The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought many of Marvel Comics’ iconic characters to life. Superheroes such as Captain America, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Ant-Man, and more have leaped from the comic book panels onto the silver screen. Some movie-goers have even been introduced to characters they wouldn’t otherwise have been. On top of that, more super-powered legends are on their way, including Shang-Chi, the Eternals, and Blade. Other characters, like Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk are scheduled to make their MCU debut in Disney+ series soon. However, there is at least one major character who is noticeably absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and any announced plans for its future, and that’s Nova.
Nova, aka Richard Rider, is a high school student on Earth chosen by Rhomann Dey, the last surviving member of Xandar’s Nova Corp, to take his place after he dies. Nova’s superpowers include flight, super strength, superhuman durability, and the unique ability to absorb energy directed against him and release it as gravimetric pulses and beams. He also dons the Nova Corp’s awesome-looking gold and blue armor. He’s a fantastic and fun character that’s popular with comic readers everywhere. If you still need convincing, read the Annihilation story arc along with Nova: Resurrection.
However, there’s still no definite word on whether or not the beloved hero will ever appear in the MCU. There are twenty three movies and several TV series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet Nova is nowhere to be seen. There hasn’t even been any news or announcements of him joining the franchise like there are for other characters like Shang-Chi.
Nova is a much-needed and anticipated Marvel Comics character that fans have been wanting to see in the movies. A large portion of the heroes seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe don’t necessarily have their own superpowers outside of using gadgets, weapons, or home-made super suits, so it would be nice to be able to experience another true super-powered being soaring across the big screen (thanks to the Nova Force).
Luckily, Marvel Studios and Disney have created a solid opportunity for Nova to be introduced. In Guardians of the Galaxy, we meet the Nova Corp, who essentially serve as the police officers for the film. They’re in full Nova armor from the comics and even show off the Nova logo. In Avenger’s: Infinity War, it’s mentioned that Thanos wiped out all of Xandar, presumably killing all or most of the Nova Corp. That creates the perfect way to tie in the “last remaining Nova Corp member choosing their successor” storyline.
Richard Rider is often depicted as a high school student. There is another high school hero in the MCU, and that’s Spider-Man. Perhaps we will briefly be introduced to Richard in the third Spider-Man installment of the cinematic universe. We probably won’t see him get his powers or anything, but it could be just enough to tease the character’s arrival similar to how Barry Allen appeared on Arrow before he became the Flash.
An obvious way to introduce the character outside of simply appearing in his own movie would be in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. The Nova Corp was already seen in the first installment and the series already takes place in space. However, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 seems to have an awful lot on its plate, as it will probably introduce Adam Warlock who was teased in the post-credits scene of Volume 2 and find a way of convincing Gamora from a different timeline to join their team. Plus, James Gunn has suggested that he wants to focus on Rocket and Groot’s origins in a third film similar to how Volume 2 focused on Star-Lord’s and Avengers: Infinity War focused on Gamora’s. Adding in the possibility of introducing Nova could mean having way too many plot points going on for a single film.
They could potentially choose to introduce Nova using the other big MCU space hero, Captain Marvel, but it seems they may have bigger plans for her as there have been rumors that the Captain Marvel sequel will be used to introduce Rogue from X-Men. Plus, Captain Marvel’s story may still be in the past for the next movie or so, which may complicate Nova’s origins if that’s how they choose to introduce him.
I do sincerely hope that we get the chance to experience the awesome character that is Nova, along with other noticeably absent Marvel Comics heroes such as Squirrel Girl, Namor, Sentry, and others, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For now, it appears that Marvel Studios is understandably busy working on introducing The Eternals, Shang-Chi, and Blade in the upcoming Phase 4 and onward, while also figuring out how to bring in the recently-acquired Fantastic Four and X-Men. Because of this, it might unfortunately be awhile before we get to see Nova join the ranks of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, and other legends in the MCU.
Have you been hoping to experience a live action Nova movie? Are there any other absent Marvel Comics heroes or villains you expect to see in the MCU one day? Let me know in the comments who you’d like to see on the big screen and how you think they could be introduced.