Coming home from a long time in space, Richard Rider, Nova, doesn't get the welcome he expected. His parents don't recognize him and him speaking Kree doesn't help things any. Eventually things get worked out and Richard sits down and has a meal with his mother and father. Over dinner he gets caught up on recent events, namely, the death of his former teammates, Stamford, and the Civil War. Before he can really process all of this he gets a warning from Worldmind about something outside. He walks out of his house and into the sights of SHIELD rifles and Iron Man himself.
When Iron Man sees that he's dealing with Nova (and not an alien threat like he had first thought) they both go back to a SHIELD Helicarrier to have a chat. Tony fills Richard in on the Superhero Registration Act and the Civil War and Nova reciprocates by telling him about the cosmic war that had been going on. Nova is shocked to hear that no one had gotten his messages and that Earth didn't even know what was going on. Stark turns the conversation back to Registration and asks Nova to not only register officially, but to take part in the training of young heroes. Tony says that the discipline and training of the Nova Corps are exactly what they are looking to attain and that Nova would be the perfect one to put it into action, especially with his past ties to the New Warriors. Nova says he'll think about it and goes to talk to his old friend Justice. They do some more catching up and then Nova goes home.
Back at his house, Nova tries to get some sleep. Before he does though, he asks Worldmind to try to find his old friends. Worldmind accepts the challenge and mentions that he's able to access Earth's major information networks, including SHIELD computers. While Richard is sleeping, Worldmind controls his body and tries to talk with Richard's father. This does not go well at all and Nova is booted out of his own house.
The next day, Nova is walking down the street and is attacked by Diamondhead. The criminal is really no match for Nova, but the problem comes when he tries to hand him over to the police. Nova is badgered about Registration and being a New Warrior and is all but forced out of the police station. When he walks outside he's confronted by another threat, this time it's a group. The Thunderbolts, with Penance right in the front, have business to take care of.