Cover Date: July 2009
Release Date: May 28, 2009
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Kevin Sharpe
Inker: Jeffrey Huet & Nelson Pereira
Colorist: Bruno Hang
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: Michael Horwitz
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Artist: Daniel Acuna
Title: "Empire of the Mind"
However, the entity that appears to be Ego corrects him and explains that it is not Ego and it is not the WorldMind but a combination of both. After being damaged by Galactus on the planet Orbucen, the WorldMind reached out for help and found Ego. The two beings merged into a new combined one. Quasar refuses to believe the explanation and finds himself screaming out in pain as he is blasted again by a high energy beam.
Meanwhile, in Systems Operations of Nu-Xandar, Centurion Robert Rider hears the screams and asks his fellow Centurions if they also heard it. Centurions Irani Rael and Qubit heard nothing. Qubit believes Robert may be in shock from the deaths of Cohort 86 and Nova Prime Malik Tarcel.
Robert decides to see the WorldMind and discuss how they are going to handle the Shi'Ar's Imperial Guard who murdered the Centurions. Rael informs him that the artificial sentience sealed itself off from the Centurions seven minutes ago. Angry that the WorldMind has shut itself off from them, Centurion Rider begins to believe that his brother Rich was right in believing the Corps was formed too quickly. He decides, that as a member of System Operations, to write his own orders and leaves for Nil-Rast to search for survivors. Qubit goes with him.
Elsewhere, aboard the Imperial Shi'Ar Flagship Hammer II, Malik Tarcel is being interrogated by the Imperial Guardsman known as Mentor. Tarcel refuses to cooperate and soon finds himself facing the Shi'Ar emperor Vulcan. The emperor begins asking him questions but Malik refuses to answer them. The ruler of the Shi'Ar begins torturing the Nova Prime with energy from his hand.
Back on Nu-Xandar, Rich continues his battle with Ego/WorldMind. He turns to find his friend, Wendell Vaughn, is still standing by his side. The new wearer of the Quantum Bands asks Wendell for instructions on how to use the bands properly. Vaughn explains that he needs to use his imagination and will to control the bands. He explains that Ego is attacking on the mental plane as well as the physical level and Rich must create a sanctuary to protect himself. The former Nova Prime instantly creates an energy version of his childhood bedroom to block out Ego. Wendell is impressed and believes the room shall protect Rich, at least temporarily.
The two friends discuss the situation with the WorldMind and Ego. Rich theorizes that the WorldMind had become unstable and Ego had taken advantage of the situation in order to gain access to the Nova Force and all of the Xandarian knowledge. The former Nova Prime also wonders if a small uncorrupted portion of the WorldMind still exists. He remembers how the WorldMind had kept a part of his psyche intact when he had been previously infected by the Phalanx. Using his willpower and the Quantum Bands, Rich Rider is able to locate the pure WorldMind.
Suddenly, the artificial sentience returns but in the form of Ko-Rel and Rhomann Dey! The WorldMind explains that it is using their personality templates in order to interface with Rich. The Earth hero barely has time to introduce the two to Wendell before Ego begins assaulting the energy room. The WorldMind/Rhomann Dey quickly explains that it had become corrupted due to the continued efforts of keeping Rider from going insane from containing the entire Nova Force.
However, the WorldMind had not been able to protect itself at the same time. The continued strain, along with the Phalanx infection and the encounter with Galactus, had caused the artificial intelligence to go insane. Dey informs Rider that he has to take back the Nova Force in order to disarm the WorldMind. Then he must purge the influence of Ego so that it can be rebooted and its systems restored. The new Quasar flies off just as Ego breaks through the energy wall.
Back in Systems Operations, the WorldMind/Ego takes over the minds of the Centurions and orders them to attack Rich Rider. As Rich/Quasar makes his way through System Operations, he is blasted by multiple energy blasts! He knocks them back with his own burst but doesn't use full force so they won't be injured. The former Nova Prime makes his way to the hub where the Nova Force is contained but is knocked down by a blast from Irani.
Rich Rider continues trying to convince the WorldMind that it is not evil. He points out that even when it was damaged, the Xandarian system still tried protecting him. The recreation of the Nova Corps and even reaching out to Ego were attempts to take the pressure off of the former Nova Prime. The plea causes the WorldMind/Ego to stop and the brainwashed Nova Corps halt their attack. The hesitation is enough time for Rich to reach the hub and absorb the Nova Force! Nova Prime Richard Rider is back! Nova gives the Quantum Bands back to Wendell and turns to face WorldMind/Ego. The corrupted artificial intelligence renews its attempt to stop Rich. Before it can attack, Nova Prime unleashes a massive blast of energy and instantly lobotomizes Ego!
Later, Nova and the WorldMind discuss their situation. Rich believes Ego will be able to reform itself in a few centuries and, until then, the WorldMind can occupy its body in order to heal. The Xandarian artificial sentience explains to his former human host that the portion of itself that was damaged has affected its personality guide. The template must be removed in order for the system to heal itself. Rich and the WorldMind tell each other that they will miss their adventures together. The WorldMind dissolves into energy. The young hero from Earth frantically calls out to his friend.
Suddenly, a new voice answers him! Nova turns to see the energy avatar of Ko-Rel, the WorldMind's new personality! Rich wonders if they'll be able to work together. The new personality explains that it is still the WorldMind and they'll be fine. He then asks if he needs to give up the Nova Force and if his body has been healed. The WorldMind explains that he must keep the Nova Force in his body in order to survive but doesn't appear to be in any danger of going insane. It/She jokingly believes its due to his thick skull.
Back on the Hammer II, a tortured Malik Tarcel hears a voice call out to him. It explains that Tarcel's tortured screams brought it to him. Malik looks up to see that the voice belongs to... Garthan Saal!Back To Nova 2007 Index