I was just the right age to love the comics Marvel put out under its “Heroes for the 90s” tag in 1990. Spider-Man by Todd McFarlane? Check. Ghost Rider by Howard Mackie? Only the best Ghost Rider comics ever. Namor by John Byrne? You bet. (Also part of the line: Robocop and Guardians of the Galaxy.) And, what did 15-year-old me find to be the best of the bunch? New Warriors.
The book was written by Fabian Nicieza with a pre-superstar Mark Bagley on art. On the splash page of the opening issue, Night Thrasher is holding a depowered Richard Rider off the edge of a roof.
He’s hoping the adrenaline causes Rider’s Nova powers to kick in. Fortunately, it works, or this would have been a much shorter series than the 75 issues the first series ended up running.
With his powers restored, Nova — who was called ‘Kid Nova’ for a while, I believe for trademark reasons — became the hotheaded young man of the New Warriors team. Nova takes the forefront in “The Starlost” from New Warriors 40-42 and in January 1994 again received a solo series, from “New Warriors” writer Nicieza.
“New Warriors” came to a close in 1996, with the “Heroes for the ’90s” making it for more than half the decade. They were revived for a 10-issue run in 1999 by writer Jay Faerber.
Nova’s solo series ran 18 issues, to 1995, and he also underwent a brief revival in 1999, for seven issues written by Erik Larsen.
Nova made an appearance in what would be a forgettable 2005 “New Warriors” series by Zeb Wells, in which the New Warriors became reality show stars. However, the “reality” Warriors spurred Mark Millar to use the team as the flashpoint of “Civil War.”
While the Warriors are much changed, some of the characters now appear in the current “New Warriors” and “Thunderbolts” series. Nova, meanwhile, was recalled to the Nova Corps as part of 2006′s “Annihilation” — the series that made Nova into one of Marvel’s leading heroes.
– Matt Price