Richard Rider was chosen at random by the dying Xandarian Rhomann Dey to receive his Nova Corps powers, and found himself thrust into the role of superhero, a role he grasped with relish. He battled foes such as Dey's nemesis Zorr, the avian criminal Condor, the amnesiac Powerhouse (actually a Xandarian sent to locate the missing Dey), his uncle's murderer and member of the Maggia, Photon, and the mysterious Sphinx. The latter eventually kidnapped Nova and several others, using Dey's spaceship to transport them all to Xandar.
Learning that Xandar was threatened by the Skrull Empire, Nova and his fellows (bar the Sphinx, who had returned to Earth, and Doctor Sun, who teleported to an unknown location) pledged their aid; the Skrulls were eventually driven off with the help of the Galadorian Spaceknight, Rom. Homesick for Earth, Richard agreed to give up his powers, which were needed to help rebuild war-ravaged Xandar's defenses, and returned home. As the years gone by, Nova would become a founding member of the New Warriors, as well as a member of the Avengers, well-known associate to the Guardians of the Galaxy, and trusted Ally of the Ultimate Alliance.
- He is voiced by Robbie Daymond, who voiced Spider-Man in the 2017 TV series, Marvel's Spider-Man.
- He shares the same voice actor as Thane.