth, she gets infected by the Transmode Virus. Bad luck? Maybe, though it doesn't stop her from trying to keep her love affair on the kitchen stove; though she stoops to go an' make Rich into a Select by giving a case of the cooties! In Nova 10, we'll see if Rich, presently 17% free of the virus, is able to keep up his guard against Gamora's sexy advances while trapped in a room aboard Knowhere. One slip and maybe like poor Samaya, he'll be the one to loose his head; in more ways than one!!
But is Gamora right for Richard? Personally, I like another Nova fan's interpretation of Rich as a new Captain Kirk; he's young, so he can afford to be choosy. In my take of Rich's timeline, we're toying on letting Gamora slide over for Rich to have a few new relatioships from time to time, and yes one of them is a blue skinned Kree called Z-Han who may have "links" to a certain Ko-Rel. But in Nova, the comic, do you think the Nova/Gamora relationship can last to the end of 2008? So have a vote and a say and let me hear your thoughts!
I've added a number of links in the sidebar, so just in case you're thinking: "huh..what the hell are these sites", here's a rough guide:
Nova Prime Page: Well check out the large post below!
The Quantum Zone: A site dedicated to Wendell Vaughn, Quasar. (No not the current one in Annihilation Conquest..long story..). This year Nova and Quasar fans have stated to share their views and appreciation on their respective "cosmic heroes" so check out the Nova and QuasarTalk forums!
NWCC: Or the New Warriors Community Conundrum. A hub for the New Warriors of which Nova was a member for a number of years!
Comic Book Resources and Marvel.Com have Forum Boards that regularly feature fan comments about Nova and all things cosmic. Check them out too!
Nova 9 comes out on the 14th December. Part 2 of Knowhere by Abnett and Lanning with even more lovely art by Marvel newcommer Wellington Alves: a star in the rising. Feature the latest and greatest new Nova character in ages: Cosmo, the Russian telepathic space dog! Check it out comrade! I'll do my review as/when I've seen and read it!
When I do get the occasional break, I often do artwork, mostly computer rendered stuff that features my favourite here in a golden helmet! Above is one of my more recent examples! I'll share a few more as/when I do them!
Okay; switching tack! Time to do a bit of publicity! Myself, alongside a few fellow "bucketheads", decided a while back that we wanted to rectify a major crime: lack of available online Nova fan fiction! To be fair, there is New Warriors fan-fiction which does feature Nova. Often stories are set after the original New Warrior's run which finished with issue 75, back in the 90's. Many of the sites have sadly vanished into internet limbo, but one site, The Marvel Mansion, at Livejournal, does endevour to carry on Nova's exploits of the original New Warriors. The stories are very neatly put together in a unique way because they're not written by one person, but several! I'd call it story chain writing: One person starts off with a paragraph, then the next one adds a few lines, then another and so on; each adding to the plot. Some of the tales are very good; the present one has the Warriors visiting Hell! A notable point is that Rich Rider's romance with Namorita; little cousin to a certain bad tempered undersea monarch, never ended cause the Warriors never died as they did in Civil War so expect a lot of snogging an the like! The link is below:
For my own Nova fan-fics; well I, and my co-writer, Bill are firmly sticking to the "present" Annihilation version Rich Rider: with a slight twist. The "twist" is that our stories, just like the New Warriors ongoing, is set in an alternative universe which we've called 615 (there's a space!). Here the events of Annihilation still happened so Rich has the full Nova Force at his disposal; he has Worldmind giving him grief/advice and also trying to make sure Rich lives to his Nova "potential". The timeline changes after the events on Earth (Nova 2-3); here Nova doesn't go to Hala and end up in Conquest; instead he heads off in a new direction altogether to face a few new challenges and enemies along the way as well as interact with new and familiar characters!
It also gives us a chance to try and "fill in the gaps!!" For example we're doing an arc to depict how Rich became the leader of the United Front and it features a character that is a firm fan favourite for many Novalites!
I'm currently half-way through writing story 1, Bill is doing his story too but we're taking time to fit this into the day jobs! If you want to check on our plot ideas or contribute a few, you can do it here or go and join NTNA at Yahoo. The link is on the sidebar or check it out with the one below! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NTNA/
For all things Nova on a fan base level; the place to go is the Nova Prime Page! Created by long time fan Doug Smith, NPP is a truly amazing place to learn everything there is to know about the Human Rocket, past, present and future! It packed with articles, fan art (including convention sketches form well known Marvel artists including Sean Chen, Joe Sinnot, etc) and synopsis on every Nova comic ever published from Nova's debut in 1976 till the present series by Abnett and Lanning!
It has extensive databases on Nova's chronology, the various uniforms he's worn, products, and up to the minute tit-bits on Nova news wise! It also has its own Yahoo group: Nova Prime which is where bucket-heads like me hanf out and chat Nova morning, noon and night. There's a link to that in the sidebar!
One thing I'll also mention is Rocket Boosters: an on-line downloadable fan-zine which celebrated Nova's 30th anniversary last year which I and several Nova fans contributed to. In all if you want to know Nova, visit NPP today and say Hi to Doug while you're there!
Well I decided to add yet another thing to my ever growing list of all things to do with Richard Rider: create a Blog about Nova! Okay, so here it is: a work in progress as I've got to learn some HTML coding (complex) but I'll give it a whirl! Anyway check back in a few days when I add a bit more content! Daz.