Avengers: Infinity War Writers Reveal Why Nova Didn’t Get His Big Screen Debut

Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explained via livetweet why Nova didn't make it into the MCU film.
nova - richard rider

So close and yet so far from Nova’s introduction to the MCU.

Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely live tweeted with fans during a Quarantine Watch Party of the MCU film, using the twitter account. Fans were able to ask questions and learn behind the scenes information from the screen writers. One fan asked about the hero Nova, who was at one point planned to be introduced in the first part of the massive Marvel movie event. 

Nova Didn’t Fit In The Critical Mass

Markus and McFeely admit that it was at one point an idea to introduce the cosmic Xandarian hero, but honestly Infinity War was so full of characters, old and new, that it became too much. This is understandable, since we finally get to know Thanos beyond small cameos and his soldiers. Adding in another new character and needing to get into his back story would have been a lot. 

It looks like the decision was also made in part because the sequence where Thanos destroys the planet Xandar was cut. Without that scene, Markus and McFeely didn’t think it made as much sense to introduce Nova into the MCU…yet. The opening scene with Thanos murdering most of the remaining Asgardian citizens as well as Loki and Heimdall is used instead to give the emotional gut punch that is needed. 


Hulk becomes the one who warns Earth’s mightiest heroes of Thanos’ inevitable arrival and tries to help fight off the mad titan. Looking at Infinity War it makes sense why the Xandarian’s introduction was scrapped and Hulk took over the role he would have had, considering Hulk is a known character to the Avengers and the audience. They didn’t need to take any time to introduce the character, go over his backstory, build trust between him and the Avengers. That being said Nova could still be introduced to the MCU at some point – and with the next phase diving deeper into Marvel’s cosmic heroes it could be sooner than we think. 

nova - samuel alexander
Rider’s successor, Samuel Alexander, who is not described in this article.

Nova, or Richard Rider, was created by writer Marv Wolfman and debuted in the 1976 comic The Man Called Nova #1. Richard Rider was selected as a replacement by Rhomman Dey, the last member of Xandar’s elite Nova Corp, as he was dying. This would keep the Nova Corp from being completely destroyed. Richard may be given the uniform and powers that go along with becoming a Nova Corp member, but beyond that the New York teen has to figure most of it out himself.

Rider, who goes by the name Nova to hide his identity, uses his newfound powers to become a superhero. He leaves Earth and journeys to Xandar to help with their war against the Skrull before relinquishing his powers and returning home. Rider later regains his powers and works as a defender of Xandar and Earth. He teams up with a number of different heroes including the superhero team New Warriors, and even Star Lord.

Nova’s powers are derived from an energy force known as the Nova Force which all Corps Centurions are able to wield. The Force gives Rider access to superhuman abilities which includes flight, superhuman strength, durability, and speed. Nova also has the power to absorb energy that is used against him in battle and release it a gravimetric pulses or beams, from targeted parts of his body or his body as a whole. His uniform is the Nova Corp uniform which is designed to accommodate his newfound super powers without being damaged. 

If Xandar and the Nova Corp sounds familiar, that is because they were introduced in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. The Guardians helped the Corp to fight against Ronan who was determined to destroy Xandar. And who can forget Quill’s epic dance battle once they all crash down onto Xandar? It may only be a matter of time before this character is introduced into the MCU. Especially if the idea of introducing him was already being kicked around at one point. 

Do you wish Nova had been introduced in Avengers: Infinity War? How do you think Rider or his successor Samuel Alexander should be introduced into the MCU? What other characters do you want to see join the MCU? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.


Picture of Caitlin Tyrrell

Caitlin Tyrrell

Features Manager & Producer with The Illuminerdi. Caitlin has a deep love for storytelling of every kind. She is a huge fan of television, animation, and film, but Star Wars, the MCU, and Critical Role hold a special place in her heart.