Avengers #674 Avengers #674 - Written by Mark Waid. Art by Jesus Saiz. Cover by Alex Ross. Phoenix Variant Cover by Brent Schoonover.

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 5

As Earth and Counter-Earth begin to approach one another, the Avengers/Champions team must find some way to avert dual global catastrophes!

Rated T+ - 32 pgs./$3.99 - On Sale December 6th


Guardians of the Galaxy #148 Guardians of the Galaxy #148 - Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Marcus To. Cover by Aaron Kuder.

THE INFINITY QUEST Part 3

The Guardians are officially Nova Corpsmen! How is Drax going to deal with being overrun by Ultron-ized aliens when he still refuses to throw a punch?

And are we really trusting Rocket to clean up the Corps?

Plus: I heard a rumor...is there an Infinity Stone kicking around?

Rated T+ - 32 pgs./$3.99 - On Sale December 6th


Champions #15 Champions #15 - Written by Mark Waid. Art by Humberto Ramos. Cover by Humberto Ramos.

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 6

The conclusion of WORLDS COLLIDE!

The Champions/Avengers team faces its first real casualty in their ongoing struggle to prevent two planets from colliding - and that fatality changes the game!

Rated T+ - 32 pgs./$3.99 - On Sale December 20th

An Interview With
Evan Skolnick!

A Nova Prime Page Exclusive

Mr. Skolnick was kind enough to answer some questions we had about his work on the first New Warriors' series. He discusses his relationship with Fabian Nicieza and what he had planned for Nova! I'd like to thank Evan for giving us his insights on Nova!

1) When you took over the New Warriors and Nova, how did you direct the titles and characters from the previous writer's vision to your own?

Well, I was at an advantage in that I had previously worked as Fabian Nicieza's assistant and we were good friends (still are!), so I was able to mercilessly interrogate him with regard to where he was going with storylines and character development. Some writers taking over an established series might balk at this, preferring to "start fresh" and not get mired in the previous writer's intentions. And indeed, I didn't implement many of the directions that Fabian had planned. But I found it very helpful to know what Fabian -- who had not created these characters but had definitely made them his own from Issue #1 on -- was thinking with regard to each character.

You have to understand that a big part of the reason I was chosen to succeed Fabian as the NEW WARRIORS writer was because I did NOT want to throw out, reject and/or undo everything he had built up. From what editor Tom Brevoort told me, the proposals he received from other writers pitching for the series mainly involved varying degrees of death, destruction and deconstruction for the characters and the NEW WARRIORS concept itself.

My opinion was that the concept -- young, enthusiastic heroes trying to make a difference in the world -- was more than sound, and its successful run thus far had proved this to be true. I did feel that, over the course of Fabian's 50-odd issues, most of the characters had "completed their journeys". That is, they had grown from enthusiastic young kids to competent, seasoned heroes.

Competent, seasoned heroes isn't really what I felt NW was about, so my pitch involved having most of the team members at that time go their separate ways -- to "graduate", if you will -- in order to make room for a bunch of fresh young faces. The only original Warriors I intended to keep on the team were Nova and Speedball, characters who, in my opinion, still had plenty of growing up to do (and were therefore still of interest to me!).

Ultimately, Tom Brevoort didn't let me do that -- he felt that characters like Justice and Firestar were Warriors bedrock and couldn't be removed. But like me, he didn't favor a re-thinking of the series concept.

2) From what perspective did you approach Nova as a character?

As a Warriors reader, I always thought that I'd like to see Rich leading the team. He was always challenging Dwayne/Night Thrasher's authority and questioning his decisions; I wanted to have Nova find out what it's like to have to make the tough choices. Of course I intended to set up a Rich-like character on the team too, so that there'd be someone there to question RICH's decisions...

By the time I took over as NW writer, it had been decided that Rich would lose his powers in the pages of his own series in order to boost sales with an "event". Plus with Justice now hanging around, he did seem like the natural choice for leader. But you can see in my first few issues (the Undertow storyline) that my first instinct was to get the old school Warriors out of the way, and put Rich in charge of the younger, "second-string" Warriors.

I always found Rich to be an interesting character, especially as written by Fabian, and even when he was without his powers I enjoyed writing him into as many scenes as possible.

3) There were indications of a Xandar invasion of Earth. What were your plans for it?

I never really had a chance to fully flesh this out, as around the time I was getting ready to do so, we got word that the series was going to be cancelled with issue #75. At that point, all my efforts went to wrapping things up as best I could.

Suffice it to say that the Xandarian conspiracy involved renegade Shi'ar personnel who wanted to bring the "glory days" back; who wanted to put the "evil" back in "evil empire". Their plan (which, again, I never got the chance to fully flesh out) was going to involve many alien races from across the universe, including Earthlings, Kymellians, Skrulls, Galadorians, Xandarians and many others. Basically, I wanted to bring all the Warriors' cosmic ties together for a truly epic space storyline.

The Shi'ar renegades were using the Xandarians and their Nova corps to spy on other races, in preparation for an invasion-type thing. I figured maybe they were working on some kind of super-weapon, which Volx might stumble onto during her quest to find and kill Rom.

NW #75 would have seen the Warriors and Garthan Saal in space, chasing Volx (in separate ships, probably). The Warriors would have been caught in cross-species conflict as the Shi'ar situation came to a head, with Volx using her shapeshifting abilities to foment more trouble for them.

Rom, Brandy Clark and their daughter, Passion, would be revealed still living in peace on Galador. At some point, the planet would be threatened, and Rich Rider, alone, would make a momentous decision. He would enter the cyborg chamber and be converted into a metallic Spaceknight (reminiscent of his Nova costume), leaving his physical body behind, to save the day.

During the course of the story, Rich's body (and Galador?) would be destroyed, lost or stolen, leaving Rich stuck in this powerful but cold and sterile super armor. The irony, of course, is that Rich belittled his humanity and obsessed over having super-powers; now, that's all he would have, with no humanity.

The Warriors would save the day, and Saal would die heroically while killing Volx. Firestar would push her powers beyond all limits, doing serious damage t o herself and possibly Justice. And the Warriors would return to Earth, bruised but not broken -- heroes for the 90's and beyond.

4) What other plans did you have for Nova had New Warriors and the Nova series continued?

THE WARRIORS #1 (or whatever it would've been called) would have taken up the tale three or four months later. The new team would have consisted of: Spaceknight Nova (leader), Speedball, Turbo, Powerhouse, Timeslip, Hybrid (from the VENOM stories) and Passion (who is now effectively orphaned and homeless).

Passion was going to be a spunky, 13-year-old half-human, half-Galadorian with plenty of spice. With her home planet and parents either lost or destroyed (I hadn't decided), she would have fallen to the care of Rich Rider.

For his part, Rich would reap the bitter harvest of his all-consuming desire to be a super hero; now, a super hero is ALL that he would be. He would be so embarrased by his metallic form that he would be a virtual prisoner in the crash-pad. So he was going to live there, along with Passion, who had nowhere else to go. This was going to put Rich into an intriguing new role, that of reluctant father-figure.

The main action of this first story was to be the new team's attempted rescue of Nita from the clutches of the Undertow. All kinds of healthy intra-team conflict here, esp. between Rich and the intense Hybrid. Plus Passion always makes trouble...

The twist of the story was going to be that Nita had already taken over the Undertow herself, by killing Protocol and using the Undertow's subdermal implants to brainwash everyone into believing that SHE was Protocol.

So this was the post-#75 lineup. Speedball and Timeslip would have a romance, and I was intending to create some sparks between Turbo and Hybrid, as well as between Alex and Passion. As for Rich and Nita, I wasn't quite sure where this was going.

5) Would Rich Rider eventually have regained his physical body? If so, how?

Eventually, of course. Then he would have gotten the best of both worlds, and truly realized what a fool he had been to undervalue his humanity. At that point, I'd say his own journey as a New Warrior probably would have been over, and I'd have moved him aside to make room for still more new blood.

6) What powers would the Spaceknight Nova have had?

Much like those of Rom: spaceflight, energy pulses, enhanced digitized senses...

7) Were there any costume designs in mind for the Spaceknight Nova? If so, could you described them?

Nothing ever made it to paper, but I was basically picturing a silver-and-gold metal version of the Nova costume. My reasoning was that when you're turned into a Spaceknight, the machinery attempts to create a form that you will find palatable. The lower facial area I was picturing working like a Power Rangers costume (don't laugh!) in that it would be human-shaped, but metallic.

8) Do you have any plans to return to comics?

They're still printing up those old things? Just kidding! No, I have no intentions of returning to the field at this time. Having made the jump to multimedia development, I'm very happy in my new career. And the fact that this interview is appearing on the Web and not in a comic book or comic book magazine tells me I made the right choice!

For anyone who's interested, I'm now Director of Content at CyberAction.com; we produce digital trading cards for Major League Baseball, Star Trek, Hercules and Xena, WCW Wrestling and more to come (maybe even some comics properties!). And I've just started work on a novel, based loosely on my increasing involvement in massively multiplayer online role-playing games like Ultima Online.

In my opinion it's games like UO that will probably be the final nail in the coffin for comics. When you can grab your PC or PlayStation and log into the actual Marvel Universe (or DC Universe, or whatever) and BE Spider-Man, and "fight" against your friend who lives two states away but is in the same virtual world, playing as Doc Ock ... how is a 15-minute read once a month going to compete?

Then again, to quote Dennis Miller, that's just my opinion ... I could be wrong.


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