As the second run of Nova begins, Richard Ryder is just turning 21. For one so young, he has led an exciting life. It began years ago when he was chosen by an alien to receive the energy that turned him into Nova. He used his powers to defend Earth as part of the Xandrian Star Corps, as well to combat numerous super-villains. Eventually, he gave up his powers and returned to Earth. Sadly, his time away had put him behind his schoolmates, and he was unable to graduate from high school. That led to a series of menial and demoralizing jobs flipping burgers while the world seemed to pass him by.
Then Night Thrasher took Richard Ryder up to a rooftop and threw him off. As he fell, his fear reawakened his super-powers, and the reborn Nova became a key member of the New Warriors. But nobody ever said super-heroing in the ’90s was easy; although Nova is now more powerful than ever, Richard Ryder still can’t seem to get a job.