The Nova Corps was originally a military and exploration force of the planet Xandar consisting of 500 Xandarian soldiers and led by Centurion Nova Prime. Though a small militia, each soldier was powered by the Nova Force, making them exceptionally powerful. However, they were not enough to save their world from the Luphomians and Xandar was destroyed.
All was not lost for the Nova Corps. Several domed cities survived the planet's destruction, and the Xandarians populated an asteroid field that then became known as the Xandar Cluster. Under Queen Adora and guided by the Xandarian Worldmind, the Nova Corps evolved into an intergalactic peace-keeping force and recruited beings from other worlds into its ranks.
The Nova Corps was created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema as an element in the origin of Richard Rider. Though, it began as a defunct organization to allow the character's adventures to center upon being an Earth-bound hero in New York.
Later writers would depict the Nova Corps at varying levels of activity from a large dead organization to a galaxy spanning police force very similar to the Green Lantern Corps. Rather than consistency, it depended mostly on what the creative teams wished to do with Nova at the time.
History and Major Story Arcs
For further details: Annihilation
The Nova Corps almost met it's end at the hand of the Annihilation Wave. When Annihilus and his forces attacked, the Worldmind recalled all active members, the corps fought valiantly to defend their world, yet in the end were defeated. The only member of the corps to survive was Centurion Rich Rider. The Worldmind, which had also survived guided Richard to itself. In order to save the corps the Worldmind
convinced Richard to allow it to uploaded itself, and the entirety of the Nova Force into him, making him the Nova Prime. Nova led the United Front against the Annihilation Wave and when that didn't work he lead a small tactical group against it. In the end, Nova killed Annihilus and ended the war.
For further details: Secret Invasion
Unexpectedly, the Nova Corps reformed on Earth in the immediate aftermath of the Skrulls' invasion attempt. The Worldmind had been quietly and methodically recruiting new Nova Centurions, and these new recruits sought out Nova Prime. Malik Tarcel, Qubit, Fraktur, Irani Rael and Morrow arrived on Earth and joined Nova in helping the humans quell the chaos left over by the Skrulls' attack.
Using Project PEGASUS as a base of operations, Nova led the new Nova Corps as a tight-knit unit in peace-keeping operations such as securing fugitive criminals and other threats inadvertently released in the chaos of the Skrull invasion.
Nova was uncertain at first about reforming the Nova Corps so soon, but they worked together so well that his mind quickly changed. The idea of starting small and slow like this began to make sense to him. However, things suddenly escalated out of his control. Without consulting him, Worldmind began to mass recruit the people of Earth, resulting in the Nova Corps growing from a half dozen to hundreds within minutes. Among these new recruits was Nova's own younger brother, Robbie Rider.
Most disturbing of all was Worldmind's next move. Ego appeared in orbit of Earth, having been lobotomized by the Nova Corps and reestablished as Nu-Xandar. This was to be the new headquarters of the Nova Corps.
War of Kings
For further details: War of Kings
It was apparent to Nova that Worldmind was out of control, but he found himself alone in this belief. He was deemed unfit for duty by Worldmind and honorably discharged from the Nova Corps, stripping Rich of his rank as Nova Prime and his connection to the Nova Force. Malik Tarcel was
promoted to the rank of Nova Prime in his absence, and Rich realized too late that the Worldmind was employing mind control techniques to keep the Nova Corps in line.
News of the war between the Shi'ar Empire and the Kree Empire reached Earth, and the Worldmind chose to immediately leave Earth to have the fresh and inexperienced Nova Corps intervene in the galactic conflict
The Worldmind drafted beings from several other worlds before getting the newly revived Nova Corps involved in the War of Kings between the Kree and Shi'ar. This turned out to be disastrous, as the new Centurions had nowhere near the experience to deal with such an intense conflict. Casualties ran high until Richard returned with the power of Quasar, forcing the Worldmind to stand down and fixing Ego's influence over it. He retook his position as Nova Prime and called on the Nova Corps to retreat while they still could, saving whoever he could.
The war eventually ended on its own with the apparent deaths of Vulcan and Black Bolt, the rulers of the two warring empires. The Kree won the war courtesy of the Shi'ar's surrender, and what was left of the Nova Corps was successfully reined in. Richard had all of the newly recruited Centurions depowered and sent home, where they could hopefully live long and happy lives. But not all of the Centurions wished to return home after nearly being killed and knowing that the Worldmind had manipulated their minds. Robbie Rider, Morrow, Fraktur, Qubit, Irani Rael, Lindy Nolan and Tre Owens elected to remain as Nova Centurions, serving a drastically scaled down Nova Corps.
The Thanos Imperative
For further details: the Thanos Imperative
The devastation caused by the recent war created an unprecedented spacial rift referred to as the Fault, which led to a universe where life had run dangerously rampant and unlimited. This Cancerverse was a growing threat to the universe, and everyone was cautiously investigating it, including the Nova Corps.
The spatial distortions around the Fault allowed the Nova Corps to discover a long lost Nova Corps cruiser, the Resolute Duty, along with its veteran Centurion, Zan Philo. Since Ego had reawakened, the Resolute Duty became the new mobile headquarters of the Nova Corps and Zan Philo became the trainer of its probationary members. It also served as a prison, holding the likes of Xenith and Ravenous in stasis.
Finally, everyone's worst fears about the Fault happened and an invasion force from the Cancerverse erupted from it. The Nova Corps was on hand to join the defense along with the Shi'ar, the Kree, and Blastaar's Negative Zone forces. It quickly became obvious that simply holding the line would be nearly impossible much less being able to push the Cancerverse forces back through the Fault. The only hope lied in a mission into the Cancerverse by the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos to kill the invaders at their home by reintroducing Death to that universe. The Nova Corps had to help hold the line until that happened. To this end, Nova deputized Quasar into the Nova Corps and ventured into the Cancerverse himself.
The mission was a success, and the invasion fell apart with the Fault closing. However, Nova stayed behind in the Cancerverse along with Starlord to make sure Thanos could not return. He was presumed dead, and with him went the Worldmind and the Nova Force, leaving the Nova Corps no more once again.
The Nova corps are imbued with the Nova Force by the Worldmind. This energy force provides powers like the ability of flight, super strength and a connection to the Worldmind itself. Those who are more experienced are able to tab into more powers like the ability to open stargates, energy blasts and the release of a brief electromagnetic static burst.
Rank: CorpsmanThe first level of the Nova Corps. These Corps have just graduated from the Space Academy.
Rank: MillenianThe next level in the Nova Corps. They possess half the power of a Centurion and still cannot fly by their own.
Rank: DenarianThe third level of the Nova Corps. They possess 75% of the Nova Force compared to next rank and they have the possibility to fly and more force and power compared to the previous ranks.
Rank: CenturionThe elite rank of the Nova Corps. They have total access to the Nova Force and command the rest of the Corps.
Nova Corps Priorities
- Defend the Xandarian Civilization
- Protect and safeguard the Xandarian Worldmind
- Maintain and defend galactic peace.
Star System: Tranta
In Other Media
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Nova Corps appears in Guardians of the Galaxy, with Nova Prime Irani Rael portrayed by Glenn Close and Rhomann Dey portrayed by John C. Reilly.
The Super Hero Squad Show
The Nova Corps appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "So Pretty When They Explode", where they are overpowered and defeated by Thanos.
Sam Alexander, a member of the Nova Corps, is one of the main characters in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man. In the episode "Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy," it is stated that Sam is "all that's left" of the Nova Corps, though what led to the group's destruction is not revealed.