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Ever since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie introduced the Nova Corps to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have wondered if we might one day see the hero known as Nova. While we still have no clear idea what the plans may be for the character, it does seem clear that, if we somehow never see Nova in the MCU, it's not because James Gunn doesn't like him.
While comic book movies are all the rage on the big screen. Actual comic books still remain a bit of a niche medium. While there are, and have always been, serious comic book fans, with some of the most popular Marvel or DC characters in comic books going back 50 years or more, there's simply a massive volume of material that exists chronicling the adventures of comics' most popular heroes. Even if you've been reading your favorite hero for decades, there may be just as many or more decades of books you've never seen.
How long you should have to follow a given character before you can consider yourself an expert is one of those questions that fans love to debate, sometimes ferociously, but I think it's probably safe to say that James Gunn qualifies as an expert on Nova. The Guardians of the Galaxy director recently responded to a post on Twitter claiming that he has read approximately three-quarters of all Nova comics published to date.
While the tweet that James Gunn was responding to has since be deleted by the person who posted it, the gist was that it asked Gunn to respond to a rumor that the director knew nothing about the character of Nova. Certainly, it seems that 's far from the case.
Nova has been around off and on since 1976, so there are a lot of Nova-related comics out there in the last 40+years. Reading 75% of them is a reasonable feat.
The Nova Corps that we've seen in the MCU bear little resemblance to the character known as Nova from the comics. The Nova Corps of the first Guardians of the Galaxy are essentially just the planet Xandar's police force. Nova the hero is what's called a Centurion and is super powered thanks to having access to something called the Nova Force which bestows upon certain members of the Corps special abilities like flight and super strength.
Perhaps the fact that we never saw a Centurion was what spawned the apparent "rumor" that James Gunn doesn't actually know the character.
Quite to the contrary, Nova's name has come up as a potential addition to the MCU more than once. Gunn has specifically said that he's considered using the character before, so it's certainly within the realm of possibility that Nova could show up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or any other MCU movie.
There might even a place to put him which makes some sense. The Nova of the comics is actually a human named Richard Rider who is bestowed the power of a Centurion named Rhomann Dey. In Rider's timeline in the comics, Xandar gets essentially wiped out in an attack by Nebula. In the MCU, we know that something similar has happened to Xandar, when Thanos attacked it to gain the Power Stone.
We have no idea if we'll ever see Nova on the big screen, but if James Gunn is the one responsible for making it happen, fans can rest easy.