The conference calls are back at The Beat! Last night Jeph Loeb participated in a phonecall with member of the comics press to discuss the coming launch of a new Nova series – starring a new Nova. The series will be drawn by Ed McGuinness, and here’s Marcos Martin’s cover for issue #1:

Sam Alexander, the new Nova, has appeared in a few comics over the last year, most notably his role in Marvel’s first-ever ‘Infinite Comics’ story by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen. He precipitated the Avengers Vs X-Men crossover, and was offered Avengers membership by Thor at the end of the series. But Loeb explained that this is the end-point for Nova’s story, and the new series will rewind back to before Sam even knows what a Nova is. The aim is to pitch Nova as a hero in the vein of Peter Parker – a young, inexperienced, but upbeat figure, who tries to use his new powers for good. He doesn’t even have the helmet yet.

The first issue will be set in a small town in Arizona, where the character lives, and will ultimately throw him into space to fight giant, overpowering threats far beyond his abilities – villains who will really test the character. Loeb noted the popularity of the Sam Alexander character in Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, saying that the journey for the comic character will ultimately lead him towards the same personality and confidence of his animated counterpart.

When I go to conventions now, the amount of young kids who talk about how they love the show. When I ask them who their favourite characters are, it always comes out as Spider-Man is their favourite, and Nova second.

I asked him about if this has made him consider the title in terms of an all-ages property:

I don’t know that it was as much in my mind as the fact we we were telling a story about a 15 to 16 year-old kid. Part of the Nova story from the beginning, is that he was a very fun character – Rich Rider loved being Nova. I don’t think we’re necessarily writing for an all-ages audience… we’re writing for the Marvel audience.

From Arizona, Nova will then be moving on to outer space, where he’ll come into contact with Brian Michael Bendis‘ Guardians of the Galaxy – Loeb says no plans for the Annihilators as yet, but they may well show up later – and this will be apparently a very important part of Marvel over the next few months. We’ve seen that Guardians of the Galaxy will interact with Iron Man, and that All-New X-Men’s story will have some kind of ramification for the team. This is all a deliberate way of meshing the Universe together, Loeb says – when attempting to establish a character like Nova, it’s important that they’re visible. We’ll likely be seeing the character show up in a variety of books over the next few months.

No plans yet for any more Infinite Comics ventures, but Loeb was very open to the idea.

Finally, in terms of established Nova concepts returning? Loeb was very careful not to give too much away, although there will be a new, rebuilt Nova corps (of a kind, anyway) coming back into the book eventually, as Sam gets used to his powers, the legacy he’s inheriting from Rich Rider, and the importance of the Nova Corps in the Universe. At all times, Loeb spoke glowingly of Rich Rider as a character, and how the shadow of the character will loom over Sam at all times, driving him to be a better Nova.

Nova #1 will be released by Marvel in February, from the creative team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness.


  1. They didn’t need to reboot Nova. Rich Rider still had a lot of potential stories to tell. And I am curious how they will explain Star Lords return but not Rich Rider Nova’s. If the Nova force is back it should mean he is as well based on how they have historically explained it’s working.

    And it annoys me on some level that they are making the charcter match an animated show when we know that comic sales do not correlate to book sales. I plan to give this the first cohple if issues before I judge it so maybe the will surprise me or enjoy it.

  2. Actually, both the Batman TV show in the 60’s and the Tim Burton movie in 1989 upped sales on the Batman comic by quite a lot.

  3. Rich Rider is/was my favorite character so I’m kind of bummed at this series. I would be willing to wait until the Bendis/Loeb “era” of cosmic is over before they revive RR because tbh they don’t have the chops to do it right. see Vision, Wasp and Cable

  4. While they didn’t need to put/ keep Rich Rider on ice just to introduce a character with a somewhat wider visibility (he is on a animated kids show), the fact that Loeb says that he’s not really “writing for an all-ages audience” but instead for “the Marvel audience” brings a certain phrase to mind – “Epic fail”.

    It’s simply weird to me how a company in the business of making money through selling stories of their characters doesn’t use, perhaps even avoids, solid avenues to grow their business prospects.

  5. At 3.99$ per issue they can keep it (especially since Marvel started doubleshipping his books). Nothing in what Loeb is saying makes this Sam (never heard of him) different from Rich Rider. Except he’s it seems in an animated show….
    …it really helped Static Shock also to be the star on an aimated series for years…..
    This cover is really gorgeous, true. But with a scripter like Loeb , Im sure nothing is gonna surprise me, and seeing the price of the entrance ticket, I’m out.

  6. Does Marvel really own Nova? Given that he was created by Marv Wolfman and Len Wein and first appeared in their fanzine back in 1966, isn’t he actually theirs? I wonder how they feel about Jeph Loeb coming in and co-opting a character with that length of history and throwing someone else in the suit with the same name as his late son? Is this some kind of grief therapy for Loeb gone overboard?

  7. If Loeb wasn’t involved and it was Rich Rider in the helmet, I’d be all over this, $4 price tagged be hanged.

    So Nova has a Nova Corps like Green Lantern has the Green Lantern Corp. So since Sam is a young kid taking up the mantle from the veteran we all know & love, does that make him Kyle Rayner v2.0?

  8. I personally like Kyle Rayner. He my GL and it was my first real DC book. The situation is similar to that so that is why I’m willing to give this a couple of issues to wow me

  9. You got me with Ed McGuinness. I’d just about buy the phone book if he drew it. This will be the only Marvel book I’ll be buying for the foreseeable future as long as EMC is involved that is.

  10. Loeb can give kudos to Richard Rider all he wants. I still ain’t gonna buy his crap.

    DnAs stuff shoulda got this kinda push from Marvel. What complete BS.

    Same goes for Bendis Guardians. It’s not even guarding the galaxy. What a laugh.

  11. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that they’ve seemingly ripped off the logo from the Nova PBS series?

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