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Nova Reading Order (Richard Rider & Sam Alexander)

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If Nova made his first appearance in The Man Called Nova #1 (September 1976), the character originated ten years earlier by Marv Wolfman in issue #3 of his fanzine, Super Adventures.

At first, he was known as The Star, real name Denteen. He was a doctor who found a spaceship containing alien pills giving him a different superpower every five minutes. Three issues later, Wolfman and Len Wein reinvented the Star into a new hero, now a prisoner named Kraken Roo who becomes the superhero Black Nova. Black Nova’s life was short as he died in Super Adventures #9.

Black Nova was an adult wearing a black and yellow costume with 5 chest stars and a helmet antenna. There were differences alright, but no doubt that, years later, Marv Wolfman and John Romita Jr. revamped the character, with some changes to the costume and a new origin story to create Nova.

It also has to be said that Richard ‘Rich’ Rider was intended as an homage to Spider-Man (with some elements of Green Lantern). They clearly wanted to create a new character with the same essence, with his working-class origins, his tendency to banter in battle, and his inferiority complex. Though, Richard Rider was not as smart as Peter Parker, far from it, and was more of an average student

Rich was first an insecure teenager who inherited the mantle of an intergalactic Nova Centurion, became part of the Nova Corps (an intergalactic police force) and later of the New Warriors. He had to fight in a space war, experienced tragedies, loss of power, and much more.

But Richard Rider is not the only character called Nova at Marvel. There is also Samuel ‘Sam’ Alexander, who made his debut in Marvel Point One #1 (November 2011) at a point where Richard Rider was out of the picture (if we can say that). He starred in his own series beginning in 2013.

Created by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, Sam was named after Loeb’s dead son. He was a teenager living in Arizona with his family. His father was an alcoholic who talked about being a member of the Nova Corps, though Sam didn’t really believe him. It all changed when his father disappeared, discovered he was telling the truth, and put on his father’s helmet to become, in turn, a member of Nova Corps. Sam also became part of the New Warriors, the Avengers and Champions.

Let’s dive into some comics with this Nova Reading Order!

Nova Reading Order

Meet Richard Rider, the man called Nova (1976-1981)

Meet Richard Rider aka Nova. Struck by energy sent by a dying alien, Rich has inherited the mantle of an intergalactic Nova Centurion! Now, the newly-minted hero must somehow balance schoolwork, a social life and a constant string of villains including Condor, Powerhouse, Diamondhead, Blackout…and the dreaded Sphinx, who seeks a secret that Nova doesn’t even know he’s carrying! Discover his first adventures with the following collected editions!

Collected in Omnibus:

  • Nova: Richard Rider Omnibus 
    Collects Nova (1976) #1-25; Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #171; Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #12; Defenders (1972) #62-64; Marvel Two-in-One Annual (1976) #3; Fantastic Four (1961) #204-206, #208-214; Marvel Two-in-One (1974) #91; Thing (1983) #34; material from What If? (1977) #36.

You can find some of those issues in:

  • Essential Nova
    Nova (vol. 1) #1-25, Marvel Two-In-One Annual #3, The Amazing Spider-Man #171

Also collected in:

This period is concluded in Rom #24 with Richard Rider returning to Earth without his Nova powers. The character will not make any significant appearances for the next eight years…

Nova Corps

Richard Rider in New Warriors (1989-1996) and Nova Vol. 2 (1994-1995)

Following his return to Earth, Richard Rider tried to live a normal life. But he had difficulty making enough money to live and rebuild his life. After his encounter with Night Trasher, Richard joined the new superhero team New Warriors, working with Marvel Boy, Firestar, Namorita, and Speedball to fight the kinds of crime other heroes won’t touch! A few years later, Rich will also be again the star of his own title.

Collected in Omnibus

  • New Warriors Classic Omnibus Vol. 1
    Collects New Warriors (1990) #1-26, New Warriors Annual #1-2 And Avengers (1963) #341-342 — Plus Material From Thor (1966) #411-412, New Mutants Annual #7, X-Men Annual (1970) #15, X-Factor Annual #6, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26, Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12 And Web Of Spider-Man Annual #8.

    • Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus
      This event takes place after New Warriors (1990) #13. Nova appears only in a few issues. Collects Silver Surfer (1987) #34-38, 40, 44-60, Thanos Quest (1990) #1-2, Infinity Gauntlet #1-6, Cloak & Dagger (1988) #18, Spider-Man (1990) #17, Incredible Hulk (1968) #383-385, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #31-36, Quasar (1989) #26-27, Sleepwalker (1991) #7.
    • Infinity War Omnibus
      This event takes place after New Warriors (1990) #26 & Annual #2. The issues where Nova appears are indicated in bold. Collects Infinity War #1-6, Fantastic Four (1961) #366-370, Spider-Man (1990) #24, Deathlok (1991) #16, Daredevil (1964) #310, Warlock And The Infinity Watch 7-10, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme 42-47, Silver Surfer (1987) #67-69, Wonder Man (1991) #13-15, Alpha Flight (1983) #110-112, Silver Sable & The Wild Pack 4-5, Guardians Of The Galaxy (1990) #27-29, Quasar 37-40, New Warriors (1990) #27, Marc Spector: Moon Knight 41-44, Nomad (1992) #7, Sleepwalker 18, Material From Captain America (1968) #408, Alpha Flight (1983) #109, Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #108-112.
  • The New Warriors Classic Omnibus Vol. 2
    Collects New Warriors (1990) #27-53; New Warriors Annual (1991) #3-4; Night Thrasher: Four Control (1992) #1-4; X-Force (1991) #32-33; Night Thrasher (1993) #1 (A story), 11-12; Nova (1994) #6-7; New Warriors Ashcan Edition (1994) #1; material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #122, 159-163; Marvel Holiday Special (1991) #2.

    • Infinity Crusade Omnibus
      This event takes place after New Warriors (1990) #35. The issues where Nova appears are indicated in bold. Collects Infinity Crusade (1993) #1-6, Warlock Chronicles (1993) #1-5, Warlock And The Infinity Watch (1992) #18-(20)-22, Thor (1966) #463-467, Iron Man (1968) #294-295, Avengers West Coast (1989) #96-97, Darkhawk (1991) #30-31, Cage (1992) #17, Alpha Flight (1983) #124-125, 127, Marc Spector: Moon Knight (1989) #57, Silver Surfer (1987) #83-85, Deathlok (1991) #28, Material From Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #54-56, Alpha Flight (1983) #122-123, 126, Web Of Spider-Man (1985) #104-106, Silver Sable & The Wild Pack (1992) #16-17, Deathlok (1991) #29.
    • Nova Volume 2 starts after New Warriors #42 and can be read in parallel to the rest of New Warriors. The run lasted 18 issues, not available anywhere to my knowledge.
  • New Warriors Classic Omnibus Vol. 3
    Collects New Warriors (1990) #54-75; Justice: Four Balance #1-4; Nova (1994) #17-18; Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #228; Web Of Spider-Man (1985) #129; Web Of Scarlet Spider #3-4; And Material From Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #155-158 And #166-167, Venom: Along Came A Spider #1-4, And Venom: The Hunted #1-3.

Before the Omnibus, collecting The New Warriors were a little bit more complicated. But if you have old collections, here a little guide to help you:

Nova Corps

Nova Vol. 3 (1999) and The New Warriors Vol. 3 (1999-2000)

Richard Rider continues to live more adventures on Marvel, in solo or with the New Warriors, but those comic books are not collected to this date. Like before, both series can be read as companions to each other.

  • Nova (Vol. 3) #1-7.
    Only issue #7 has been collected in Venomnibus Vol. 3, as Venom guest stars in it.
  • The New Warriors (Vol. 2) #1-10
    Not collected.

Nova Corps

New Warriors, stars of a reality show (2005)

 Night Thrasher strikes a mysterious deal with a reality-TV producer, and the New Warriors move out of New York to travel across America, and help small-town residents deal with the roving villains and superhuman threats that the major super-teams are too busy to tackle! And they do that as stars of a reality tv show!

Those events will lead to the Civil War, as a fight between the New Warriors and a group of supervillains will kill 612 people. At this point, however, Nova had left the team, as he had to deal with the Annihilation War.

Nova Corps

Nova in Marvel Cosmic Saga (2004-2014)

This is a great entry point for Richard Rider! Richard Rider was a big part of the Modern Marvel Cosmic Saga launched in 2004, a massive story full of characters, crossovers, and epic battles that revitalized the outer-space universe of Marvel. This part of the Marvel Universe has already been covered on the website. So you’ll find below the omnibus covering the whole sage, as well as the collected editions covering Rich’s story. For more editions, I invite you to check the following articles:

The whole Saga in omnibus (with more than Richard Rider)

  • Annihilation Omnibus (or the previous edition)
    Collects Drax The Destroyer #1-4, Annihilation: Prologue, Annihilation: Nova #1-4, Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4, Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1-4, Annihilation: Ronan #1-4, Annihilation #1-6, Annihilation: Heralds Of Galactus #1-2 And Annihilation: Nova Corps Files.
  • Annihilation: Conquest Omnibus
    Collects Nova #1-12, Nova Annual #1, Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1, Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #1-4, Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #1-4, Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #1-4, Annihilation: Conquest #1-6, Annihilation Saga.
  • War of Kings Prelude: Road to War of Kings Omnibus
    Collects Son Of M #1-6, X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6, Silent War #1-6, Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1-4, Guardians Of The Galaxy (2008) #1-12, Nova #13-22, Nova: The Origin Of Richard Rider, War Of Kings Saga.
  • War of Kings Omnibus
    Collects Uncanny X-Men (1981) #475-486, X-Men: Emperor Vulcan (2007) #1-5, Secret Invasion: War of Kings (2009) #1, X-Men: Kingbreaker (2009) #1-4, War of Kings: Darkhawk (2009) #1-2, War of Kings: Warriors (2009) #1-2, War of Kings (2009) #1-6, War of Kings: Ascension (2009) #1-4, War of Kings: Savage World of Sakaar (2009) #1, Nova (2007) #23-28, Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #13-19, War of Kings: Who Will Rule? (2009) #1, Marvel Spotlight: War of Kings (2009) #1, material from X-Men: Divided We Stand (2008) #2
  • War of Kings Aftermath: Realm of Kings Omnibus
    Collects Realm Of Kings #1; Realm Of Kings: Inhumans #1-5; Realm Of Kings: Imperial Guard #1-5; Realm Of Kings: Son Of Hulk #1-4; Nova (vol. 4) #29-36; Guardians Of The Galaxy (vol.2) #20-25; Thanos Imperative #1-6, Ignition, Devastation; Annihilators #1-4; Annihilators: Earthfall #1-4; Thanos Sourcebook; Material From I Am An Avenger #3.

Or in trade paperback, more focused on the issues centered on Nova:

Nova Corps

Marvel Now! Introducing Sam Alexander as Nova (2012-2018)

In order to attract new readers, Marvel relaunched with a focus on newer and younger heroes. During that time, a new Nova is introduced to the readers: Sam Alexander. After he found his father’s helmet, Sam takes on the mantle of Nova and is recruited to join the revamped New Warriors. As this is a new Nova, it also serves as a new entry point!

Nova Corps

All-New, All-Different Nova (2015-2017)

Sam Alexander has still his own series and he is recruited to join the Avengers A-squad, with Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Ms. Marvel. The three heroes became close friends, and they will go to create their own team, the Champions!

After the events of Civil War II, Nova left the Avengers to continue to fight the crime with his friends in the new team the Champions. Also, Richard Rider is back in the new Nova title, sharing the spotlight with Sam.

Nova Corps

Nova in Fresh Start (2018-)

Sam Alexander continues as a member of the Champions, and the young team has its own Civil War with the Outlawed event, where a new law makes superheroes under the age of 21 outlaws.

Meanwhile, Richard Rider joins the Guardians of the Galaxy and has to prevent the next annihilation.

Sam Alexander in Marvel Fresh Start:

Richard Rider in Marvel Fresh Start:

Last Updated on December 1, 2023.

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