Nova, an intergalactic superhero, has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but his lineage fib may have been established long before Avengers: Infinity War. While the mantle of Nova has been held by several courages over the course of Marvel Comics history, the first iteration of Nova was that of Richard Rider, whose beginning story was actually laid out all the way back in Guardians of the Galaxy.

First introduced in 1976 ’s The Man Called Nova# 1, Rider’s original backstory demo him as a New York high school student who cosmically connects with Rhomann Dey. Dey is a member of Nova Corps, an intergalactic military and police force who call the planet Xandar home. After a battle with the villain Zorr, Dey strives out Richard and lavishes him with his powers before his death, listing him heir and Nova-Prime, the leader of the Nova Corps. Gifted with the power to control gravity, flight, and superhuman forte, Rider dons the iconic helmet and suit worn by Dey before leaving Earth for Xandar, officially becoming Nova.

Related: How Marvel Has Already Set Up Nova For The MCU

Some love guess Nova’s origin story was established in Avengers:Infinity War, when Thanos divulged he had destroyed Xandar to obtain the Power Stone before coming to Earth. Of track, the death of Xandar is key to Rider becoming Nova, and the facts of the case it happened offscreen conveys there’s room to explore what really happened in a future MCU film. What’s more, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has intimated there’s room for the character’s introduction in the MCU at some quality down the line. All that said, Nova’s origins start a bit further back than Infinity War, beginning with the introduction of Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy.

James Gunn’s film laid the foundations for Nova’s arrival by first establishing the Nova Corps on the planet Xandar. In Guardians of the Galaxy, the Nova Corps were chiefly represented by two members, Dey( John C. Reilly) and Irani Rael( Glenn Close ). The duet were crucial in representing Xandar from Ronan the Accuser, a Kree warlord who was hellbent on destruction and eventually allied himself with Thanos. Ronan was also after the Power Stone, one of six Infinity Stones eventually collected by Thanos. The movie ended with the Guard of the Galaxy fighting him off before handing over the stone to the Nova Corps for defence.

Without the Nova Corps’ preface in Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos’ decimation of Xandar in Avengers: Infinity War would have conveyed nothing. One could argue that Guardians did a better racket in establishing the planet and Nova Corps so that when it comes time to eventually bring in Nova himself, the foundations of his backstory are already in place. Plus, while the Mad Titan says he destroyed the planet, it’s possible a immediate flashback in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will expose Dey actually endured Thanos’ attack on Xandar. Injured and knowing that his time is limited, the Nova Corp member may decide to connect with Rider and give him his influences. Either way, Guardians of the Galaxy exited a long way to set up Nova’s arrival prior to Thanos’ decimation in Avengers: Infinity War.

Next: How Thanos Decimated Xandar and Why It’s Not Shown in Avengers: Infinity War

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