Richard Rider Returns

So it appears we have finally got Rich back, and Marvel has officially confirmed there will be a new Nova series with both Rich Rider and Sam Alexander. This is good news.

While it remains to be seen how this resurrection will be executed and what exactly the, as yet-unnamed creative staff has planned, for now, I think I will just take the high road and enjoy the moment.

For once in a long while, I’m happy and excited for the future.

A lot of us fans put in some hard hours of bitching, grumbling, and most important….dogged support for our boy Rich, that it is really special to see this unfortunate period end. Even still, despite the “war of words” and missing years, I am appreciative and thankful to Marvel for choosing to bring back Rich. So too, I will honor my word and “Make Mine Marvel” once again.

I’m proud we didn’t let something created and built up by so many talented folks rot away and be left for dead. Just as much as we didn’t let Rich silently fade away, we did not let the work of men like Wolfman, FabNic, Giffen and DnA go to waste.

Did we do any good?

I’d say yes. I don’t know if we would have got Rich back quicker if we would have been more passive and quiet, but I can say we achieved something important. This was especially apparent when Axel Alonso himself said the other day at SDCC “We are well aware of the love for Richard Rider”. That’s a big change from the dismissive stuff (four fans?) we all saw in the past. Frankly, it shows me we have moved that dial with our support.

As I’ve said before, a lot of people stuck their figurative necks out to move that same stubborn dial … maybe even more than we know. We Rider faithful have been called names and accosted by the zombies and the most zealot-like of the newfangled Sam Alexander supporters…maybe, to be fair, we slung some mud ourselves. Many of us have been rooted out from message boards and cast off as jerks, racists or worse.

That being said, this is not a pity party….it’s a “welcome back home” celebration for an old friend. As for those Sam fans, with the announcement it looks like for now we will all get to go on together.

A word about Sam Alexander: In many ways, there was nothing wrong with the notion of Sam or a young brash Nova figure. There was nothing wrong with many of the broader ideas the Sam material wanted to do. Truthfully, the Black Nova concept was a solid idea that I had high hopes for. Instead, what was wrong was the execution. All of those ideas of mine regarding what went wrong there have been laid out on this blog. As we move forward, surprisingly…I am up for Sam Alexander…but dammit, the character needs to be fixed. With Rich back, for once, I’m hopeful we can see that happen.

Bill Rosemann and Andy Lanning had been vocal and supportive of us and of the character. I wish I heard more of Dan Abnett’s opinion, but I know he supported us all the same.

As I said in my prior post, Cosmic Book News has been one of the only major fan sites to support us, I want to personally thank Matt McGloin and his site for what they did and sacrificed to move that dial. I know this choice may have made them somewhat of a pariah at Marvel Comics or the greater zombie community….but I think it was an exceptionally brave and bold path to follow. It’s important to stick up for material and creators that resonated and were meaningful. Its important to stand up for good comics. CBN’s stance here was an example to follow.

Other fan sites like the Nova Facebook Page and Daz’s Nova 619 have worked to get Rich back and to show the fan support for the character. Those pages and the fans who support them are love letters to Richard Rider and it really is unique. So too, I appreciate the history of the Nova Prime Page run by Doug Smith.

As a final note, I want to say there are no regrets from me. I don’t take back one thing…including my concerns about Marvel Comics. Marvel is in strange shape these days and many of the stories are far too divisive and political. Some of that does not appear to be changing….and may, in fact, be getting worse. I’m worried…and I will still be very opinionated and honest with my interpretations.

That includes the mire that Wendell Vaughn aka Quasar is still stuck in. I’m going to continue my support for that character as well . We need him back too.

But today is a good day. Maybe just maybe, I can find a few solid Marvel titles again, books like Nova… that give me that escape and enjoyment I once loved about the company so much.

How great it is to think about ideas and stories once more.

So once more, I’m proud to say “Long Live Richard Rider” AND “Make Mine Marvel” and let’s see what that future has in store.

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