Nova (Marvel Comics) (1990s New Warriors era)


(Richard Rider) (New Warriors+ era)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


  • Nova first appeared in his own series. This period is covered in this profile: Nova (Classic Era).
  • He then got recycled in the New Warriors (see New Warriors (year one) team profile.
  • At the peak of The New Warriors series’ popularity, Nova got his own series back. But it was canceled after 18 issues.
  • By the turn of the century, Marvel revived The New Warriors, including Nova, for a 10 issues run. They launched Nova volume 3, canceled after 7 issues. Then again for a 6 issues New Warriors volume 3 in 2005.
  • This profile describes his New Warriors era. That goes from the formation of the team in 1990, up until his departure from Earth, before the first Marvel Civil War, in 2006.


  • Real Name: Richard “Rich” Rider.
  • Other Aliases: Kid Nova, Nova Prime, Human Rocket, “Bucket Head”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Charles Rider (father), Gloria Rider (mother), Robert Rider (brother).
  • Group Affiliation: The New Warriors, Nova Corps.
  • Base of Operations: New Warriors headquarters, Xandar.
  • Height: 5’9″ Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Light brown.


Height and Weight note

The former Nova profile grants him 5’9″ and 145 lbs. Marvel Wiki grants him 6’1″ and 190 lbs.. Let’s go for:

  • weight 190 lbs: during his depowered period, he put up some weight pumping iron and eating burgers.
  • height 5’9″: as explained in Namorita’s writeup, she was drawn taller than he.

Powers & Abilities

After Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor) had kick-started his powers again, Kid Nova only had a portion of his former Nova powers. He was reduced to a flying brick , meaning :

  • Flight at great speed.
  • Enhanced strength enabling him to lift a car effortlessly.
  • Enhanced resistance making him nearly invulnerable.

After being imbued with The Nova Force again and being promoted to First Centurion Prime, he got back his former powers (FTL  flight, Nova Corps’ suit). He also learned to project gravitational blasts.


Back to normal life

Richard Rider gave up his Nova powers to be allowed to get back to Earth. Once there, his life took a depressing turn. His former friends all graduated high school and moved to college. But since he had dropped out of school to be Nova, he couldn’t keep up with them.

Lacking a qualification, he took odd jobs to make ends meet. When Night Thrasher abducted him, he was flipping burgers at the local McDonald.


Founding member of The New Warriors

For details of his adventures among The New Warriors, please see the team’s profiles, starting with New Warriors (year one).

Nova, being a short tempered hothead, had numerous issues with Night Thrasher’s leadership. As a token of good will, Dwayne Taylor offered Richard a revamped version of his former Nova suit. It was not as powerful, though. Yet it made Richard confident enough to loose the “Kid” from his “Kid Nova” alias, to be Nova again.

Looser family ties

The “Poison Memories” story arc directly involved Rider’s family. Therefore his parents, although proud of what he was doing as Nova, gently kicked him out of their home.

For some time afterward, Richards crashed at The New Warriors’ headquarters.

His brother Robert still expressed his support to Richard’s heroic deeds, even though he had been maimed by gangbangers.

Depowered, repowered

After their encounter, Supernova (Garthan Saal) left Richard dead. Air Walker resuscitated him, but without his Nova powers. Saal had stolen all of it.

A depowered Richard Rider nevertheless accompanied The New Warriors. With the help of Air Walker and Firelord, he bravely fought Supernova. In the end, Richard was imbued with all the Nova Force in the universe. It nearly drove him mad.

Richard spent the Force to revive Xandar’s World-Mind. This allowed the mega-computer to launch its cloning facilities and repopulate the dead planet.

Adora, Xandar’s queen, gave back his Nova powers to Richard as recognition for his deeds. She then promoted him as Prime Centurion of The Nova Corps, Protector of Terra. Rider also got his full Nova suit back.

Solo run

Richard then went back to his life on Earth. He caught up with his high school friends. They moved in together as room-mates. His brother further convinced Richard to found the Nova Express Delivery Service.

Nova (Marvel Comics) (1990s New Warriors era) impressing gym rats

Meanwhile, Xandar fell under the heel of the Shi’ar Empire. The Shi’ar dispatched a commando, backed up by Gladiator, to put Nova to the test. They wanted to ascertain whether he was up to the task of Protector of Terra.

Richard entertained a complex love triangle with Namorita and Laura Dunham, now aware of his secret identity.

He had to deal with Laura’s room-mate, who was a Punisher-wannabe, rapists-killing vigilante calling herself Tailhook. In the end, Laura protected her friend: she jumped from the roof of a building, forcing Nova to save her instead of preventing Tailhook’s suicide.

Death Storm

During the “Time and Time Again” story arc, Nova visited an alternate Earth ravaged by a Death Storm. An alternate version of himself also tutored him to the full extent of the Nova Force. This alternate Nova 0-0 turned out to be an alternate version of his brother Robert.

When the Death Storm happened on Earth-616 , Richard deflected it.

Depowered, repowered… again

While defeating the Death Storm, Nova had to ignore Adora’s call to arms against Kraa. She thus dispatched Garthan Saal to bring him back so he could face trial. After a short fight, Nova complied. Under Shi’ar pressure, Adora demoted him and removed his Nova powers. She appointed Garthan Saal as Protector of Terra, which Richard took as an insult.

During Richard’s journey back to Earth, Volx, the Dire Wraiths queen, impersonated a Xandarian pilot and crash landed the starship on Earth. Garthan Saal went after her. Depressed, Richard desperately tried Night Thrasher’s trick to get back his powers. He jumped from a building. Turbo (Michiko Musashi) barely caught him before he fatally hit the ground.

Depowered and frustrated, Richard pressed Hindsight to find where Undertow held Namorita. He insisted on going with The New Warriors when they attempted a rescue mission. But this initiative failed.

A brave depowered Richard also went with them to defeat Volx. During the battle, Garthan Saal died of his wounds. Saal again surrendered the Nova powers back to Richard, whom he deemed worthy.

New Warriors subsequent runs

Nova struggled to stay in the super-heroes business. Every time he went after a rampaging villain, another, more popular super-hero, interfered and got all the credit.

Nova (Marvel Comics) (1990s New Warriors era) with Firestar and Night Thrasher

He kept up with his high school gang, still his room-mates. When Namorita experienced her latest gruesome physical transformation, he turned his back on her. She repaid him by having sex with one of his room-mate, just under his nose (so to speak). Namorita never forgave Richard for abandoning her.

He got closer to his former high school flame, Ginger Jaye, now married to an abusive husband. When she called for help during one of her husband’s tantrum, Richard nearly killed the man. Now, Ginger was pregnant with her husband, and she had so mixed feelings about her former boyfriend nearly killing her abuser.

The unfortunate Ms. Jaye ended up in the street, as she had to sell her house to pay for her crippled husband’s medical bills. Richard’s parents took her and her baby in their house.

Nova agreed to join Speedball’s new New Warriors, out of pity for his old friend. It didn’t last long. For the last issues of both New Warriors volume 2 and Nova volume 3, the writers did some kind of meta writing involving Marvel Comics’ editorial crew and Hollywood producers.

Nova took part in the Reality TV Circus version of The New Warriors, in the book’s third run.


Nova left the New Warriors well before the Stamford explosion. See Speedball’s writeup for details about this disaster.

Instead, Richard went into space to fight The Annihilation War .


Richard Rider is a fit young man in his early 20s. He wears his hair in a pony tail. He likes to keep a 2-day stubble, and has a ring on his left ear. He dresses in 1990s streetwear, usually with a cap turned backward.

Kid Nova wears a sleeveless brown leather-like jacket, exposing his arms. He has pants of the same fabric with a large golden stripe on the side of each leg. He has a golden girdle and golden boots. He wears large, leather-looking wristbands. He has his emblematic golden helmet with a red star on the forefront and nose (earning him the “Bucket Head” nickname).

With Taylor’s help, he reverts to his former blue and gold Nova suit.


Richard Rider has a strong, short tempered personality.

Nova (Marvel Comics) (1990s New Warriors era) with his parents

He has not much empathy for others and tends to be self-centered. His invulnerability and strength makes him arrogant. He speaks in abrasive ways, bordering on insulting people, and sometimes indulges racist clichés. The more powerful he gets the more prone to use physical intimidation he is (though he never lays a hand on regular people).

His team spirit also fluctuates with his power level. At first, with only a portion of his Nova powers, he barely acknowledged Night Thrasher’s leadership, but he went well along the others.

Then, at his full Prime Centurion’s power, he was more fighting solo than in team. Usually, Richard fought the heavy hitters solo, like Namor or The Sphinx. He would keep them busy, while the rest of the team found the weakness to finish the job.

He has a macho attitude towards women. He’s easily distracted by good looking lasses. We can speculate he has a rather low opinion of them (particularly good looking ones), until he can see what they’re capable of.

And then he can’t help but being over-familiar (bordering on contemptuous) with them. He often use provocative language towards them, like calling them “babe” even if he doesn’t know them.

He’s very protective of his friends and family. When their safety gets threatened, he drops all the attitude and trash talk to get straight to business, and in no subtle way.

Romantic life

Richard Rider’s romantic life is like a constant love triangle. A trait that emphasizes his lack of respect towards women.

Nova (Marvel Comics) (1990s New Warriors era) death storm

Early in The New Warriors series, he developed a crush on Namorita. They actually made out much later. At the same time, he started a lasting relationship with Laura Dunham. But his love for Namorita was deep… until she experienced her most gruesome physical transformation. Then, he was jealous of her public relationship with The Human Torch.

Afterward, it was Laura and Ginger (though he never actually made out with Ginger, he was in spirit). Then it was Ginger and one Jennifer Smith.


“Blue blazes !”

(Taking Terrax from Namorita’s hands during their first encounter)
“Look out babe !”

(As Tai got in his flight path)
“Hey ! Get Confucius out of here !” (incidentally Tai is Cambodian, not Chinese)

“Nova was a solo act an’ he can be one again !”

(To Namorita, while waiting for The Mad Thinker to appear)
Nova: “Hey, legs ! Don’t tell me you went to all this trouble to set up a romantic rendez-vous ?! I’m touched.”
Namorita: “In the head”.

“Get me some Kleenex, I’m crying up a storm.”

(About Speedball, worrying for his missing mother)
“The pipsqueak’s got problems ? Try Oxy-10  !”

(To Night Thrasher)
“I’m sick of jumpin’ when you say frog ! You can’t tell us what we can or can’t do.”

“Then again, when you fly like a human rocket, ‘late’ ain’t part of your vocabulary”.

(Kissing Laura after Namorita’s good-bye kiss)
“Namorita who ?”

(To a TV reporter)
“How do you think it makes me feel, you freakin’ leech ?! They’re my friends.”

(To Cardinal after Undertow captured The New Warriors)
“No time for your smart mouth, merc.”

(Mad after Night Thrasher for not being there against Undertow)
Firestar: “Calm down, Rich, we can work this out. We’re a family, after all.”
Nova: “No, we’re not Angel, and we never were ! Not to this guy… We were always just a mean to an end for him ! An arsenal of weapons he could hone…”

“Doesn’t matter, Turbo. I doubt he’s Human Rocket proof.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Nova (New Warriors era)

Dex: 06 Str: 11 Bod: 09 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Fast food cook, Delivery driver
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Wealth: 002
Init: 013 HP: 030

Flight: 09, Flight (FTL): 35, Mental blast: 10, Skin armor: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Mental blast has No AV (-1 or 0).

Weaponry (Firearms): 03

None demonstrated.

The New Warriors (High), The Fantastic Four (Low), The Nova Corps (High).

Enemies (from his former Nova life, appear every third adv, threat level x3, 15 HP), Power Loss (The Nova Force can be completely taken away, see special section for depowered stats, 60 HP), SIA (Namorita).


  • BUCKET HELMET [BODY 06, Radio communications: 05, Telescopic vision: 05, Thermal vision: 06, R#2].
  • TRUE NOVA SUIT [BODY 12, Cold Immunity: 02, Flame Immunity: 02, Radio Communications: 08, Sealed Systems: 08, Shade: 02, Ultra Vision: 06, Insta change (also allows cosmetic changes to the suit)].

Rocket surgery

  • Before Night Thrasher gave him the revamped Nova suit, remove the BUCKET HELMET.
  • Before receiving the full Nova powers back from Adora, reduce Dex to 05 AP, remove Flight (FTL), Mental blast, Skin armor and the NOVA SUIT.
  • After that, remove the BUCKET HELMET.

Depowered Richard Rider

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Fast food cook, Delivery driver
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 05 Wealth: 002
Init: 008 HP: 020

Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Four-barreled Gun Belt [BODY 05, Energy blast: 07 (No AV), R#2].

None demonstrated.

The New Warriors (High).

SIA (Namorita).

By Nicolas Lemaçon.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet & Gareth Lewis (first Nova writeup).

Writeup completed on the 30th of December, 2017.