There’s a revolving door of death in comics today. When a character dies, especially a major player, fans expect him or her to return within the year. It’s not a terrible plot device, but it has to be used scarcely and skillfully, like in the case of Barry Allen. Unfortunately, more often than not, it comes off as repetitive and predictable.
Creators have an incredible power over life and death, and with great power must also come great responsibility. Killing a character only to revive them in time for a movie release may not be the best use of that power. Instead, bring back a hero that deserves it:
Richard Rider, the original Nova.
This guy. The badass who defeated Annihilus by literally ripping his insides out. He’s been absent from Marvel Comics since January 2011, when he sacrificed himself, alongside Star-Lord, to defeat Thanos. It was sad, but it was also a glorious death, and one worthy of a true hero.
Then you went ahead and retconned it, bringing Peter Quill and Thanos back to life just in time for Guardians of the Galaxy to hit theaters. Yet, Rider remained M.I.A. without an explanation. When you did finally explain his absence, you desecrated his remains by putting the story in the hands of a man who couldn’t even spell his name correctly.
Nova deserved better than that.
Sure, maybe he was derived from Peter Parker, with his teenage origin, and his alliterative name, but he was never a rip-off. He was an homage, and he developed into a character all his own, far from his roots. While Spider-Man was flip-flopping sides during Civil War, Nova was leading the charge against the Annihilation Wave to save the galaxy. He managed the entirety of the Xandarian Worldmind, something that had previously driven Nova Corpsmen insane.
Now, you’ve already introduced a new Nova, Sam Alexander. Sam’s great in his own way; he’s an Avenger. His solo title is a great mix of fun and touching. We’re not saying to bench Sam to play Rich, but why not put both in the game at the same time?
Once more, let’s use Spider-Man as a baseline. The end of Secret Wars brought Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man, to the mainstream Marvel Universe, where Peter Parker is still alive. So there are now two Spider-Men in the world, but they’re not cramping each other’s style. Peter is dealing with major threats to the world while Miles is handling street level crime.
Sam can still be an Avenger and continue to handle Earth’s problems, along with his family drama. Richard Rider belongs among the stars anyway; it’s where he thrives. His best stories were told in the Abnett & Lanning era, between Annihilation and The Thanos Imperative, and he barely sets foot on Earth in that time. This is where he proved himself to be a leader, a warrior, and one of the best characters in the Marvel Universe. Plus, he can always make an Earthbound cameo to serve as Sam’s mentor.
This is our plea. You’ve killed and revived Jean Grey fifty-seven times already (at least it feels like it). Please bring Nova back once.
(Plus, he’s from Long Island. Long Islanders need characters like Richard Rider to prove that
we’re they’re not all yuppies.)
Until then, even if it never happens,