–He’s been around for awhile. Rich premiered in 1976, he also was a big part of the New Warriors, a prominent (and beloved) book in the 1990s for several years. He’s grown in popularity over the years. He’s got a huge history and lore. It is NOT “small”. Rich may not have been a part of many long lasting books, but he’s been a core member of several great runs.His best story was in 2006..Rider has touched a lot of generations and has fans of all ages.
– He’s grown and developed over the years. Rich may have been the same as Sam Alexander, IE the “Luke Skywalker meets Peter parker” template…but he grew over the years to Steve Rogers meets Luke Skywalker. He was taken from an inexperienced kid to a “man called Nova” Prime. Rich was one of a hundred “peter parker clones” that spammed the comic market all over the place in the 1970s…but he worked because of his growth into something different.
–He was relatble. In the 1990s, I could identify with Rich because he represented a underachiever from Long Island who had a ton of potential. being a high schooler with mediocre grades and stuff, I found this really identifiable. The moment when Night Thrasher dropped old Rich off a building was the moment everything changed…and Rich was already a seasoned hero by then. And also on this note , see the next item for me:
–He was a veteran. Technically, Rich was a vet of several intergalactic Wars as a member of the Nova Corps, but the Annihilation War was visceral and intense.(yet ignored and unknown here on Earth) If you missed the DnA stuff about Rich coming home after this war in the early issues of Nova Vol. 4..then you missed some of the most relatable stories marvel has ever written for US Military veterans…fuck Tony Stark man! After 13 years of war…this has meaning to many veterans marvel! Veterans need stories like this right now.
–He was the star of Annihilation– The classic comic tale which was voted the #9 Marvel story of all time by fans on newsarama..and frankly it blows away a few of the stories in front of it on this list. I’ll take Annihilation over Civil War ANY DAY. This was 2006 Marvel..
–He’s got morals and depth of character. Rich was the kind of guy you always wanted to fight beside…a brother in arm for many. Rich Rider had your back. He wasn’t perfect , he had some faults, and made plenty of mistakes over the years- but the end result… the man who was Nova Prime- was a great leader that was still identifiable and not “holier than thou”. In short, a fucking interesting guy to read about who was in no way capped or peaked. He jumped on the grenade for us all with the Cancerverse and sacrificed himself to live in a fucking horror movie and fight Thanos in a world where no one can even die..that’s pretty damn honorable (don’t fuck this up Bendis)
–He’s the underdog. He’s never got much of an Avengers shot , Saturday morning cartoon role, or top creative talent interest…but he’s relatable none the less. Marvel seemed like they wanted to replace him right away with this oddball what IF? comic, the 1980s Gartaan Saal and Frankie Raye characters, even the DnA stuff seemed to tease his death or a legacy every other week. But Rider kept getting back up. He represents the best of us in this day in age and media commercialism. ..
–He banged Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the Universe…and she came back a knocking..again, eat shit Tony Stark. Rich left her in bed.. (and he banged her a lot more as well)