We close out Marvel Cosmic May with a look at the OG Nova, RICHARD RIDER! How can Doc help this jaded space cop who totally isn’t Hal Jordan?
- Next week is last episode of season 9
- Background (2:00)
- Richard Rider created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita Sr. in The Man Called Nova #1 (Sept. 1976)
- Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey is dying, and gives his power to high school student Richard Rider – however, he has no instructions on how to use these powers
- After some adventures on Earth, he travels to space, where he helps the Xandarians battle Skrulls and other enemies
- He returns to Earth and gives up his powers (first time), but after struggling without them, he regains them and joins the New Warriors
- Garthan Saal, a Nova Corpsman gone mad, strips Rich of his powers (2nd) so he can rebuild Xandar after Nebula destroyed it – Saal is defeated and his power is restored
- He defies the Xandarian queen in an effort to save Earth, and is stripped of his powers (3rd), but when his replacement sacrifices himself to stop the Deathstorm, he’s returned to glory
- Annihilation – the entire Nova Corps save Rich is destroyed by Annihilus, so the Xandarian Worldmind takes refuge inside Rich’s helmet – Rich kills Annihilus and saves the universe
- Unbeknownst to him, the Worldmind is recruiting new members to the Nova Corps – when Rich learns that Ego the Living Planet was among them, he objects and is stripped of his rank and powers (4th)
- Having lived with the Nova Force for so long, he is dying without the powers, so he borrows Wendell Vaughn’s quantum bands and becomes Quasar – after saving the Corps during War of Kings, Ego is removed and Rich is restored as a Centurion
- Goes through a rip in space-time known as the Fault and enters the Cancerverse, where he and Star-Lord battle Thanos until the rip closes, trapping all three inside – Star-Lord and Thanos later get a hold of a comic cube that frees them, but Rich remains trapped
- When Sam Alexander contacted the Xandarian Worldmind to get information on his father, this alerted Rich and allowed him to escape the Cancerverse – unfortunately, his body became a portal, and the inhabitants tried to use Rich to invade Earth – he and Sam helped repel the invaders, and they returned to Earth
- The entire Nova Corps was once again decimated, and Richard became an alcoholic until Annihilius showed up and asked for Rich’s help to defeat the Cancerverse invasion – after Rich swallowed the entire Cancerverse (#BecauseComics), he was killed by the Sentry, thus killing the invading forces, and resurrected by Annihilus as a way of saying thanks
- Took over as leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy after Star-Lord was killed, which Rich blamed himself for until he started therapy
- Issues – Theme is “Don’t worry, it gets better… I mean worse… I mean better…” (8:13)
- Constant flux of powers causes him numerous problems
- Feels like everything is his responsibility, and thus his fault (14:50)
- PTSD as a result of the numerous wars and battles (22:49)
- Break (28:29)
- Plugs for Cheers to Comics, Adventures in Erylia, and Jeremy Whitley
- Treatment (29:51)
- In-universe – Have him figure out how to use the Nova Force for creation
- Out of universe – (33:52)
- Skit (39:46)
- Hello Richard, I’m Dr. Issues. -Hello, Doctor.
- So, what can I do for you? -Well, let’s just say that I’m not going to be an easy case. I’m not going to give you a hard time, but this road is not smooth at all.
- I welcome the challenge. -You say that now, but when I start telling you some things…it’s not even about the confidentiality. This is some serious stuff. A lot of death, a lot of pain, tons of anger…and that’s just when things turn out ok.
- You’re building up to a multitude of events, and I don’t even know the basics about you. -Yeah, yeah, I get it. I just wish you could fast forward through this stuff, or leave off exactly where my last therapist did. Is that too much to ask? Do I have to repeat this every time?
- No, of course not. -Well, I gave you permission to look at my files, isn’t that enough? *clearly irritated* What, you can’t stomach to read it or something?
- What? No, I just want your take, not someone else’s. -So you think my last therapist was a kook? You think it was that bad?
- Whoa, you’re rushing to judgment way too early. -*Angry, rambling* Of all the people I get to take my stuff out on, I get someone who wants to start from the beginning, as if it wasn’t bad enough going through it the first time! *continues rambling angrily* that’s it, I’m outta here, gotta take a break, I KNEW this was going to go bad…*keeps rambling, door opens and shuts, still ranting*
- Well, this is going juuuuust great…oop -*door opens and shuts again, still ranting* whew, I might as well rip a hole in space time, that oughtta REALLY freak someone like you out. Do you know I’ve had to die just so I can live a better existence?
- Are you trying to intimidate me, or test me, or…I don’t know what. Is this how you vent? -I don’t vent. I attack.
- Then why are you attacking me? -Not you…well, not You, you. You just happen to be there. It’s not like that.
- Richard…I’m the only one here. I get that you have no other target, but it’s not productive to yell at me right now. I don’t take it personally, but I’m still a person. -You’re a person…aww, Doc has feelings…whaa whaa whaa…If you were with me, you wouldn’t last long with that attitude.
- You’re not trying to recruit me. I’m here to help you, remember? -*deep breath* Yeah, yeah…experienced dealing with cosmic madness. No excuse for my disrespect. This line of work kind of makes me jaded.
- I’ve heard worse, just not before…hmmm…you know what? Screw the background stuff. It’s obvious that it pisses you off. What I’ll focus on instead is what do you want to change about how you’re feeling right now? -*pause* Well, like you said, I’m pissed off, but…it’s deeper than that. It’s like something keeps clawing through me…and believe me, I’ve been clawed through, so I know what I’m talking about. But it’s not others, it’s…it’s something about me. Like, I’m not feeling how I should feel. Does any of this make any sense?
- Let me see if I understand. You have intense responses to your current state of mind, and it doesn’t match with what you should be feeling based on what you know about yourself. -Something like that, I guess.
- Then what “should” you be feeling, if you don’t mind my airquotes? – *pause* I shouldn’t even exist, you know? I should have been dead and buried a looooooong time ago, but I’m still kicking…and kicking ass, while I’m at it.
- So, survivor’s guilt? -I’m grateful! But, how many times am I going to go through this?
- I don’t have a crystal ball -Well even the ones who have that type of power treat me like a wild card anyway, or take my power…sometimes I wonder if I should fight to get them back at all. Then I get pissed off evan more, and I double down, and just promise myself that if I ever get them back I won’t lose them again…*frustrated* HOW…MANY…TIMES? How do I keep going?
- *pause* You were right. From the start, you were right. This is not a smooth road. You are like Sisyphus…perpetually pushing that rock. -I thought you were supposed to make me feel better.
- Hear me out! This is going to be a matter of perspective. You have been entrusted with a task that is incredibly important but has shown to carry with it a perpetual burden that resets from time to time. You can view that as a curse, but -*interrupting* If you say it’s a blessing I swear
- No, I’m saying it’s variety. You have learned to adapt to the same goal in ways that most people haven’t endured yet. That’s beyond unique, that’s a level of discipline that can’t be taught. If you continue to endure, then you are providing yourself with more ammo for unexpected challenges even when the basic premise remains the same. Sunrise, sunset, but no two are the same. You get me? -A part of me wants to rip your spine out through your chest and use it as a javelin for my next enemy you optimistic pious jerk
- *gulp* -But…hmmmph…that can’t be all there is to it, right? Like, I can’t make “keep my powers” be the end goal?
- It doesn’t have to be, but you were the one who said that’s what’s eating at you. You’re a complex study, so I’m sure we’re just scratching the surface, and I’ll challenge your own assumptions. -You got a bit of a bite to you after all. No wimping out. That’s decent of you. Ok, hot shot. I’ll tell you what. If you’re willing to take my call, I’ll reach out when I think I’m about to have someone get the drop on me.
- I’ll be waiting *whispers* with some antipsychotics for the paranoia* -What was that?
- Nothing…ehe, I’ll be waiting is my point. -Right then. Guess this is as good a time as any to wrap this up before I piss myself off again. Good bye.
- Bye *hears door open/shut* *phone dialing* I’m not even sure how this works, does my plan cover intergalactic calls? Anyhoo…um…your excellency…tribunal…ness…sir…thing…I think I’m going to take a break in my block scheduling for now…no, I didn’t say I quit…I mean…your sense of time is so much different, a day is a decade to you, or vice versa…yeah, messes with my calendar. Plus my accountant doesn’t know how to handle “being one with the balance” as a form of payment. Still have some details to work out. Ciao!
- Ending (47:15)
- Recommended reading: late 2000s cosmic Marvel (Annihilation Conquest, War of Kings, Thanos Imperative)
- Next episodes: Miguel O’Hara
- Plugs for social & GonnaGeek Network
- Sam Alexander episode – Anthony (6:33)
- Elton John “I’ve Seen That Movie Too” – Anthony (27:22)
Apple Podcasts: here
Google Play: here