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By Jim Beard
The clothes make the man? Tell that to Richard Rider, aka Nova—he's sporting new duds and he's just not himself anymore. You can see for yourself in NOVA #23 on March 25.
But first, a quick rundown of Nova's different uniforms through the years, as ol' Rich has been quite the clotheshorse!
NOVA v1 #1
(1976) – Gifted to him by the Centurion Nova Prime, this suit served Rich well until the end of the Xandar/Skrull War and his return to civilian life. The original, the one that started it all!
THOR v1 #411
(1989) – Created by Night Thrasher, this outfit marked Rich's resurgence of power and his introduction with the New Warriors. Hey, who ya callin' "Kid Nova"???
NEW WARRIORS v1 #14
(1991) – Nostalgic for the original Nova duds, Rich accepted an upgraded version as a gift from Night Thrasher.
NEW WARRIORS v2 #0
(1999) – A new New Warriors meant new Nova threads so Rich designed this version himself; too bad he got a dressing down from the Queen of the Xandarians and had to ditch 'em!
ANNIHILATION: NOVA #1
(2006) – When Rich found he'd become the vessel for the entirety of the Nova Force, it fell to
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the Worldmind to fashion some new fashion for its champion. Shiny and sleek, it's Nova for the new millennium!
Check out the bottom of this article for a full gallery of Nova costumes!
All good things must change, though. The latest sartorial shift comes about in NOVA #23, as the acclaimed action series reels from the cosmic War of Kings event and forces a now Nova-less Rich to ask, "If with great power comes great responsibility, where do I get the power from?"
"I think it's a nice twist," says new NOVA artist Andrea DiVito of the Wendell Vaughn-inspired look. "It's going to be fun to portray Rich's emotions now that we can see him in action without his helmet for a while.
"Quasar's modern costume is very easy and streamlined compared to Nova's Annihilation armor so it's allows me a different approach to Rich's movements and body language."
DiVito catches the NOVA train at an opportune moment in its history, as its lead character segues from one type of visual to what the artist sees as a more "regal" appearance.
"I am having fun giving Rich the clothes of another hero; the way he moves and acts with them is going to be challenging," he notes. "I have always thought of Nova as a 'cannonball' kind of hero, he'd rather charge at an enemy head on and ask questions later. Quasar on the other hand
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always struck me as a clever fighter, maybe due to his 'creativity' in using his Quantum powers.
"I think the biggest challenge is handling the subtle nuances of Rich not having armor to rely on in a fight—I think he's gong to end his fights in tatters for a while!"
With all of Nova's different uniforms throughout his career its only natural that DiVito would form favorites among them:
"The original look wins hands down, especially because Big John [Buscema] drew it! Close second is the modern Annihilation suit. I think that giving the helmet a more anatomical feel was the right move. Nova's helmet now looks more like something out of Greek mythology and it's definitely more badass than ever!"
And least-favorites among the myriad Nova uniforms?
"The one I dislike the most is the 'ponytail' Nova; I think it was very out of character and a bad design step all around," DiVito opines. "Although in those years all the 'cool' heroes had to have long hair and a two day old beard to look tough!
"I think the modern design opened up a whole lot of possibilities in getting away from spandex and moving to a light body armor. That said, I'd like to have a shot at redesigning it integrating some of the original duds into it—it would be a lot of fun!"
Witness Nova's new look and new artist in the pages of NOVA #23, due out March 25 with familiar writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. And get caught up with the Human Rocket on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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