Today, Marvel Comics released a teaser for its upcoming Infinite Comics digital program to be revealed at SXSW this weekend. The image, featuring Nova rocketing through space, is branded with the "Avengers vs. X-Men" banner, but offers no additional information. The member of the Nova Corps depicted does not look to be Richard Ryder, but rather the younger Nova in Marvel's "Point One" special in 2011 with a smaller frame and redesigned uniform, teasing the return of the Phoenix. The unnamed member of the Nova Corps is drawn in the promotional piece by "New Avengers" artist Stuart Immonen, as revealed by Marvel Executive Editorial Director Ryan Penagos on Twitter.
In the "Point One" story "Nova: Harbinger" written by Jeph Loeb with art by Ed McGuinness, Nova takes on Terrax the Tamer in an attempt to warn him of the oncoming, all-consuming threat of the Phoenix. As Terrax and the entire planet of Birj are consumed by the fire of the cosmic entity, Nova rockets away, attempting to outrun the Phoenix Force as it presumably heads towards Earth.
"Jeph has a strong vision for who Nova should be in the Marvel Universe, and Ed is the perfect artist because he has power that can’t be contained on the page – kinda like Nova himself," Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said in 2011. "I’m not going to say much more about our future plans for Nova, but I will say that [the “Point One” story] is a glimpse of the character as you’ll see him in 2012 [Laughter] and it includes a nifty two-page spread should give you a loud-and-clear idea what type of $%#$storm is headed to the Marvel Universe."
Last week, Marvel also revealed the new "Ultimate Spider-Man" version of Nova, a new teen member of the Nova Corps named Sam Alexander, who Loeb had a large hand in designing. Although the possibility certainly exists that the writer inserted a new Nova into the Marvel U for readers to connect with "Ultimate Spider-Man," there is no current information linking the two characters other than Loeb's involvement. Should this be true, it would be another example of Marvel's synergistic approach to introducing new characters, such as Agent Coulson appearing in both "The Avengers" film and "Ultimate Spider-Man."
While no other details about the teaser image or Marvel's Infinite Comics program has been revealed, it is a possibility that Stuart Immonen has joined the massive "Avengers vs. X-Men" crossover. The image's association with both "AvX" and the Infinite Comics announcement implies Nova's involvement may begin in a digital-only tie-in story to help launch the new initiative. All questions will likely be answered at SXSW on Sunday, March 11 during the Marvel: House of Ideas panel.
Stay tuned for more on "Avengers vs. X-Men" and Marvel Infinite Comics.