Guardians of the Galaxy was crazy with Novas: the movie had a Nova Corp and even a Nova Prime, but no actual, you know, Nova. Director and co-writer James Gunn tweaked the concept of the Nova Corps – intergalactic space cops and Marvel’s answer to the Green Lantern Corps in the comics – to something a little more streamlined, but at some point, the studio and director must have been considering adding Nova to the Guardians lineup.
That’s if we’re take this piece of concept art below at face value from the upcoming book Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie. The August 12 release reveals this unused Nova concept below, although it remains to be seen if it was a modification of the existing Nova Corps design in the movie or one used specifically for the Nova we’ve all come to know and love from the comics.
If this is a nixed design for Richard Rider, you can understand why the character might not have made it into the movie. Given the already packed cast of Guardians, you can imagine everyone involved having a good think about adding yet one more hero to the roster when the five characters (one of whom is already wearing an intimidating space mask) already featured on the team needed to establish their origins, motivations, and such.
On the other hand, if this was a design for the Nova Corps, I think I can understand why it didn’t make it in: I think not being able to see their faces would have tripped the film up when it came to humanizing John C. Reilly and the other Corps members. This approach would have just made them look like ticked-off space commandos.
The design here seems to shed some of the recent flourishes added to the Nova uniform, notably with its muted colors and more “tactical” (read: “dark”) look of the gold and blue comics counterpart.