Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have shared details of Nova’s supposed involvement in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
As the story goes, Nova’s origin story was put into place when Thanos destroyed Xandar off-screen, and he almost became a major player in the feud against the Mad Titan with Glenn Close returning to the MCU for the first time since Guardians of the Galaxy.
“We actually had, I remember in the big manifesto thing that we did, where the first work we did on these movies where we just… every possible storyline that you could take from what’s around, that Nova has the Xandarian Worldmind,” Markus told ComicBook.com on Thursday. “Yeah, the Xandarian Worldmind, was that after… it was almost going… In this conception, he would be the herald, not unlike the Hulk, who was actually standing in for the Silver Surfer, but that one member of the Nova Corps survived Thanos’ attack. The Xandarian Worldmind would be the voice of Glenn Close, because you had her and why not? And that he would be Richard Rider and he would come to earth.”
In the comics, Rider is the sole survivor of Xandar’s destruction and inherits the Xandarian Worldmind along with the full power of the Nova Corps as a means to preserve their legacy. With the Nova Corps first appearance in movies, Close made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Nova Prime in Guardians of the Galaxy from 2014. She has not been seen in a Marvel Studios film since.
The entrance for Nova on Earth with a warning of a cosmic threat would not have been unlike the role Sam Alexander’s Nova played in 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men comic series. “It would’ve been amazing,” Markus admits.
“But you’re introducing a whole new character when we’re trying to say goodbye to all the ones that you know,” McFeely points out.
As cool as it would’ve been to see Nova join the fight against Thanos, it would have been too much to have him introduced in Avengers: Infinity War and possibly play an even bigger role in Avengers: Endgame. The two recent MCU ensemble movies are a culmination of everything that has transpired in the franchise in its first decade, so it only makes sense that the story solely focused on them. It’s also a mystery how Hulk’s arc would have panned out if Marvel Studios pushed forward with Nova’s original role.