‘What If…?’ Season 2: Who Is Nova Prima & How Powerful Is She?

who is nova prime and how powerful is she

‘What If…?’ Season 2 kicked off with Nebula’s variant that at some point in time, joined Nova Corps and left the Black Order. We know that Nebula found a home on Xandar and an honorable purpose with the Corps until the planet was once again attacked by Ronan. We saw that Nova Prime activated the Planetary Shield that was supposed to protect Xandar for at least 50 years, but 5 years into their isolation, Nova Prime sold herself to Ronan and wanted to give him the entire planet on a platter. Nova Prima has the highest rank in the Nova Corps, and today, we’re going to explore her origin in a bit more detail.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Nova Prima is actually a rank of the commander within the Nova Corps; in the MCU, the title of Nova Prime is held by Irani Rael.
  • In the comics, the rank of Nova Prime also exists and the most famous character to carry the title is Richard Rider, arguably the most important Nova in the history of Marvel.

Nova Prime is the highest rank within the Nova Corps

Nova Prime is not the name or a superhero alias. It is actually a title within the Nova Corps that governs the Nova Empire. The first Nova Prime that we’ve met within the MCU was Irani Rael who was quite the notable figure in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies. We know that Nova Corps was in a bitter and difficult war with the Kree empire, and over the course of the movies, Xandar and Nova Corps found themselves as targets of Ronan the Accuser, a Kree who was hellbent on annihilating Nova Corps and Xandar.

Nova Prime MCU

And even though Ronan failed in his task on both fronts, Thanos returned to finish the job, annihilating the Nova Corps and Xandar and taking the Infinity Stone that the Guardians of the Galaxy previously left there for safekeeping. That was the last we’ve seen from Irani, as Nova Corps hasn’t really been mentioned so far; we’re hoping that the lore of the Corps will expand once Nova debuts in the MCU.

But for now, all you need to know is that Nova Corps has a hierarchy just like any other organization with Nova Prime on top, so Nova Prime is quite literally ruler of Xandar and commander of Nova Corps.


Epic Showdown: Green Lantern Corps vs the Nova Corps

How powerful is Nova Prime?

Nova Prime doesn’t necessarily have to have any special superpowers and abilities beyond the Nova Corps training and skills he or she gathered along the way. In the MCU we haven’t seen Irani Rael having any superhuman skills and abilities, she was almost only a political figurehead but that doesn’t mean that Nova Prime is not powerful per say.

As the leader of Xandar, one of the largest galactic empires, Nova Prime has vast political connections and political power to wield, as well as near-limitless military resources. Everything that comes with Nova Corps is under the command of Nova Prime, and the person who holds the title decides on the future of the empire.

We’ve seen this in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and we’ve seen this once again in ‘What If…?’ season 2 when Nova Prima first sealed Xandar underneath an impenetrable shield and then decided to give Ronan the planet on a platter.

Nova Prime

Due to having such vast powers over Nova Corps, it would be ideal if Nova Prime was the objective and moral person who is not easily corrupted; I mean, those are desirable qualities in any leader, but even more so if you have several sectors and planets under your command.

Who is Nova Prime in the comics?

Several characters in the comics held the position of Nova Prime, but the most important is Richard Rider, also known as the most popular Nova. Richard Rider, born in Hempstead, New York, had his life changed when the alien Rhomann Dey, the last surviving Centurion of Xandar’s Nova Corps, chose him at random. Dey, mortally wounded while pursuing the intergalactic pirate Zorr, sought revenge but was too injured to carry out the task. Facing death, Dey transferred his powers to Richard, hoping that the unsuspecting human would take up his cause and prove worthy of the abilities bestowed upon him.

Nova MCU comics

This marked the beginning of Richard Rider’s journey as the successor to Nova Prime. Richard ascended to the position of Nova Prime following the events of Secret Invasion and once again following the events of War of Kings.

Richard Rider was extremely powerful, not necessarily because he was Nova Prime, but because he was the host of Nova Force, a vast energy source that gives individuals plenty of superpowers and abilities.

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