For the original Nova, see Nova.
Sam Alexander is a 15 year old from Carefree, Arizona who lives with his parents and younger sister. His father always told him stories of adventures in space and the Nova Corps, however Sam always believed him to be a drunk. One day when he comes home, Sam discovers his father missing and has an accident while looking for him. Waking up in hospital, he is greeted by Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, who inform Sam of his father's true legacy as a member of the Nova Corps, leaving Sam his helmet. After putting on the helmet, Sam discovers a recorded message from his father and begins to test out his new found abilities, and flies to the moon and finds the Watcher. After the Watcher tells Sam of a coming alien invasion Sam returns home and meets Gamora and Rocket Racoon who train him to use his abilities properly and then sends him into space to stop the approaching Chitauri armada.
Sam was created by writer Jeph Loeb for the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. He was introduced in comics in Marvel Point One issue 1 (2012) as part of the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event, in a similar fashion as Marvel's Reptil and the new White Tiger (who was also created for Ultimate Spider-Man). The character was named after Loeb's son Sam, who passed away due to bone cancer in 2006.
Major Story Arcs
Avengers vs X-Men
Sam Alexander first appeared while trying to warn the cosmic dictator Terrax of a massive threat approaching his home world of Birj. Instead of listening, however, Terrax decided to fight with Sam before rejecting the warning, forcing the young hero to flee.
Soon after, the Phoenix Force arrived and destroyed the planet of Birj as Nova had predicted. Sam sped off towards Earth to warn the planet of the approaching Phoenix Force. Pushing himself to his limits, Sam revealed that he was originally from the Midwest and that he was relatively new to being part of the Nova Corps.
As he approached the Earth, Sam accidentally missed the downshift required to make a steady descent and found himself unable to control himself as his rate of descent increased beyond exponentially.
The situation deteriorated quickly when Sam accidentally tore through both the wing of a commercial jet and broke off the upper levels of the Chrysler Building. Though Sam managed to swerve around an oncoming news chopper, he could not stop himself from slamming into several more buildings in the downtown area.
The Avengers, who had just finished averting the even greater disasters that could have been caused by the falling plane and the top portion of the Chrysler Building, found a heavily disoriented Sam laying in a smoldering crater.
When Sam realized that the Avengers were standing over him, he tried to tell them of the coming danger, but could only manage "It's coming..." before falling into a coma. The Avengers hurried Sam to a hospital.
In the final issue of AVX, Sam managed to tackle Cyclops in the final battle. For his actions in the event, Thor invites him to join The Avengers.
Sam Alexander is told tales from his father about his time in the Nova Corps as part of the Nova centurion group. He tells a tale about when he above the planet Moord with his Nova centurion friends attempting to rescue Rocket Racoon and Gamora from the Badoon who have captured them. After rescuing them the three Nova centurions (the other two being the so called Titus and Mister Z’zz) and Rocket Racoon blast away all the Badoon guards off the spaceship ad then make their way back to their own ship but are stopped by a Badoon ship that attempts to kill them but Sam’s father destroys the ship and they escape in the ship and Titus fixes Sam’s father up after he was winded after he blew up the ship.
6 months later back home Sam is helping his dad fix a toilet while his Dad tells him his stories of being a Nova centurion. Sam takes him home after his Dad is finished and helps him get into bed and to sleep and is annoyed with his dad and all his stories about the Nova corps. Sam talks to his mother and complains about his dad and then goes to bed.
The next day Sam goes to school but is attacked by a bully but is called away by a teacher who wishes to talk about his father missing his job but Sam says he’ll talk to his father and then walks off. Sam is talked to by a girl who offers to helps him do his dad’s job that Sam does when his father is not doing it but Sam says to Carrie (the girl) that he doesn’t need any help.
Back out in Space 15 years ago Sam’s father is being chased by the Rigellians but he is set off by his friends to Earth because his wife is about to have a baby.
In the present Sam’s father tells his daughter a story about being a Nova to help her get to sleep. Sam then goes to talk to his sister because she is worried about her their dad Sam comforts her and helps her get too sleep. In the morning Sam is suspended from school when he gets cross with a bully and Sam has a skating accident. Sam wakes up in a hospital and Rocket Racoon and Gamora are standing around his bed wanting to talk about his Dad.
Sam wakes up in the Hospital surrounded by Rocket Racoon and Gamora who have his father’s helmet Sam is shocked by what he sees and calls Rocket Racoon a Racoon but this gets Rocket Racoon angry and he shoots at Sam but misses Sam runs out of the room and bumps into a nurse who after thinking that Sam is delusional takes him back to his ward and helps him get to sleep. Rocket Racoon and Gamora have disappeared from Sam’s room and have left his helmet under his bed.
Sam wakes up in the night due to his Nova helmet making a noise and lighting up he walks outside with it but throws it away thinking it’s a joke, but Sam goes back to it because it won’t stop making a noise and puts the helmet on and becomes Nova. Sam is then shown a holographic projection of his father but parts of the message are missed out due to distortion but it says that something has gone wrong and that Sam should trust Rocket Racoon and Gamora and that he loves him the message then ends. Sam finds himself in the air and then falls to the ground and hits some cars.
In the morning Sam’s mother comes to find him in the hospital and that Sam is perfectly healthy. Sam returns home and gets his Nova helmet and tries to get the hologram of his dad back but in the end he decides to put the helmet on and tries out his powers and eventually manages to fly and goes into space and ends up crashing into the moon where he sees the Watcher standing over him and wonders what he has got himself into.
Sam looks at the Watcher and wonders why he isn't talking but in the end the Watcher points out into space and then he shows Sam an invading alien armada but doesn't say anything else and Sam wonders why he isn't responding and in the end flies off the Watcher then smiles.
Sam returns home and gets into his house and finds his mother waiting for him and talks to him in Spanish but in the end stops and then tries to comfort Sam and tells him about his dad a bit more remembering how good a father he was. Gamora and Rocket Racoon train Sam even though Rocket Racoon thinks it is hilarious idea because of who Sam is, but they show him how to use his powers and how to fight but they get upset when he references Richard Rider. After the fight Rocket Racoon and Gamora talk to Sam about what he has to do and how he has to stop the Chitauri from using the Ultimate Nullifer on Earth and they realize that Sam can find them and stop them before they get to Earth.
Sam flies off to Saturn where he finds the Chitauri and the Chitauri fire a shot at Sam which stuns him temporarily. However, Sam soon recovers, and is placed into contact with the commander of this Chitauria force - Titus, an ex-Nova who used to work with his father. A brief battle ensues, and Sam gets the Ultimate Nullifier into his possession, and "space jumps" back to Earth, where he tries to find a decent hiding spot for the device. Unfortunately, that doesn't quite work for very long, as Titus arrives, stealing back the Ultimate Nullifier, and doing battle with the young Nova. During their skirmish, Nova and Titus accidentally destroyed most of the local skate park in Sam's hometown of Carefree, Arizona. Nova space jumps with Titus, warning his opponent that his layer of Nova Force is the only thing keeping him alive in the cold vacuum of space. Titus laughs, revealing that because of his advanced alien physiology, he can survive on his own. He goads Sam, telling him that his father isn't who he believes him to be. Sam ignores Titus, who attempts to grab the Ultimate Nullifier. As he does so, Sam unleashes its power on Titus, who is consumed by the energy, along with the entire Chitauri fleet. Later on, Sam visits his new friend, Uatu the Watcher, and leaves the dangerous weapon with him.
After adapting back to regular school life, Sam was approached by his crush Carrie. She confessed in him that she knew he was Nova. Caught completely off-guard, Sam flew away. However, he stupidly removed his helmet mid-flight and fell seemingly to his doom. When he woke up he saw New Warrior members Justice and Speedball standing over him. He initially refused, but after finding out they knew the past Nova, he reluctantly agreed. Just then, Kaldera, slave of Proxima Midnight, attacked Sam because of his title as Nova. She offered him a warrior's death, Brakk-Tar, to which Nova accepted. The rules states no weapons, but after being beaten nearly to death Sam broke the rules and put on his helmet. He won the fight and Kaldera was exiled from Earth.
In the wake of the Kaldera incident, Sam's arrogance grew, he brushed off the newly reformed New Warriors as a bunch of nobodies who are beneath someone of his talents. His mom however, knew they were the best thing for Sam and although didn't approve of him risking his life, was set at ease with the idea of team mates. She let both Justice and Speedball rest at his house until they could decide who else to recruit into their team. He became even more aggravated when his crush, Carrie, came over to confirm her suspicions about Sam being Nova. He was going to tell her she was correct until she cut him off and made it seem like Sam didn't trust her. Carrie then ran away from Sam and he felt like everybody was suddenly changing. Sam was so angry that he flew to the moon to find Uatu, the only person who he felt comfortable talking to. After venting his frustrations and demanding any form of guidance, the Watcher shows him visions of his predecessor Richard Rider and how he grew from an upstart hero like Sam, to a founding member of the original New Warriors, and to the hero of the Annihilation War. Uatu also shows him how the Avengers neglected Richard Rider and the New Warriors needed him. Sam being put in his spot by Uatu realized his wrongs and goes back to his mother and agrees to all her conditions and officially joined the New Warriors.
His involvement on the team had died down after that moment. It wasn't until the High Evolutionary was capturing heroes from all over, that the New Warriors united. He rendered Sam unconscious and was very pleased that he was able to catch a Nova. When Sam woke up, the Evolutionary conversed with him and declared that a human Nova was his only chance at saving humanity. The Evolutionary had originally thought that humanity should artificially evolve and strive towards that end, but had been recently convinced that that wasn't the case: apparently the Celestials had their own plan for humanity's evolution and would eradicate all life should they judged it had gone astray in any way. To avoid that, he had reconfigured his first machine to eliminate all "impure" humans that were "threatening humanity's future" with their mere existence. Sam's helmet's Worldmind was needed to focus the machine on all super-powered life on Earth so they could be given the mercy of a quick and painless death. Sam and the High Evolutionary's conversation was cut short when they were interrupted by his Evolutionaries They came with Scarlet Spider, Hummingbird and Water Snake, all unconscious.
After mistaking Scarlet Spider for Spider-Man several times, Kaine was able to talk to the spiders in the High Evolutionary's base and get them free. Barely given a second to plan a strategy, the Evolutionaries attacked and Sam was asked to go off for help and warn the world. Letting his ego get the better of him, Sam ditched his quest and came back claiming to be all the help they needed. After being overrun with Evolutionaries, Justice and Speedball came, with new heroes Sun Girl and Haechi. They quickly gained the upper hand, but lost it just as fast when the High Evolutionary rendered Sam unconscious again. Sam being the only one who knew how his machine worked made them useless for when he activated it. Everyone on the team was quickly dying, except for Sun Girl, the only one without natural powers. She blasted the High Evolutionary and his machine, saving the day and prompting the High Evolutionary and his remaining Evolutionaries to retreat. Afterwards, everyone else was offered a place on the team.
The High Evolutionary eventually resurfaced and tried again to fulfill his plans. Sam, due to personal problems, could not be there with his team to help fight him. He was only able to arrive when the High Evolutionary was already foiled, he received a note taunting him from Justice because of this inconvenience.
After stopping Tomazooma, the Avengers praise Sam for his efforts. Sam asks them about Uatu. Sam then decides to visit him and ask the questions has in mind. They meet and Uatu shows Sam why he can never intervene. Sam finally asks the question he had in mind and Uatu tells him his father is alive.
A couple of days go by and Sam goes to visit Uatu to gain further knowledge on his dad's whereabouts. He found the Watcher dead and took off. When he finally lands in New York he sees all the super heroes fighting Exterminatrix, and hundreds of Mindless Ones. After their defeat, The Orb released one of the Watcher's eyes. For Sam, he saw two Novas fighting and then one of them summon a silhouette of another Nova who killed the other one. This shaded Nova was revealed to be Sam's father, Jesse Alexander. Jesse was approached by Adomox, the living Nova, who congratulated him on his work. After wallowing in self pity for a while, Sam decided it was better if he flew away to find answers. He met up with Rocket Raccoon and together went to visit Adomox for the truth. Adomox set off the alarm and released a poison into the air that only he had the cure for. Meanwhile, Adomox told Sam stories of the Supernovas to stall him and let the poison make its way into them. He told him that the Supernovas were formed on the belief that the Nova Corps wasn't strong enough. After stalling for long enough he revealed to them the poison he let out. He told them that if they wanted to live that they would reprogram an old helmet so he can get his powers back. Sam made his way to the station where Adomox told him he could reconfigure a Nova helmet. In the same place Sam found all Nova service records, including the one that proved his dad's innocence. Sam also packed the Nova helmet with some weapons that when someone other than Sam put it on they would get electrocuted. After Adomox laid on the floor in pain, Sam demanded the location of the antidote for the poison. After he refused to give it up, Sam's old friend Cosmo came in and read Adomox's mind for the serum. After curing him Sam saw his dad's current status on a planet called Chitauri Prime where he was a gladiator and fought in a colosseum for the Chitauri's amusement.
Avengers & X-Men: AXIS
The Red Skull began the construction of "Reeducation Camps" on the ruins of the former island kingdom ruled by Magneto, Genosha. His goal was to wipe out "genetic filth" (i.e. Mutants, Inhumans, etc.). In doing so, he attracted the attention of Magneto, who failed to defeat the Skull and his S-Men. Instead, Magneto was captured. Later, when he was freed by his daughter, the Scarlet Witch, and fellow Uncanny Avengers Rogue and Havok, Magneto battled the Skull again, this time killing him. His death at Magneto's hands only unleashed the Red Onslaught, a much more serious threat. The Red Onslaught would have wiped out the heroes gathered on the island (Magneto, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Havok,Cyclops, Kid Omega, and Genesis) if not for the arrival of the reinforcements from both Avengers and X-Men rosters. Among these reinforcements was Sam Alexander. He flew into battle alongside the others to stop the Red Onslaught. When the Onslaught nearly defeated him, Rogue was there to save Sam. Eventually, however, the heroes were defeated by a pair of super sentinels (unknowingly created by Tony Stark with the specific intention of taking down heroes) and a team of villains recruited by Magneto (including the likes of Sabretooth, Mystique, Loki and the Enchantress) battled the Onslaught and his Sentinels. The villains tore through the sentinels, but succumbed to the power of the Red Onslaught. They bought just enough time for Doctor Doom and the Scarlet Witch to cast an Inversion Spell that transformed the Red Onslaught into the Red Skull. However, the spell also affected most of the heroes and villains on the island, inverting their personalities. Sam remained unaffected, but the current Captain America, Sam Wilson, was inverted. Along with a select group of inverted Avengers, Sam Wilson called a meeting of all Avengers. The Red Skull had been broken out of his cell in Avengers Tower by someone with an Avengers ID card. In order to take care of the "liability", Sam and the Inverted Avengers (Luke Cage, Medusa, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Thor Odinson) shrunk the other Avengers down to microscopic size and locked them away in one of Hank Pym's microscopic ant farms using the Pym particles they isolated from Wasp's body. Spider-Man was able to save Sam at the last minute, and the pair attempted to flee. Medusa was able to nab Sam with her prehensile hair, but Sam was saved yet again by Spidey who shot extra webbing into Medusa's hair. The pair was pursued by the Inverted Avengers, but an inverted Magneto saved them. The three met up with the aged Steve Rogers, who apprised them of the inversion situation. There was also another problem: Kluh - the Hulk's Hulk, a giant rage monster even stronger and more damaging than the big green guy. Kluh was nearing Sam's hometown of Carefree, Arizona. In the heat of the moment and because of his worry, Sam rocketed off to meet the monster in battle and slow his approach.
Nova vs Kluh
Sam's first decision was to get his mother and sister to safety. The authorities had ordered an evacuation of the area to keep everyone safe. Sam's mother and sister were in their car, stuck in a jam on their way out. Sam lifted the car, and dropped them off all the way in Alaska to keep them safe. He then returned to Carefree to battle Kluh, who was already more than a match for the cruel Inverted Avengers. Sam rocketed into the battle and was met by an enraged and devastatingly empowered Kluh, who had been rampaging across the country. His anger march began in Manhattan, and Nova refused to let him go farther. Though Sam was able to get in a few good shots (most notably: when in Kluh's clutches, Sam shoved his fist into Kluh's nostril and unleashed a huge amount of Nova Force that actually hurt the monster), he was doomed to fail. And he did. Kluh recovered in seconds, and attacked with greater force, ultimately punching Nova all the way to Paris. Nova crashed into the Eiffel Tower and blacked out. He awoke in a Parisian hospital, where the doctors informed him that he was severely injured (several broken bones, bruises, etc.) and that his helmet had been broken. The Nova helmet - the source of Sam's power - had been severely damaged in his fight with Kluh. Waking up in the Parisian hospital, Sam urges the doctors to hurry up with their procedures so that he can leave as soon as possible, and wears a surgical mask the entire time to protect his secret identity. Kluh is still on the rampage in Arizona, and though Sam's family has been safely whisked away to Alaska, everyone there is still at risk. Just as soon as he is able to move, Sam puts on his damaged helmet, transforms into Nova once again, and rockets away to Arizona. He experiences some difficulties with the helmet midflight. It begins to malfunction, and Sam plummets all the way to ground, saving himself at the last second with a blast of Nova Force to slow his fall. When he finally reaches Arizona, he stops Kluh from rampaging through and attacking a school with all the children inside. Using his newfound ability to channel Nova Force into objects, Sam grabs large metal cables, charges them with Nova Force, and uses them to bind Kluh. The extra-durability granted to the cables by the Nova Force is only temporary, so Sam works quickly to wrap the cables into a giant ball around Kluh. Nova then hauls the mass up past the atmosphere, and flings Kluh away into outer space. Satisfied, Sam returns to Alaska to pick up his mother and sister who, along with all the other patrons of a local diner, watched Nova's battle with Kluh on the news.
Nova vs Carnage
While inverted, Carnage gained the trust of Sam. Enough so that Sam felt comfortable enough to reveal his real name. After the events of Axis finished, Carnage sought to erase all those who have seen him do good, starting with Sam. He found out that Sam's mother works at a local diner, and took her hostage in order to get his attention. Sam arrived and took him away from the diner in order not to hurt anyone. While fighting, Nova tried to convince him that he wasn't Sam Alexander, but Carnage didn't believe him. After being wounded by the Nova Force, Carnage fled. The next day, Carnage attacked Sam again, this time at his school.
While attacking Sam at school, Carnage saw another person as Nova flying around the area, thus making it seemingly impossible for Sam to be Nova. Sam secretly asked his mom to fly around as Nova so to confuse Carnage. Carnage fell for the bait and followed the false Nova. Sam regained possession of the helmet and a new battle ensued between them both. Carnage was taken by Nova to the sky and then punched into a parking lot below. The impact of Carnage hitting the floor set off the cars' alarms, and disoriented the symbiote. Sam then realized Carnage's weakness to high sounds and threw him into a heavy metal show nearby. As the symbiote screamed in pain, Cletus fled from there to the road, but was attacked by Nova again. Sam then tied Carnage in metal plates and left his symbiote as he revealed he wanted to kill Nova because he wanted to erase any memory of his good deeds, from the time he had his moral axis inverted, from anyone who remembered it. He was left by Sam in Ryker's Island.
During Sam's adventures, Jesse has been planning and executing his escape from Chitauri imprisonment. Jesse formed a team of rebels and commandeered an escape pod. Unfortunately, the Chitauri tasked Warbringer with finding and destroying the resistance. Jesse and his crew held off the Warbringer for as long as they could, but were merely prolonging their destruction. Sam luckily found the crew while searching outer space and was reunited with his father. He held off the Warbringer and welcomed his dad home. This was not the end of Warbringer however. Enraged, the alien warlord issued an attack on Sam's homeworld as punishment for his actions. He sent a meteor large enough to destroy the world, but Sam blasted it. This did not stop the meteor's threat however, only escalated it by creating multiple meteors in the process. This is when Sam first learned the lesson that as long as he is an Avenger, he is never alone. The Avengers came and aided with the persisting meteor threat while Sam fought the Warbringer. Realizing he wasn't strong enough to beat him with just his powers, Sam threw the Warbringer into the sun and celebrated his victory. A Chitauri scavenger ship, rescued the body of their leader and prepped it for recovery.
Eight Months after the events of Secret Wars, Sam and his dad worked together to protect the galaxy. Jesse's helmet was always buggy and cut off at the worst moments. This revealed to be the effect of an alien impersonator taking the shape of his father. Confused and upset, Sam rushed to Iron Man for help and answers. Iron Man worked to find a way to track the impostor, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Sam fought off a group of rouge monsters alone. One of which found its way to New Jersey, home to Ms Marvel. He and her did not start off on the right foot and despite instantly liking each other, fought and awkwardly stormed away from each other. This awkward introduction got even worse after the formation of the Avengers. Along with Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Vision, Iron Man and Captain America (Sam Wilson) the two fight against threats of the galaxy. Including the Warbringer, Sam's old enemy.
Powers & Abilities
Sam's Nova helmet grants him certain special powers and abilities, including super strength, super speed, flight, energy projection & absorption, and the creation of force fields. Sam is also learning different ways to use the Nova Force. For example, during his search for Adomox with Rocket Raccoon, he was able to charge a very lengthy metal cable used for construction with Nova Force to make it a very effective space lasso that allowed him to bring down a very large robotic enemy. His helmet also automatically translates any foreign alien tongue, so that he is able to communicate with anyone. The Nova Force allows Sam to "space jump", which is essentially teleporting to a certain point in space.
After his 1,000th adventure, Sam celebrates with his family. During the party Sam's son, Jesse Alexander II, hit Sam over the head and took his helmet so that he may start his adventure as Nova.
During the What If? AvX Event, Sam sided with the Avengers against the X-Men. In the final battle the Avengers and X-Men united against Hope and Magneto, Sam included. Sam died saving Iron Fist from Magneto.
Sam is a main character in Ultimate Spider-Man, and one of the trainees being mentored by Nick Fury and the SHIELD organization. In the hour-long pilot episode, Nova is initially shown to be very hostile towards Spider-Man, and actively complains about his inclusion in the SHIELD training program. He is shown to be somewhat arrogant. He has a high opinion on his powers and believes he is the teams leader and that his opinions carry more weight than they do, such as when he objected to spiderman joining the team. He also has a heated rivalry with Spider-Man from the moment they first met, constantly seeking to outdo each other. He has shown the same abilities he has in the comics, a high degree of energy manipulating abilities such as being able to shoot beams and incase himself in an aura that allows him to destroy objects such as the falling pieces a video screen that were about to crush a crowed, though he was unaware of his ability to absorb energy until the battle with the doombots aboard the hellicarrier. Out of costume he has shown somewhat odd behavior, such as carving a replica of principle Coulson's head out of mashed potatoes.
- Sam's costume is available as an alternate outfit for the Richard Rider version of Nova in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Nova is a playable character in Marvel Heroes.
- Nova is a playable character in Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes, with Logan Miller reprising his role.
- Nova is a playable character in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, with Will Friedle voicing him.
- Nova is a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- Nova is a playable character in Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Nova is a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Antony Del Rio.
- Nova received a figure in the Ultimate Spider-Man toy line by Hasbro.
- Nova appeared in the Lego Daily Bugle set.
- A Nova figure was released for Disney Infinity.
- Hasbro released a Marvel Legends Nova figure as part of the Titus Build-a-Figure wave.