By Tim Stevens

He may have come from outer space to warn Earth about the coming of Phoenix, but the new Nova still remains largely an unknown figure to both fans and the heroes within the Marvel Universe. That will not be the case for long, however, as NOVA #1 hits stand this coming February.

To give some hints in advance, writer Jeph Loeb talked with us about Sam Alexander’s family, his balance of the local and the cosmic, and artist’s Ed McGuinness’ best work to date. The brief glimpses of Nova we’ve been treated to thus far present a character that seems to have been a hero for at least a little while. Is this is an accurate impression?

Jeph Loeb: Actually not very long. That’s one of the fun things about what’s to come. We’ll be seeing the origin of Nova and how he is learning what it’s like to be a super hero.

It’s, at best, a difficult road. Nova brought news to Earth about the coming of Phoenix because he was far out enough in space to see it first. Will the NOVA series take him back into space, will he remain on Earth?

Jeph Loeb: It’ll be a mix. We want to see Nova in an environment that we can relate to—our own planet—but there’s something cosmic about being out there. It’ll be where the adventure takes him.

Nova #1 black and white preview art by Ed McGuinness Beyond being Nova, how much of Sam Alexander’s life will we see?

Jeph Loeb: NOVA #1 starts with Sam and how he came to have the helmet. We’ll loop back around to the stories we’ve seen him in present day, but first we’ll take a step back, learn about his life, his family, his school. While he isn’t Peter Parker, there [are] some similarities to being an outsider who finds great power thrust upon him in a very unexpected way. What kind of supporting cast does NOVA feature?

Jeph Loeb: Mostly it is his family and school—we don’t want to give too much away. There’s a reason why Sam got the helmet and it’s very much tied into his personal struggles and the action of the series. Does Nova have a “mission” that’s guiding his heroism or is he more of a “find trouble, subdue it” style hero?

Jeph Loeb: He’s first got to learn about the responsibility of being a hero; the responsibility that comes with the helmet. His mission will be, at first, just learning the ropes. What, if anything, is motivating Sam’s heroism?

Nova #1 cover by Ed McGuinness

Jeph Loeb: It’s very much about his family. That’s all we can say right now. Without powers, what kind of person might Sam be?

Jeph Loeb: Sam comes from a small town. A very small town.  He doesn’t know if there’s anything out there for him, and then—well, you’ll have to read the issue! Does Nova have any connections to other heroes in the Marvel Universe?

Jeph Loeb: He’ll be forming those connections; keep in mind that Thor suggested he become an Avenger. But at first, there’s one group that he’ll have a very strong connection and that’s the Guardians of the Galaxy. Brian Bendis and I have been working very closely. It’s been great fun.

Lastly, I want to add that this is really the best work Ed McGuinness has done to date. He’s nothing short of inspired. Editor Steve Wacker and I are giddy with what he’s creating. It’s like Ed is wearing the helmet when he’s drawing!

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