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How INFINITY WAR Sets Up a NOVA Movie in the MCU

With most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe capable of fitting inside of a dustpan, Phase IV has plenty of opportunities for fresh faces to step into the superheroic spotlight. While we’ll be meeting Carol Danvers in 2019’s Avengers 4 and the Captain Marvel movie, she’s going to have her hands full dealing with undoing the damage done by Thanos, as well as laying the smackdown on some Skrulls. This leaves us with a dire need in the MCU for more spacefaring heroes to deal with the many, many cosmic threats looming out there. Given the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, it seems increasingly likely that we’ll see another spacebound hero make his way to the big screen: Nova.

According to a popular Infinity War fan theory, Thanos’ actions have already laid the groundwork for the origin of Richard Rider, a.k.a. the original Nova. However, in order to get into the how and the why of it all, we’re going to have to head deep into the heart of spoiler country. So if you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War yet, make like Ebony Maw and give yourself some personal space.

This theory centers on events that take place mostly off-screen during Infinity War‘s considerable runtime on the planet of Xandar. First seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, Xandar is home to the Nova Corps, and intergalactic peacekeepign force led by Glenn Close’s Nova Prime. We know that they were protecting the Power Stone there after the Guardians defeated Ronan the Accuser’s forces through the power of dance. However, when we see Thanos at the beginning of Infinity War, he already has the Power Stone in his possession. Thor confirms our worst fears to the Guardians when he tells them that Thanos and his forces decimated Xandar the week prior, so it’s safe to assume the Nova Corps is little more than a pile of Nova corpses at this point.

Here’s where we need to look to comic book history. In the comics, when Xandar is destroyed, the last surviving member of the Nova Corps, Rhomann Dey (played by John C. Reilly), manages to escape. Making his way to Earth, Dey selects New York City teenager Richard Rider to inherit his powers and take up the Nova Corps’ noble cause. Unfortunately for young Richard, Dey died before explaining exactly how to use his cool new cosmic powers. The result is something akin to a mash-up of Green Lantern and Spider-Man, but with a cooler helmet than either.

Naturally, one can’t help but wonder if Rhomann Dey managed to escape Thanos’ attack on Xandar in the MCU, too. With Marvel embracing more of its cosmic side on the big screen through films like Captain Marvel and the addition of new groups like the Skrull Empire, Nova’s chances of appearing on the big screen are increasing with each passing day. During a Facebook Q&A in August 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn revealed that Marvel Studios was considering using the “real” Nova in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige added further fuel to the speculatory fire this April when he told that Nova is a character with “immediate potential” to get his own movie. However, like with most new Phase Four movies, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens after the dust clears in Avengers 4 in April 2019.

What do you think of this theory? Do you think Rhomann Dey escaped Xandar? Would you want to see Nova on the big screen? Let’s discuss.

Images: Marvel Studios/Disney/Marvel Comics

Additional reporting by Jesse B. Gill.


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