How 'Avengers: Infinity War' Sets Up Nova's MCU Debut

To say a lot happens in Avengers: Infinity War is to put things lightly. The epic blockbuster went all-out as it followed Thanos on his journey to collect all of the Infinity Stones. The Mad Titan had no mercy as he and his Black Order ravaged the universe for the powerful relics, but one of Thanos' most innocuous actions might have opened a door in the MCU for a long-awaited hero.

So, this is our obligatory spoilers warning. If you have not seen Avengers: Infinity War yet, do not read below this paragraph. Major spoilers for the film lie below! We repeat: MAJOR spoilers for the movie lie below. You've been warned.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the MCU, and the franchise has only gotten started with some of its big stories. The debut of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 ushered in an era of cosmic goodness for audiences, and many comic readers thought it was just a matter of time until Nova appeared. After all, the intergalactic hero is a favorite one for fans of Marvel's cosmic stories, but the powers behind the MCU all said his entrance would be a far off one. However, that all might have changed thanks to Avengers: Infinity War.

If you have seen the film, you know Thanos completed his goal and collected all of the Infinity Stones. When the film began, the Mad Titan was already in possession of the Power Stone, the purple gem that fans stumbled upon in the first Guardians film. The stone was being targeted by Thanos and Ronin, but Star-Lord managed to protect the relic in the end. Xandar was chosen to house the Power Stone and keep it safe as it was the capitol of the Nova Empire. However, the planet did not stand a chance against Thanos.

According to Thor, Thanos and the Black Order decimated Xandar before Avengers: Infinity Warn even got started. Fans know what the Mad Titan is capable of when it comes to destroying worlds, and his bent has to do with halving populations. Fans can assume that Xanadar's decimation wiped out at least half its population and much of the Nova Corps with it. And, if that sounds familiar to you, then you probably know who Richard Rider and Rhomann Dey are.

In the comics, Nova was given his most famous introduction after Xandar is destroyed by a villain claiming to be a child of Thanos. With the Nova Corps obliterated, Rhomann Dey, who was played by John C. Reilly way back when, escapes to Earth as the force's sole survivor. It is there the older man meets a high school student named Richard Rider, and Dey passes on his powers to the boy. The injured man gives his Nova Centurion uniform to Rider who can then tap into the Nova Force, a cosmic power every Corpsman from the fleet could wield.

With Xandar destroyed in the MCU, audiences are wondering if Dey might have escaped Thanos and the carnage is wrought. If the Nova survivor makes it to Earth once the planet in the wake of Avengers 4 and its inevitable resurrections, it is very possible Dey will meet up with Rider and begin Nova's MCU legacy in full.

Of course, audiences may be hesitant to put stock in Nova's debut just yet. After all, the hero has been quietly pushed against as director James Gunn and producer Kevin Feige have said his introduction wasn't a focus for the MCU. However, the latter's stance on the hero changed radically when ComicBook spoke with him at an Avengers: Infinity War junket.

Speaking with Brandon Davis, Feige said Marvel Studios is courting immediate plans for the cosmic hero. "Nova is… if we have a big board with a bunch of characters that have more immediate potential, Nova is on that board," Feige explained.

"Because of the connection to the Guardians universe, because there are more than one examples to pull from in the comics that are interesting. And you're absolutely right, he was in the earliest drafts of the [Guardians of the Galaxy]."

With Marvel Studios looking more closely into Nova, it would only make sense for the MCU to take advantage of Xandar's defeat and usher Nova into its ranks. It may be awhile before the hero goes live, but Feige's team has gotten good at weaving new heroes into the MCU's complex tapestry. So, if you were on the fence about diving into Nova's comic lore, then now is the time to acquaint yourself with the fan-favorite hero.

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Marvel Studios' Black Panther is still in theaters, while Avengers: Infinity War hit theaters this weekend. It will be followed by Ant-Man and The Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.