A hero published by Marvel Comics. Nova first appeared in Nova #1.

Richard Rider was a high school student attending Harry S. Truman High School and working at Uncle Fudge's Ice Cream Parlor when his life took an unexpected but very "Hal Jordan" turn. A dying alien hero with amazing powers named Rhomann Dey decided to transfer his power to young Rider in hopes that he would stop his foe. This is nearly exactly like how Hal Jordan acquired his ring from the dying Abin Sur and became the Green Lantern.

There were a few differences. First, the powers came in the form of flight, invulnerability, and immense strength not costume jewelry. Second, the transfer of power put Rider in a coma for a brief period. Third, Rider wasn't really picked per se, but instead Dey had his ship pick a human at random. The fact that the power was not bestowed upon Ruth Buzzie, Ted Kennedy, Maya Angelou, Barry Manilow, or John Rocker should be the source of much thanks to God by the general populace.

Rhomann Dey was a centurion in the Nova Corps, a group of super powered beings from the planet Xandar. Their planet had been ravaged by an alien named Zorr and Dey had followed him. The ensuing battle had mortally wounded Dey and he transfered his power to Rider. Dressed in Dey's Nova Corps uniform, Rider battled Zorr until Dey transported Zorr to Dey's space craft and then initiated self-destruct.

Rider became a superhero calling himself Nova. He battled evil in its many formes over the months to come. He eventually traveled to Xandar in the company of a number of other heroes and the villain Sphinx, who wished to gain knowledge from the vast computers on Xandar. They arrived at Xandar to find it under attack from the Skrulls. With the help of the Fantastic Four, Nova and his companions were able to repel the Skrulls and defeat the Sphinx.

Nova planned to return to Earth, but was told that he would have to renounce his powers and have the removed for they were needed for the rebuilding of Xandar. Rider agreed and returned to Earth and his family. Rider found that his life without his powers was dull and he fell into a depression.

Rider was approached by the hero Night Thrasher, who had hypothesized that Rider still possessed his Nova powers, but that they lay dormant inside him. To jump start their reactivation, Night Thrasher pushed Rider off a building, which did exactly as Thrasher had expected. Rider returned to heroing, taking the name Kid Nova for a bit, but later returning to the original Nova. He joined Night Thrasher's newly organized team, the New Warriors.

Rider again returned to Xandar which had been ravaged by the villainess Nebula. He was taken there by a rogue member of the Nova Corps who believed that Rider possessed a power that would restore the planet. Rider was stripped of his powers again and Xandar was returned to its former state. He was later given his powers back with additional powers including something called a gravometric pulse that causes immense damage.

Nova and his fellow New Warrior Namorita were romantically involved for a time, but have recently broken off their relationship.