Rocketman: Abnett and Lanning talk "Nova"

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Richard Rider AKA Nova saved the universe but he hasn't had much time to enjoy that fact. This April, in the pages of "Nova" #1, a new ongoing series from Marvel Comics by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Sean Chen, the Human Rocket will be very busy trying to keep the peace in a chaotic galaxy. CBR News spoke with Abnett and Lanning, who to many fans of their work are collectively known as DnA, about the series.

"Nova" #1 spins out of the events from the recent mega story "Annihilation" but readers don't need to have read the story to understand and enjoy the issue. "It's very reader friendly, we believe," DnA told CBR News. "We think we recap everything a new reader needs to know - while delivering a fast-paced story at the same time."

The devastating cosmic war that raged across the cosmos in "Annihilation" has only been over for a few months when "Nova" #1 begins. "Everyone is still trying to recover from the war, so the cosmos is a horrible, war-torn place," DnA explained. "Things are a mess. Everyone's out for themselves. The Kree are trying to rebuild, but the enemy is never far away."

Because of the key role he played in battling the enemy in "Annihilation," Nova is somewhat of a celebrity in certain sectors of space. "He's held in some high regard, and his status as a cosmic warrior is big," DnA said. "You don't mess with a character that powerful lightly. But space is big. Few people know exactly what he did, or what happened. They're just dealing with the aftermath of a monumental war. On the flip side, those looking to take advantage of the current chaos view him as a threat to be eliminated - if they can figure out how."

When "Nova" #1 begins, Richard Rider is trying to figure out a few things of his own like how best to maintain law and order in the wake of an interstellar war. "He's in space, zooming around, trying to handle the work of the Nova Corps on his own," DnA stated. "He's determined, focused, but tired, driving himself hard. Policing the Galaxy is a full time gig. He hasn't got time for anything else, but he needs to make time."

As readers of "Annihilation" and the "Nova" mini-series that preceded it saw Richard Rider is now the last member of the Nova Corps and is the sole wielder of the Nova Force, a power that was once shared by the entire corps. This makes Nova immensely powerful but the stress of wielding such a vast amount of power threatens his psyche. When the ongoing series begins Richard Rider's mental health is still in jeopardy. "Rich is coping, with the Worldmind's help, but it's still a background factor," DnA explained. "If he pushes himself too hard, he could break."

In the first few issues of "Nova," Rider will be encountering many situations that could cause a lesser man to break. "Issue #1 is a stand-alone story that brings you up to speed on Nova and the state of the galaxy," DnA said. "In #2 and #3 does indeed go home. It's going to be a shock for him, and a shock for all the people who knew him before because of how much he's changed."

As readers might have guessed, Nova's return to Earth will prove that you can't go home again and have him dealing with things like the death of his former comrades in the New Warriors and the status quo of post "Civil War" Earth. Readers shouldn't expect Richard Rider to hang around Earth for too long. "After a visit to Earth, there is more cosmic stuff; Kree space then--deep space," DnA stated.

As Nova heads back out into Kree space and then deep space readers can expect him to encounter some familiar faces including many of his friends and comrades from "Annihilation" like Drax, Cammi, Peter Quill, Ronan, and Gamora. "They'll all be showing up in the next year, one way or another," DnA said. "Given some of the stories we've got planned, Nova's not going to be too happy to see some of them."

Readers who enjoyed Nova's adventures in "Annihilation" or the earlier "Nova" mini-series will be delighted to know that the adventures that await Richard Rider in the "Nova" ongoing will continue to be a mixture of Space Opera and superhero action. DnA stated, "The action will be on a big sci-fi scale, but with character driven drama and power fantasy superhero thrills."

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