The Fate of the Nova Corps in the MCU

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 was a big success in many ways. While many of the past few movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been financially successful, Guardians 3 was that and more. With an 82% critic’s score, and a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, we can see that the movie was well enjoyed by many fans and critics alike. Part of that success is owed to the fact that they completed the story that they began with Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 1. However there was one story line set up by Volume 1 that wasn’t really finished, and that is the story of the Nova Corps.

The planet Xandar was featured heavily in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and they were part of the interplanetary government known as the Nova Corps. John C. Reilly even plays a great role as one of their top officers, and Glenn Close was their commanding officer, Nova Prime. By now, you may be talking to your screen, telling me that the fate of the Nova Corps was mentioned in Infinity War, and I agree that you’re right, however, it just seems odd that there were no survivors, or that the Guardians didn’t search for them after the events of Avengers: Endgame even if it was five years later.

Marvel Studios

Infinity War

In Avengers: Infinity War, it is mentioned that Thanos stole the Power Stone after he decimated Xandar. The word ‘decimated’ would seem to imply that Thanos wiped out the entire planet, and most likely their military, the Nova Corps, but it is likely that there would be some survivors. The word ‘decimate’ itself is also a very intriguing choice. Thor could have said that Thanos ‘destroyed’ Xandar, or that he ‘obliterated’ Xandar, but he chose the word ‘decimated’ which technically means to destroy or remove one tenth, or now commonly, a large percentage of. Historically, this percentage was one tenth. After all, the root word, ‘deci’ means one tenth.

Marvel Studios

Thanos probably destroyed more than one tenth of the population, but it seems strange to think that he would destroy the whole planet of Xandar when his whole ideal system is based on letting half of the universe survive. And even if Thanos did mean to destroy the entire planet and all of the Nova Corps, he probably wouldn’t waste his time hunting down a few escaping ships since his true mission is to gather the other stones, so someone probably survived.

Even if there are no survivors of Xandar, there would be other Nova Corps protected planets with people looking for justice for their fallen sister planet. Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 already had a lot going into its story, so it makes sense that the Nova Corps wasn’t a part of it, but by the end of the first movie, the Guardians had a strong connection with the Nova Corps, especially John C. Reilly’s character. The Guardians were a part of getting justice against Thanos, but it might have been nice to see if they looked into the fate of Xandar a little more. Thor: Love and Thunder could have had the Guardians visiting other Nova Corps planets instead of having a silly battle with the bird people. Maybe that was a Nova Corps planet, but we just didn’t know.

Nova Vol. 6: Realm of Kings


That could have been a great time to introduce the character of Nova, a character that many fans have been clamoring to see for a while now. Nova could have been an officer assigned on another planet at the time of Thanos’ attack on Xandar. The original Nova that appeared in the comics was a human, Richard Rider, but he was chosen by a previous Nova, Rhomann Dey, who was dying after Xandar and the Nova Corps were destroyed by the intergalactic pirate Zorr.

One possibility for Nova’s story in the MCU is to make a movie or a series, and start with the battle of Thanos and the Nova Corps that took place just before the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Rhomann Dey could be there fighting as Nova, and perhaps he is left for dead, but barely survives, and travels to Earth to pass on the power of Nova to Richard Rider. The space pirate Zorr could have joined forces with Thanos, and possibly exploited a weakness of the Nova Corps to Thanos that gave him the edge in battle. Of course, Thanos’ forces were very powerful on there own, so that probably wouldn’t have been necessary.

Marvel Comics

Alternatively, Nova could be off on another world, and hear of Thanos’ attack, but arrive too late. There would need to be a reason that he didn’t just track down Thanos right away, but I can’t come up with the entire movie for Marvel Studios (okay, I can but I prefer to be paid for it). In the comics, Richard Rider starts out as a teen superhero. He has even been thought of as the cosmic Spider-man. It might be fun to see Spider-man take on a sort of mentor friend role in Nova’s story. Although, I’m not sure how hyped I am for that idea since I would rather see the comic book friendship of the Human Torch, and Spider-man play out more than any other.

This new Nova could learn about Xandar and the Nova Corps, and even find some survivors. Perhaps he even helps to rebuild Xandar and the Nova Corps on a new planet. Thanos might not be around to face justice, but they could go after Zorr to hold him accountable for his actions. It’s understandable why Nova, and the Nova Corps weren’t mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3, but it is still disappointing. However, I don’t think the movie is disappointing overall. It was probably best to leave that story line out of a movie that already had so much going on. And it was displayed on the screen that Star Lord would return, so maybe he’ll team up with Nova, and help out the people of Xandar.

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