Friday, July 30, 2010
Enter: The Man Called Nova!
The Man Called Nova
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Pencils: John Buscema
Inks: Joe Sinnot
Letters: Joe Rosen
Colors: Michele Wolfman
The splash page unites defeat, so above, so below:
Centurion Nova Prime Rhomann Dey will soon lose his life here at the end of the long chase of the space-monster, Zorr, in his starship across the galaxy to prevent him from destroying another world, such as the one once holding Dey’s family and life.
On Earth, the world below at stake, at Harry S. Truman High School in Long Island, NY, Richard Rider and his school's basketball team are being defeated by the girls' b-ball team. After the loss, Rich and his girlfriend, Ginger Jaye, are at Uncle Fudge's Ice Cream Parlor.
Approximately 800,000 miles from Earth, the dying mind of Rhomann Dey broadcasts his Nova Power-Force to Earth in the hope that a worthy successor will take up the battle against world-destroying Zorr.
At Uncle Fudge's, Truman High School's star athlete and student, Mike Burley, comes in and knocks Rich on the floor. Burley is also the school bully and enjoys tormenting Rider. As he is getting up, Rich is hit by the Nova Force and knocked unconscious.
While in the hospital, Rich's mind touches the presence of Rhomann Dey. Dey explains to Rich: “you have been selected to inherit the rank of Centurion Nova Prime,” and tells him of the incredible powers that now become his own. There’s a final burst of Nova Force!
In the hospital, Rich wakes up. From his eyes pour a limited burst of raw, explosive power. As he and his doctor were alone, Rich's family never knows.
He seems recovered, and that is enough.
Back in school now, Rich's friends, Bernie Dillon and Roger "Caps" Cooper, stick up for him against Mike Burley. While in math, Rich's mind keeps wandering back to the mind link he shared with Dey. Even while he dismisses any connection of his life to this fantastic concept, the knowledge slowly awakens.
Dey's starship --- 3 times the size of Saturn. Now his teacher catches his dreaming look and asks an operation geared to remind Richard that math is hard and he needs to pay lots more attention to be good at it, which he is not.
Rich suddenly knows the solution and answers it correctly!
In his Hampstead, NY suburb, Rich Rider later sits alone on his bed, wondering about Rhomann Dey. Suddenly, the NOVA FORCE explodes from within him!! As the explosion dims, Rich Rider is average no more. He has become NOVA!
Nova discovers that he can fly at super-speed, arriving forty miles away from Hempstead in mere minutes.
Taking a risk based on a gut sensation, Nova speeds through a demolished wall unharmed. He has super-strength and is invulnerable! The newly made space super champion then stands upon the rooftops, gazing into his own horizons.
“Now I can get even with anyone who ever made me---wait, what am I thinking? I’ve got to use my powers to help others, not myself!” he decides. Nova then discovers that his helmet can pick up his Mom, precinct dispather on the police radio band! What’s this monster attacking the city?
Zorr himself is attacking New York.
Zorr believes it is Rhomann Dey, not Rich Rider, who is fighting him. He also reveals that it was Galactus who destroyed Zorr's homeworld and that Earth's energies will be used to restore his world.
Nova's attention is distracted by the arrival of Mike Burley, Burley's girlfriend Donna-LeDover and Ginger Jaye. Nova saves them and turns his attention to Zorr. He sympathizes with Zorr’s destroyed world, but he can never let this world be rendered lifeless. As they are about to battle, Zorr unwillingly disappears!
Later at home, Rich senses that Rhomann Dey has somehow saved him in a last heroic effort. High above in orbit, Dey, in his last breath, disintegrated Zorr, an empty costume lying useless. The undetectable starship remains a fateful, mysterious, undiscovered heritage, left in Earth orbit for the successor of Nova Prime.
Destiny has settled upon the head of Richard Rider--- the man called NOVA!
One last deus ex machina, and now the fledgling hero, empowered, faces the secret of his great responsibility, without knowledge of Dey’s amazing ship or training. More to the point: can Richard Rider, unsettled by the mystery but thankful to have fought the threat to the apparent end, open to the truth of his new self, and rush into blazing battle on feet of clay?