With Disney+ introducing Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans are excited for potential Phase 5 MCU shows on Disney+. A show many fans are interested in the prospect of is NOVA, whether it’s the Sam Alexander or Richard Rider versions. For continuity purposes, it would be great to see characters such as John C. Reilly’s Rhomann Dey reappear as he trains the newest member of the Nova Corps. Utilizing Disney+ instead of movies may be the best way to introduce a new version of Nova into the MCU, as 6 hours of dedicated screen time to the character and concept is more effective than cameos in a 2 hour film.
Also, there’s a lot to cover with the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame on the cosmic side. Utilizing a series such as NOVA that could explore the new status quo of the current day cosmic MCU would be beneficial and take the pressure off of movies like Captain Marvel 2, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The most interesting aspect of this show would be how they establish a new Nova Corps with superhuman abilities since James Gunn presented a less powerful version of the military organization in Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the aftermath of Thanos decimating Xandar, likely the Nova Corps bases and prisons were affected to a certain degree. In Guardians of the Galaxy, a supermax prison named the Kyln was introduced which could be revisited in a NOVA series. Possibly there are criminals that escaped and are still at large, which can result in a buddy-cop type of series featuring a veteran Nova (Rhomann Dey?) and a rookie Nova Corps member (human POV character). If they went this route it would be interesting to see a potential cameo from a member of the Guardians for an episode or maybe a cameo appearance from The Grandmaster or The Collector.
Another direction this series could take is the exploration of the cosmic MCU in a similar way to how Doctor Strange was used as a foundation for exploring alternate dimensions/universes. This would work well since cosmic characters previously owned by FOX are now in Marvel’s sandbox. While we may not see major cosmic characters such as Gladiator, we can at least be introduced to the Shi’ar Empire and their government. Both of these approaches to a NOVA series story could work for Sam Alexander, Richard Rider, or a new character.
Sam Alexander or Richard Rider?
With recent changes to the MCU roster, the characters are looking more like the All-New All-Different line-up. This featured Sam Wilson as Captain America and Jane Foster as Thor; changes we’ll also see reflected in Phase 4 of the MCU. With Richard Rider, introducing him would be more consistent with the original NOVA comics, since he was the successor of Rhomann Dey. Another opportunity with Richard Rider would be introducing him as not only the first human Nova but maybe a veteran and previous student under Dey. This could leave the character open to a narrative outside of the typical origin stories which can slowly develop in a movie or TV series.
For Sam Alexander, it would fit the directive of more diversity within upcoming MCU films. The first real taste of this was the diverse cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sam Alexander receiving his helmet from the Supernovas, a black ops unit within the Nova Corps. These Nova had special abilities which can be translated to the MCU in a similar manner to how the Kree black ops Starforce team gave each member a special ability. Sam Alexander as the POV protagonist searching for his missing father in space could also take inspiration from the NOVA series that introduced Sam Alexander. A series that eventually leads to a buddy cop series featuring Sam Alexander working with a veteran Richard Rider who recently escaped the Cancerverse.
Connecting To The Films
Just like the other shows connect to an upcoming MCU film, likely NOVA would as well. Out of the possible films on Phase 4 and Phase 5 slates, the most likely options are Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This is because Captain Marvel is the current de facto cosmic superhero in the modern MCU and has stated she’s traveling around the universe to help protect it. This seems to indicate the Nova Corps isn’t fully operational as they’d be assisting or keeping order across the galaxy. Captain Marvel in the MCU also has a similar powerset to the comic book version of Nova.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be another film a NOVA series connects with since Richard Rider’s Nova has a long history with Peter Quill and Gamora. However, regardless of connections, it’ll be cool to see any version of Nova in a live-action setting as the MCU further explores its cosmic side.