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First Look: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #18--The Fate of Richard Rider

What happened to Nova?

This August, the burning question will finally be answered as the shocking truth about one of the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes is revealed in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #18 – a tie-in to Original Sin! Superstar creators Brian Michael Bendis and Ed McGuinness team for the heart-stopping answer to the question on everyone’s mind:

What happened to Rich Rider?

“We have literally been dropping hints since the Guardians guest-starred in Avengers Assemble,” says Brian Michael Bendis in an interview with Marvel.com. “I have known exactly what we were doing with this from the moment I agreed to do the book, but I thought it would be best to slow burn the reveal.”

Nova, the Human Rocket – who once burned a bright streak across the Marvel Universe, gone in a flash. Side-by-side with Star-Lord, Richard Rider fought valiantly to save the universe from Thanos. Left sealed in a twisted and horrific version of our own universe, Richard Rider sacrificed everything to save us.

Now, the truth of that sacrifice will finally come to light! Thanos and Star-Lord miraculously reappeared, but Nova was nowhere to be found. The true story about what happened has remained a closely guarded secret between two bitter enemies. Now, thanks to the events of Original Sin, the truth is about to come out! What happened to Rich Rider in the Cancerverse? How did Star-Lord and Thanos escape their hellish imprisonment? And most importantly, why did they lie about it?

The explosive last stand of Rich Rider begins when Original Sin comes knocking in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #18!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #18 (JUN140622)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art & Cover by ED MCGUINNESS

75th Anniversary Variant Cover by ALEX ROSS (JUN140623)

75th Anniversary Sketch Variant by ALEX ROSS (JUN140624)

FOC – 08/04/14, On-Sale – 08/27/14

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Posted by HumanRocket

The only hints that have been giving in the GOTG book has been that what ever happened in the Cancerverse, it was so bad that even Drax doesn't want to talk about it. I think the clue Bendis is referring too is the conversation that Thanos and Quill had back in GOTG 6. It almost felt like Thanos was using what happened in the Cancerverse as the means to why the Earth and humans should have been destroyed for breaking time and space. As for Rich himself...I will be happy if they some how bring him back in some way or form. I will be angry at Quill if he betrayed his friend to save his skin, I will be okay if Rich is proven to be dead as long as Bendis gives him an honorable death. I've been really excited for these next couple of issues since it was released saying we would finally learn of Richard's faith, so can't wait and the art of Nova on that second page just looks beastly.

Posted by Ostyo

@humanrocket: Dat Art!

Also, knew you would be first to comment.

Posted by HumanRocket

@ostyo: I was in the neighborhood and thought I would drop by :)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

The only hints that have been giving in the GOTG book has been that what ever happened in the Cancerverse, it was so bad that even Drax doesn't want to talk about it. I think the clue Bendis is referring too is the conversation that Thanos and Quill had back in GOTG 6. It almost felt like Thanos was using what happened in the Cancerverse as the means to why the Earth and humans should have been destroyed for breaking time and space. As for Rich himself...I will be happy if they some how bring him back in some way or form. I will be angry at Quill if he betrayed his friend to save his skin, I will be okay if Rich is proven to be dead as long as Bendis gives him an honorable death. I've been really excited for these next couple of issues since it was released saying we would finally learn of Richard's faith, so can't wait and the art of Nova on that second page just looks beastly.

I will guarantee we won't be happy with this issue

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Posted by cameron83

@humanrocket said:

The only hints that have been giving in the GOTG book has been that what ever happened in the Cancerverse, it was so bad that even Drax doesn't want to talk about it. I think the clue Bendis is referring too is the conversation that Thanos and Quill had back in GOTG 6. It almost felt like Thanos was using what happened in the Cancerverse as the means to why the Earth and humans should have been destroyed for breaking time and space. As for Rich himself...I will be happy if they some how bring him back in some way or form. I will be angry at Quill if he betrayed his friend to save his skin, I will be okay if Rich is proven to be dead as long as Bendis gives him an honorable death. I've been really excited for these next couple of issues since it was released saying we would finally learn of Richard's faith, so can't wait and the art of Nova on that second page just looks beastly.

I will guarantee we won't be happy with this issue

That's what possibly scares me.

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Posted by HumanRocket

@jonny_anonymous said:

@humanrocket said:

The only hints that have been giving in the GOTG book has been that what ever happened in the Cancerverse, it was so bad that even Drax doesn't want to talk about it. I think the clue Bendis is referring too is the conversation that Thanos and Quill had back in GOTG 6. It almost felt like Thanos was using what happened in the Cancerverse as the means to why the Earth and humans should have been destroyed for breaking time and space. As for Rich himself...I will be happy if they some how bring him back in some way or form. I will be angry at Quill if he betrayed his friend to save his skin, I will be okay if Rich is proven to be dead as long as Bendis gives him an honorable death. I've been really excited for these next couple of issues since it was released saying we would finally learn of Richard's faith, so can't wait and the art of Nova on that second page just looks beastly.

I will guarantee we won't be happy with this issue

That's what possibly scares me.

Bendis, on his Tumblr account, did mention that fans would be sad,happy and angry (in no particular order) with the issue.

Posted by cameron83

@cameron83 said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

@humanrocket said:

The only hints that have been giving in the GOTG book has been that what ever happened in the Cancerverse, it was so bad that even Drax doesn't want to talk about it. I think the clue Bendis is referring too is the conversation that Thanos and Quill had back in GOTG 6. It almost felt like Thanos was using what happened in the Cancerverse as the means to why the Earth and humans should have been destroyed for breaking time and space. As for Rich himself...I will be happy if they some how bring him back in some way or form. I will be angry at Quill if he betrayed his friend to save his skin, I will be okay if Rich is proven to be dead as long as Bendis gives him an honorable death. I've been really excited for these next couple of issues since it was released saying we would finally learn of Richard's faith, so can't wait and the art of Nova on that second page just looks beastly.

I will guarantee we won't be happy with this issue

That's what possibly scares me.

Bendis, on his Tumblr account, did mention that fans would be sad,happy and angry (in no particular order) with the issue.

Richard Rider (especially his costume) is so damn f*cking cool and well developed,that I would be pissed if Bendis sh*ts on him. I mean,I think everything is alluding to him being dead (and permanently),but I can't guarantee that it will be good. Perhaps Quill makes some sort of deal with Thanos.....

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Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@cameron83: @humanrocket: As much as Bendis says he's had this all planned out, it's very clear he really knows nothing about any of these characters. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd never actually read any of the DnA/Annihilation comics and just had an editor read out the plot points to him.

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Posted by HumanRocket

@jonny_anonymous: It only took the first issues for me to realize that. Bendis has redone the current Star Lord and made him a pretty boy and nothing like his Annihilation incarnation.

Posted by HumanRocket

@cameron83: Go take a look at the article that was posted when the news was first released. I was happy up until I saw it was Bendis who was writing it. He's made the current Guardians a popcorn reading book, which isn't bad but also no where near as good was the book was during the post Annihilation days. I just don't want him to not butcher Richards part, I hope...I HOPE he's done his research on the character and at least come close to what Abnett did.

Edited by daredevil21134

@cameron83: @humanrocket: As much as Bendis says he's had this all planned out, it's very clear he really knows nothing about any of these characters. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd never actually read any of the DnA/Annihilation comics and just had an editor read out the plot points to him.

He's does that with just about every character he uses that are not his favorites

Posted by DatHomieSilverSurfer

I have no hope that rich is coming back. He is unnecessary to Marvel currently with Sam being the mass media version of Nova. Bendis is a hack with continuity and he will not do justice to the character.

My favorite hero :/ oh well

Posted by cameron83

I have no hope that rich is coming back. He is unnecessary to Marvel currently with Sam being the mass media version of Nova. Bendis is a hack with continuity and he will not do justice to the character.

My favorite hero :/ oh well

I wouldn't really call him unnecessary. He does have a lot of fans and development,after all.

I mean,that's like calling Cassandra Cain or Stephanie Brown unnecessary because Barbara Gordon is the mainstream Batgirl.

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Posted by HortonDrawsAWho

@jonny_anonymous: I agree with you to some extent. I feel like Marvel knew the Guardians movie was coming out, they obviously needed to throw the guardians into the spot light fairly quickly in the comic world at the onset on the Marvel NOW soft relaunch. And it was REALLY bad timing that Thanos Imperative had just happened and Star Lord was akin to dead sealed inside the cancerverse. They weighed their options, on one end you had the comic fans of Abnett's Guardians who (at the time) were a VERY small percentage of comic readers (I was one of only a couple of guys at our local comic shop that read cosmic books). And on the other end you had an easy out via them acting like Thanos Imperative never happened. They had a massive Deus Ex Machina in the end of AVX with the phoenix miss balancing the universe and yadda yadda. They figured that they needed to capitalize on guardians asap (attaching McNiven to the 1st arc) and they couldn't spend the massive amount of time needed to explain how Star Lord lived or where the hell Richard Rider was. I was very mad about this situation from the get go only because I felt like the faithful Abnett guardians fans were discarded. Marvel achieved what they wanted, Guardians is now a very high profile book and thats great but they needed to find a happy medium between the older fans and the cash cow associated with building hype for the film...

Posted by micah

Let him mentor Sam, then spin them both off into a Nova Corps book.

Posted by GodOfMischief

I'd be looking forward to this a lot more if it wasn't written by Bendis. In regards to Peter betraying Rich to save his own skin, I find it unlikely.

Posted by Primebonnick

the art man thats beautiful

Posted by daredevil21134

@micah said:

Let him mentor Sam, then spin them both off into a Nova Corps book.

would be nice

Posted by HumanRocket

@micah said:

Let him mentor Sam, then spin them both off into a Nova Corps book.

This worked with the Green Lantern books when Hal came back and Kyle was the current GL.

I'd be looking forward to this a lot more if it wasn't written by Bendis. In regards to Peter betraying Rich to save his own skin, I find it unlikely.

I want to say that I agree with you, but that conversation Peter had with Thanos back in issue 6 seems like Thanos was getting under Quill's skin. Not sure WHAT it was, but it could be something that happened in the Cancerverse.

I have no hope that rich is coming back. He is unnecessary to Marvel currently with Sam being the mass media version of Nova. Bendis is a hack with continuity and he will not do justice to the character.

My favorite hero :/ oh well

Have to disagree with you. They're a number of choices that Marvel can take with RIch IF he came back. Sam can be the cover boy and take care of all the duties of being Nova, while Richard works behind the scenes rebuilding the Nova Corps. He can be a mentor to Sam since he still figuring out the being a hero thing. Heck Marvel can also Richard into the new WorldMind for Sam to use.

Posted by micah

@humanrocket: DC has so many Lantern books. Come on Marvel give us one Nova Corps book.

Posted by DrThanos91

I'm glad they FINALLY address this for us,I have been a nova fan since I was child,I watched him grow up to become the nova prime,him become a heavy hitter and respected and when they didn't explain what happen to him and how star-lord and Thanos came back..made me pissed that they wrote him out(bendis), now if they can only explain where the hell is Quasar,Mantis and Moondragon?

also Richard should work on fixing the nova corps as nova prime,taking sam under his wing

Edited by HumanRocket

@micah: Agreed. D.C had the Green and the Red Lanterns. Marvel can have the Black and Gold helmets. Don't even mind the comparison between the Nova Corps and the Green Lantern Corps since that joke has been going for years already.

Posted by micah

@humanrocket: Don't forget they also have the Yellow Lanterns. Red Lanterns and Sinestro are really great at the moment and GL Corps is not bad either. It's about time Marvels cosmic police got back in action.

Posted by Overlander

That art looks amazing. And the colors...so good. At first glance I thought it was Pichelli & Gracia, but it's not. I might have to pick it up...just to get closure.

Posted by Ostyo

@humanrocket: Hm, I have no faith in Bendis as a writer, but maybe he'll pull off...something that is acceptable?

Posted by Spideyfan3160

@humanrocket: who would you want to right a nova corps series?

Edited by VanderSEXXX

@humanrocket: Guys I'm also wondering how Drax came back alive too. Wasn't he vaporized in the Thanos Imperative also?

I'm guessing Bendis will omit this completely (since you guys may be right Bendis didn't read any of Giffen's or Abnett's work) just to justify his current vision of the GotG. Nova Prime had an incredibly good development span after the events of Annihilation and sadly yes it looks like Bendis is planning to p*ss on Giffen's and Abnett's work to give way to his new found fans with the recent release of the GotG movie.

Bendis has also yet to explain how the hell the current Nova's powers work without the Nova Force since the Xandarian Worldmind never rebooted since the events of Thanos Imperative, and assuming that when Sam just put on his dad's helmet then "poof" he's another teenage kid with powers, the Nova force should still be around no? Cause it won't make sense if the Xandarian Worldmind dies with Rider and then Sam's helmet becomes the sole conduit of the remaining Nova force when the source of Nova's powers was the Xandarian worldmind. sigh*

Posted by HumanRocket

@vandersexxx: Bendis hasn't explained it because the current Nova's book will eventually get there. Right now with the orginial Sin ti ins for the Nova book for Sam, are getting to the origins of the Black Novas. GOTG is not the book that will explain it, you have to read the current Nova to understand the source of the Nova force for the Black Novas.

@ostyo said:

@humanrocket: Hm, I have no faith in Bendis as a writer, but maybe he'll pull off...something that is acceptable?

I have faith in Bendis, only when he writes Ultimate Peter Parker. But I will give him a passing grade if he pulls something out of his magic hat yes.

@humanrocket: who would you want to right a nova corps series?

First pick will always be Dan Abnett. Don't even need to explain why. He's all about the cosmic area of Marvel. But believe it or not, Hickman would be my second choice. I think Infinity proved to me that Hickman has a clear grasp of the cosmic order in Marvel.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

excited yet wary. Also, where any of the guardians at the scene when the orb uncorked the watchers eye?

Edited by VanderSEXXX

@vandersexxx: Bendis hasn't explained it because the current Nova's book will eventually get there. Right now with the orginial Sin ti ins for the Nova book for Sam, are getting to the origins of the Black Novas. GOTG is not the book that will explain it, you have to read the current Nova to understand the source of the Nova force for the Black Novas.

@ostyo said:

@humanrocket: Hm, I have no faith in Bendis as a writer, but maybe he'll pull off...something that is acceptable?

I have faith in Bendis, only when he writes Ultimate Peter Parker. But I will give him a passing grade if he pulls something out of his magic hat yes.

@spideyfan3160 said:

@humanrocket: who would you want to right a nova corps series?

First pick will always be Dan Abnett. Don't even need to explain why. He's all about the cosmic area of Marvel. But believe it or not, Hickman would be my second choice. I think Infinity proved to me that Hickman has a clear grasp of the cosmic order in Marvel.

I agree with this! Don't get me wrong in no way do I hate Bendis but I just think he needs to take a break and give this title back to Abnett, Giffen or yes Hickman. Definitely Abnett though due to his background in writing cosmic stories. My guess is when he was writing the Thanos Imperative, the Cancerverse and the Fault in the Universe was inspired from the Eye of Terror since it closely resembles the Chaos warp worlds of the Warhammer 40K universe.

Hickman did well with the build up of Infinity and the event itself was a blast. The only problem I had with that event was it was a little too Avengers centric as the X-Men and the other Earth heroes was easily taken out by issue #2, save the last stand of Black Bolt which was pretty intense.

Posted by Winter_Kills

@micah said:

Let him mentor Sam, then spin them both off into a Nova Corps book.

I agree with this, 110%. Then all Nova fans would be happy. Unfortunately, like many here I have a bad feeling with Bendis' plans with Rich- though the art is fantastic.

Edited by chaos911

Thanos's facial expression is really creeping me out for an unknown reason

Edited by Hassun

The best thing that could happen was for Bendis to completely ignore this event.

That way I could just disregard his work on GotG (and X-Men) and every other writer could do the same. If Bendis can\t be bothered to even read the other stories written about the same characters then the same should apply to him.

It's not like his Star-Lord is anywhere close to the good version of Star-Lord either. It might as well be a completely different character.

Rich Rider and Star-Lord heroically sacrificed themselves in a successful attempt to kill Thanos.

Posted by nfareed71024

thanos looks absurdly happy on the cover and that should never be, nova looks cool but the thanos is weird. When thanos smiles it is devious not happy... ugh

Edited by Ms-Lola

I guess I need to stop hoping Rich is coming back. That is really disappointing. I just started getting into this Nova Corps mythos and from what little I managed to learn, the original Nova is worth wanting back.

@winter_kills said:

@micah said:

Let him mentor Sam, then spin them both off into a Nova Corps book.

I agree with this, 110%. Then all Nova fans would be happy. Unfortunately, like many here I have a bad feeling with Bendis' plans with Rich- though the art is fantastic.

It might be a little too similar to what's going on in young Cyclops' ongoing solo, but in my eyes, it would show how it could be a success. I'd pick it up.

@thefirstlantern said:

excited yet wary. Also, where any of the guardians at the scene when the orb uncorked the watchers eye?

I didn't see any. Gamora was with Nick Fury (the original one) when that happened, I think? I am assuming,

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

@jonny_anonymous: It only took the first issues for me to realize that. Bendis has redone the current Star Lord and made him a pretty boy and nothing like his Annihilation incarnation.

My theory (hope) is that Blondie Star-Lord with a Badoon slaughtered family is merely an alternate universe Peter Quill and has no idea he is not from the area because his history is nearly similar to this ones. That way Peter and Rich can have an honorable death (or they're just still trapped there) with Thanos escaping like a d!ck. As to what they reference in issue 6, who knows. (I am aware how unlikely this is but I just don't understand the unnecessary retcon of Peter Quill)

Edited by HumanRocket

@humanrocket said:

: It only took the first issues for me to realize that. Bendis has redone the current Star Lord and made him a pretty boy and nothing like his Annihilation incarnation.

My theory (hope) is that Blondie Star-Lord with a Badoon slaughtered family is merely an alternate universe Peter Quill and has no idea he is not from the area because his history is nearly similar to this ones. That way Peter and Rich can have an honorable death (or they're just still trapped there) with Thanos escaping like a d!ck. As to what they reference in issue 6, who knows. (I am aware how unlikely this is but I just don't understand the unnecessary retcon of Peter Quill)

With Bendis at the helm...anything is possible. But I like you theory.

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

This is one of those be careful what you wish for scenarios. I am a huge Richard Rider fan, I grew up reading his books as a kid. I was a bit sad to see him 'die' in the cancer verse strory, but it made sense for the story.

But to see Thanos, and Star Lord return out of the blue..

Then to follow that up with marvel trying to make a grab at a younger audience that saw Rich get wiped out to make way for Sam.

It just was a editorial issue that lead to a character I loved being erased, and his death no longer felt heroic but it felt like a giant shafting.

So I have been wanting a follow up story, or a return to arms for Richard. But with Bendis, who loves to confuse destruction of characters and their history for creativity I don't have the highest of hopes The Original Human Rocket will survive this tale.

Posted by Winter_Kills

@ms-lola said:

I guess I need to stop hoping Rich is coming back. That is really disappointing. I just started getting into this Nova Corps mythos and from what little I managed to learn, the original Nova is worth wanting back.

@winter_kills said:

@micah said:

Let him mentor Sam, then spin them both off into a Nova Corps book.

I agree with this, 110%. Then all Nova fans would be happy. Unfortunately, like many here I have a bad feeling with Bendis' plans with Rich- though the art is fantastic.

It might be a little too similar to what's going on in young Cyclops' ongoing solo, but in my eyes, it would show how it could be a success. I'd pick it up.

@thefirstlantern said:

excited yet wary. Also, where any of the guardians at the scene when the orb uncorked the watchers eye?

I didn't see any. Gamora was with Nick Fury (the original one) when that happened, I think? I am assuming,

Yeah, I'd definitely pick up a book like that, just as long as they showed Rich as the Nova Centurion Prime, training Sam to be the Nova of Earth while Rich defends the whole cosmos like he did during the DnA run. Unfortunately, I feel that Bendis won't go that route. I would've thought he would've learned from his mistake with Hawkeye...he later had to rectify it by permanently bringing him back after teasing everyone with him during House of M.

Posted by Cap10nate

@cameron83: @humanrocket: As much as Bendis says he's had this all planned out, it's very clear he really knows nothing about any of these characters. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd never actually read any of the DnA/Annihilation comics and just had an editor read out the plot points to him.

I agree. I haven't been happy at all with his characterization of any of the Guardians since he took over. Also, as for him having this planned out since he took over . . . he also had Age of Ultron planned out for 2+ years and that was a train wreck. I have zero faith that I will be happy with what he has in store for GOTG 18. He better not have Quill betray him after everything that they went though from Annihilation through Thanos Imperative.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@humanrocket said:

@jonny_anonymous: It only took the first issues for me to realize that. Bendis has redone the current Star Lord and made him a pretty boy and nothing like his Annihilation incarnation.

My theory (hope) is that Blondie Star-Lord with a Badoon slaughtered family is merely an alternate universe Peter Quill and has no idea he is not from the area because his history is nearly similar to this ones. That way Peter and Rich can have an honorable death (or they're just still trapped there) with Thanos escaping like a d!ck. As to what they reference in issue 6, who knows. (I am aware how unlikely this is but I just don't understand the unnecessary retcon of Peter Quill)

The retcon to Peter's origin was very necessary.

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Posted by waezi2

Can we get this over with, so I can be disappointed?

Posted by redwingx

Replaced by a kid.

R.I.P!

Posted by Teerack

I hope Bendis didn't forget that Drax also died in the cancerverse.

Posted by greenlucario

I have a very bad feeling about this... But if by some miracle Rich does come back he could easily have his own book again. I'm not really following the new Nova, however I thought I read somewhere that the "black novas" are a wetworks/black ops squad unlike the "gold novas", so that difference alone could allow for two separate books.

Posted by triggerleo

A few issues ago in the current Nova title, Sam went to a moon with Beta Ray Bill. There was a Nova Corps corpse there wearing Rich's Nova Prime suit and some sort of collar device. BRB said not to remove it.

Did no one notice this?

Posted by imperiex79

I want to know what happened to the A.I. Worldmind?

How came Drax back to life? He died in the fourth issue of the Thanos Imperative alreday.

What happend to Richards younger Brother Robbie Rider and the other nova recruits like Qubit, Irani Rael and all the others?

And the biggest question : What happened to Namorita??????

That's the questions I want to be answered, but I'm sure that will never be happen.

Posted by Teerack

I'm happy the preview doesn't preview anything at all. :)

Posted by triggerleo

@imperiex79:

Rich took on the Worldmind.

Drax. Well, Drax just is...

All of the Nova Corps got killed off. Rich took the remaining power to fight Thanos in the Cancerverse

I think Namorita stayed behind with Nova and StarLord in the Cancerverse because she didnt belong to the timeline. But I'm sure she is alive somewhere.

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