Nomad: Fitting In

Writer Sean McKeever discusses Rikki Barnes’ search for a place to belong in NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD #2

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NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD #2 preview art by David Baldeon

By Tim Stevens

High school can be brutal under the best of circumstances. Now imagine having to go to a high school in a world not your own-oh, and there is some kind of monster in the utility closet.

Welcome to the world of Rikki Baines, formerly Rikki Barnes.

On October 14, the newest arrival in the mainstream Marvel Universe continues to struggle with her new life as a high school student and the question of whether she should embrace a new alter ego, that of the hero Nomad, in NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD #2, written by Sean McKeever with art by David Baldeon.

While many in situations half as strange as hers might fold up, Rikki has made a go of living in this world that could be her own except for some small but important differences. That drive, according to McKeever, makes her an extremely interesting character.

"What's great about Rikki is she's thoroughly determined," the writer asserts. "She's feeling lost in a world that she doesn't feel she belongs in, she's virtually penniless and alone, but you don't see her ever giving up on herself."

Of course, Rikki's dedication to making her new life work does not mean she won't still run up against significant obstacles. Whether it's a confrontation with Black Widow derailing her plans to meet Captain

NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD #2 preview art by David Baldeon
America or the fact that her brother on this world has no sister, Marvel Earth seems filled with reminders of how far away from home the former Bucky now finds herself.

"While this Earth is nearly identical to her own, the things that are most important to her are different," explains McKeever. "That, I think, would actually make it harder to deal with, having so much be familiar. At least if she was in a completely alien world her losses wouldn't be so prominent."

Still, the writer did not want to lose the character to the plot and therefore made the decision to place her firmly in the world; hence, her new life as a high school student, walking the same halls as the counterpart to her brother. For McKeever, the story would not work without this element.

"At its core, this is a coming-of-age story," he notes. "This is about finding out who you're becoming and either embracing or rejecting it. It's important for Rikki herself to be grounded in that way because it keeps her life familiar. Also, I believe a super hero always needs an interesting life outside of their super hero world. We care about Peter Parker due in part to the people and situations surrounding his sad-sack life."

In NOMAD #2, the thing Rikki must choose to embrace or reject the moniker and costume of Nomad. While the title of the book probably gives away that particular mystery, the writer warns that readers should not gloss over the significance of her choice just because they can see it coming. Becoming Nomad represents an important choice for Rikki and a significant moment in the history of the Captain America.

NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD #2 preview art by David Baldeon
"I feel it's an appropriate legacy for her, since Steve Rogers was the original Nomad," says the writer.

Evidently, someone out there agrees with McKeever and left Rikki the mysterious package in the first place. That mystery will also be cleared up very soon, although it might spark some further questions.

"You will learn who gave her the costume," McKeever promises. "It may not be the obvious choice."

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