The Nova Corps is a fictional intergalactic military/police force appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics, and related media. Created by writer Marv Wolfman, the Corps first appeared in Fantastic Four #204 (March 1979). They have since appeared in numerous other Marvel stories set in outer space, and media adaptations, such as the animated TV series The Super Hero Squad Show and the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Nova Corps was originally a space militia and exploration group for the planet Xandar. It consisted of 500 soldiers ranging in rank from Corpsman up to Centurion and its leader Centurion Nova Prime. The source of the Nova Corps power is called the Nova Force which is an unlimited energy generated by a living computer called the Xandarian Worldmind. The Nova Corps have two priorities: defend the Xandarian civilization and protect and safeguard the Xandarian Worldmind.[volume & issue needed]
The Nova Corps and Xandar were destroyed three times: once by the alien Zorr, once by the space pirate Nebula, and once by the Annihilation Wave. They also had a costly war with the Skrulls.
During the Skrull's Secret Invasion of Earth, the Nova Corps were formed a fourth time to help Nova Prime Richard Rider defend the Project Pegasus building from the Skrulls. Their base of operations was inside Ego the Living Planet, rechristened "Nu-Xandar".
During the Kree-Shi'ar War, the Xandarian Worldmind starts recruiting new members to the Nova Corps without telling Richard. Upon learning that Ego the Living Planet is one of the Nova Corps, Richard speaks against this to the Xandarian Worldmind. Richard is stripped of his rank and discharged from the Nova Corps. After most of the new recruits are slaughtered by the Shi'ar's Imperial Guard, Ego is discharged from the Nova Corps and Richard is reinstated. Afterwards, Richard agrees to train the remaining recruits, which also includes his younger brother Robert.
During the war with the Cancerverse, Richard takes the Nova Force from the other recruits to use against Thanos. Richard apparently dies before returning it, leaving the Nova Corps powerless.
When the Phoenix Force returns to Earth in a lead-up to the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, a new centurion named Sam Alexander arrives to help the Avengers stop it.
It was later revealed that there was a black ops version of the Nova Corps called the Supernovas (AKA the Black Novas).
The Nova Force is the source of power for Nova and the entire Nova Corps, generated and controlled by the Living Computers of Xandar called the Xandarian Worldmind. The amount of Nova Force a Nova Corp member can access is determined by their rank. The higher the rank, the more power they can access. It has been observed, such as the case of Garthan Saal, that some exposures to the Nova Force can induce madness and mental instability with prolonged exposure to extremely high levels.
The Nova Force can grant the recipient (to varying degrees depending upon rank) various abilities including superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and perception. It also grants flight at faster than light speed, a healing factor, and energy powers. These energy powers include the ability to create an electromagnetic beam or a gravimetric pulse. It can also be used to create Star Gates. The link to the Worldmind allows the wearer to access enemy profiles, analyze an attacker's strengths and weaknesses, interface with computers, analyze energy signatures, create shields against mental attacks and receive transmissions from nearby sources.
As a corpsman, Richard Rider utilized some Nova costumes/battle suits designed by his New Warriors teammate Dwayne Taylor. These suits had various additional abilities. Other corpsman have been observed using traditional weapons, such as firearms.
the Nova Corps are ranks from the highest rank to the lowest rank:
- Nova Prime – The Nova Centurion designated as 'Prime' is the highest-ranking member of the Nova Corps. The Nova Prime is endowed with a vast portion of the Nova-Force, and capable of great feats of energy manipulation and projection.
- Centurion – The Centurions are the top tier of the Nova Corps. It is from the Centurions that the Centurion Nova Prime is selected. The Centurions can lift approximately 20 tons.
- Denarians – The Denarians are the middle tier of the Nova Corps. They have access to 75% of the Nova Force compared to the Centurions. The Denarians can lift approximately 15 tons.
- Millennians – The Millennians have 50% of the Nova Force compared to the Centurians. They cannot fly, but they can pilot one-man sky flyers. Millennians can lift approximately 10 tons, have limited invulnerability, and have small photon blasters in the armbands of their uniform.
- Corpsman – The Corpsman are the entry level of the Nova Corps. Any graduates from the Space Academy must apply to the Nova Corps upon graduation. They have access to 25% of the Nova Force compared to the Centurions. They can lift approximately 5 tons with limited invulnerability. Like the Millennians, the Corpsman have small photon blasters in the armbands of the their uniform.