May 24, 2023
We close out Marvel Cosmic May with a look at the OG Nova,
RICHARD RIDER! How can Doc help this jaded space cop who totally
isn't Hal Jordan?
- Next week is last episode of season 9
- Background (2:00)
- Richard Rider created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita Sr. in
The Man Called Nova #1 (Sept. 1976)
- Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey is dying, and gives his power to high
school student Richard Rider - however, he has no instructions on
how to use these powers
- After some adventures on Earth, he travels to space, where he
helps the Xandarians battle Skrulls and other enemies
- He returns to Earth and gives up his powers (first time), but
after struggling without them, he regains them and joins the New
- Garthan Saal, a Nova Corpsman gone mad, strips Rich of his
powers (2nd) so he can rebuild Xandar after Nebula destroyed it -
Saal is defeated and his power is restored
- He defies the Xandarian queen in an effort to save Earth, and
is stripped of his powers (3rd), but when his replacement
sacrifices himself to stop the Deathstorm, he’s returned to
- Annihilation - the entire Nova Corps save Rich is destroyed by
Annihilus, so the Xandarian Worldmind takes refuge inside Rich’s
helmet - Rich kills Annihilus and saves the universe
- Unbeknownst to him, the Worldmind is recruiting new members to
the Nova Corps - when Rich learns that Ego the Living Planet was
among them, he objects and is stripped of his rank and powers
- Having lived with the Nova Force for so long, he is dying
without the powers, so he borrows Wendell Vaughn’s quantum bands
and becomes Quasar - after saving the Corps during War of Kings,
Ego is removed and Rich is restored as a Centurion
- Goes through a rip in space-time known as the Fault and enters
the Cancerverse, where he and Star-Lord battle Thanos until the rip
closes, trapping all three inside - Star-Lord and Thanos later get
a hold of a comic cube that frees them, but Rich remains
- When Sam Alexander contacted the Xandarian Worldmind to get
information on his father, this alerted Rich and allowed him to
escape the Cancerverse - unfortunately, his body became a portal,
and the inhabitants tried to use Rich to invade Earth - he and Sam
helped repel the invaders, and they returned to Earth
- The entire Nova Corps was once again decimated, and Richard
became an alcoholic until Annihilius showed up and asked for Rich’s
help to defeat the Cancerverse invasion - after Rich swallowed the
entire Cancerverse (#BecauseComics), he was killed by the Sentry,
thus killing the invading forces, and resurrected by Annihilus as a
way of saying thanks
- Took over as leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy after
Star-Lord was killed, which Rich blamed himself for until he
- Issues - Theme is “Don’t worry, it gets better… I mean worse… I
mean better…” (8:13)
- Constant flux of powers causes him numerous problems
- Feels like everything is his responsibility, and thus his fault
- PTSD as a result of the numerous wars and battles (22:49)
- Break (28:29)
- Treatment (29:51)
- In-universe - Have him figure out how to use the Nova Force for
- Out of universe - (33:52)
- Skit (39:46)
- Hello Richard, I’m Dr. Issues. -Hello, Doctor.
- So, what can I do for you? -Well, let’s just say that I’m not
going to be an easy case. I’m not going to give you a hard time,
but this road is not smooth at all.
- I welcome the challenge. -You say that now, but when I start
telling you some things…it’s not even about the confidentiality.
This is some serious stuff. A lot of death, a lot of pain, tons of
anger…and that’s just when things turn out ok.
- You’re building up to a multitude of events, and I don’t even
know the basics about you. -Yeah, yeah, I get it. I just wish you
could fast forward through this stuff, or leave off exactly where
my last therapist did. Is that too much to ask? Do I have to repeat
this every time?
- No, of course not. -Well, I gave you permission to look at my
files, isn’t that enough? *clearly irritated* What, you can’t
stomach to read it or something?
- What? No, I just want your take, not someone else’s. -So you
think my last therapist was a kook? You think it was that bad?
- Whoa, you’re rushing to judgment way too early. -*Angry,
rambling* Of all the people I get to take my stuff out on, I get
someone who wants to start from the beginning, as if it wasn’t bad
enough going through it the first time! *continues rambling
angrily* that’s it, I’m outta here, gotta take a break, I KNEW this
was going to go bad…*keeps rambling, door opens and shuts,
- Well, this is going juuuuust great…oop -*door opens and shuts
again, still ranting* whew, I might as well rip a hole in space
time, that oughtta REALLY freak someone like you out. Do you know
I’ve had to die just so I can live a better existence?
- Are you trying to intimidate me, or test me, or…I don’t know
what. Is this how you vent? -I don’t vent. I attack.
- Then why are you attacking me? -Not you…well, not You, you. You
just happen to be there. It’s not like that.
- Richard…I’m the only one here. I get that you have no other
target, but it’s not productive to yell at me right now. I don’t
take it personally, but I’m still a person. -You’re a person…aww,
Doc has feelings…whaa whaa whaa…If you were with me, you wouldn’t
last long with that attitude.
- You’re not trying to recruit me. I’m here to help you,
remember? -*deep breath* Yeah, yeah…experienced dealing with cosmic
madness. No excuse for my disrespect. This line of work kind of
makes me jaded.
- I’ve heard worse, just not before…hmmm…you know what? Screw the
background stuff. It’s obvious that it pisses you off. What I’ll
focus on instead is what do you want to change about how you’re
feeling right now? -*pause* Well, like you said, I’m pissed off,
but…it’s deeper than that. It’s like something keeps clawing
through me…and believe me, I’ve been clawed through, so I know what
I’m talking about. But it’s not others, it’s…it’s something about
me. Like, I’m not feeling how I should feel. Does any of this make
- Let me see if I understand. You have intense responses to your
current state of mind, and it doesn't match with what you should be
feeling based on what you know about yourself. -Something like
that, I guess.
- Then what “should” you be feeling, if you don’t mind my
airquotes? - *pause* I shouldn’t even exist, you know? I should
have been dead and buried a looooooong time ago, but I’m still
kicking…and kicking ass, while I’m at it.
- So, survivor’s guilt? -I’m grateful! But, how many times am I
going to go through this?
- I don’t have a crystal ball -Well even the ones who have that
type of power treat me like a wild card anyway, or take my
power…sometimes I wonder if I should fight to get them back at all.
Then I get pissed off evan more, and I double down, and just
promise myself that if I ever get them back I won’t lose them
again…*frustrated* HOW…MANY...TIMES? How do I keep going?
- *pause* You were right. From the start, you were right. This is
not a smooth road. You are like Sisyphus…perpetually pushing that
rock. -I thought you were supposed to make me feel better.
- Hear me out! This is going to be a matter of perspective. You
have been entrusted with a task that is incredibly important but
has shown to carry with it a perpetual burden that resets from time
to time. You can view that as a curse, but -*interrupting* If you
say it’s a blessing I swear
- No, I’m saying it’s variety. You have learned to adapt to the
same goal in ways that most people haven’t endured yet. That’s
beyond unique, that’s a level of discipline that can’t be taught.
If you continue to endure, then you are providing yourself with
more ammo for unexpected challenges even when the basic premise
remains the same. Sunrise, sunset, but no two are the same. You get
me? -A part of me wants to rip your spine out through your chest
and use it as a javelin for my next enemy you optimistic pious
- *gulp* -But…hmmmph…that can’t be all there is to it, right?
Like, I can’t make “keep my powers” be the end goal?
- It doesn’t have to be, but you were the one who said that’s
what’s eating at you. You’re a complex study, so I’m sure we’re
just scratching the surface, and I’ll challenge your own
assumptions. -You got a bit of a bite to you after all. No wimping
out. That’s decent of you. Ok, hot shot. I’ll tell you what. If
you’re willing to take my call, I’ll reach out when I think I’m
about to have someone get the drop on me.
- I’ll be waiting *whispers* with some antipsychotics for the
paranoia* -What was that?
- Nothing…ehe, I’ll be waiting is my point. -Right then. Guess
this is as good a time as any to wrap this up before I piss myself
off again. Good bye.
- Bye *hears door open/shut* *phone dialing* I’m not even sure
how this works, does my plan cover intergalactic calls?
Anyhoo…um…your excellency…tribunal…ness…sir…thing…I think I’m going
to take a break in my block scheduling for now…no, I didn’t say I
quit…I mean…your sense of time is so much different, a day is a
decade to you, or vice versa…yeah, messes with my calendar. Plus my
accountant doesn’t know how to handle “being one with the balance”
as a form of payment. Still have some details to work out.
- Ending (47:15)
- Recommended reading: late 2000s cosmic Marvel (Annihilation
Conquest, War of Kings, Thanos Imperative)
- Next episodes: Miguel O’Hara
- Plugs for social & GonnaGeek Network