It seems like news about Nova and his inclusion in the MCU has been percolating for years, but with the latest reports coming out of Marvel insiders, the rumors regarding the Richard Rider character are about to reach a boiling point. Fortunately, there are several speculative Nova issues where a small investment now could potentially turn into a substantial return in a few short years. When and how Nova will be introduced into the MCU is purely guesswork right now, but a dive into some of Marvel’s major story lines in Nova’s history can provide some clues about where he might first turn up.
This issue is the one that started it all and introduced us to Richard Rider, the Nova Corps, and the origin story of Nova. As most comic fans are aware, this major key has been growing not only in price but also in popularity in recent months, making high-grade copies almost completely unavailable at budget prices.
At the top end, CGC 9.8 copies of Nova #1 are selling high and they are selling often. There has been only one recorded 9.8 sale since March that was under $1,000. Should a Nova character be MCU confirmed, those prices might start to climb closer to $2,000, so on the rare chance you can find one under a grand, grit your teeth and pull the trigger.
Across these two issues, we have a low-key (#Loki) debate about which is the true first appearance of The New Warriors, as they show up as a cameo in Thor #411 and then have a first full team appearance in Thor #412.
Introducing Nova through this story-line is problematic, however. The first iteration of The New Warriors is comprised of a roster of heroes and villains we have not yet seen from Disney, namely Night Thrasher, Marvel Boy, Firestar, Galactus, Speedball, Namorita, and Juggernaut. Furthermore, the story begins with Rider believing his Nova Corps powers have been stripped so weaving this story into an origin is probably too complicated for a first appearance.
While these CGC 9.8 Thor issues don’t come close to Nova #1 prices, they can’t be found anymore for under $100, including a Thor #411 that sold for a record $259 on September 7th (perhaps not-so-coincidentally only two weeks after the viral Russo brothers rumor of a Nova appearance in Endgame). Dropping down might be the best financial bet to make, as copies of both issues in the 9.2.- 9.6 range can still be had for under $75. These books are probably long-term, post-Phase 5 investments.
Part of the larger Marvel Annihilation works, Annihilation: Prologue deals with the destruction of the Nova Corps save for one human Nova, named Richard Rider. We see familiar characters in this prologue story such as Drax, Ronan, and the Kree Empire, while at the same time disentangling Rider from the larger Corp to act on his own.
If you’ve come looking for sweet Nova covers, Annihilation: Nova are the books for you. This four-part miniseries deals with the aftermath of the Corps being eliminated and Nova’s evolution into Nova Prime, essentially a super-Nova that consumes all of the power of the Corps. Should the MCU decide to introduce Nova in a galactic setting, the pieces are in place to launch from an upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie or the developing Kree/Skrull story.
Neither of these books has significant CGC presence or sales and can be purchased for under $10 on eBay right now.
Let’s see who we have on the roster of Secret Avengers #1 and if there is any correlation to the present state of the MCU. War Machine? Check. Black Widow? Sort of, potentially complicated. Valkyrie? Check. Agent 13? Check. Ant-Man? Check. Moon Knight? Coming soon, Check. Captain America? Paging Sam Wilson or Bucky Barnes. Tentative, Check. Beast? Hopefully coming soon, Check. And then there’s Nova. If Disney wants to introduce Nova in an Earth-bound setting, this seems like the most effective way to do it. Volume 1 of Secret Avengers circles around themes that already exist in the MCU: S.H.I.E.L.D., the Superhuman Registration Act, H.A.M.M.E.R., and Roxxon Energy Corporation. Hmmmm…. This Nova story may not be the first one told by the MCU, but the puzzle is only missing one piece to be complete.
This book can still be had for what’s underneath your couch cushions. As a matter of fact, I just went on eBay and bought a raw copy for myself for $2.25. This issue doesn’t register in any meaningful way on the CGC sales history, and only 16 total copies show up in the census. If you are looking for a massively-cheap, long-shot spec book, this might be your best option.
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