WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy #149 by Gerry Duggan and Marcus To.
The Guardians of the Galaxy have always criss-crossed the line between doing a little bit of good and a little of bad. But ever since the Marvel Legacy relaunch, they have had no choice but to err on the side of what’s right. Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Ant-Man, Drax and Baby Groot have all joined up with the Nova Corps, to help the once proud and mighty intergalactic police force to rebuild its ranks. Part of their jobs involves a little undercover work, in order to weasel out fellow Novas who are actually spies and saboteurs.
In Guardians of the Galaxy #149, Rocket Raccoon, who has been surprisingly efficient at rising through the ranks of the Corps, has devised a brilliant plan to find the traitorous corpsmen. However, thanks to these spies, trouble is coming to the Nova Corps headquarters, and it threatens every single Nova, good or crooked. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation that sees Rocket empty the armory to give every one of his subordinates a weapon. And for this upcoming battle, Rocket keeps a very special weapon for himself — one that appeared to be kept in storage in the vault: a red and gold Nova uniform.
This costume, which ditches the traditional blue and gold look of the regular Novas, might actually be familiar to longtime Marvel readers. It appears to be a modern take on the old costume that Richard Rider wore as Kid Nova, as featured in his early days with the New Warriors. The costume first appeared in Thor #411 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in 1989, and Kid Nova would wear it for no more than a year. The costume last appeared in New Warriors #2, by the title’s long-running creative team of Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley.
Although the costume design for Rocket’s new Nova costume is noticeably different from the one Rich Rider wore with the New Warriors, the color scheme truly indicates it’s a homage to a brief part of Nova’s legacy. While it may end up being nothing more than a nice nod to honor the past, it could be a legitimate plot point. The other characters’ reaction to Rocket wearing the crimson-hued uniform is one of genuine shock — certainly more than you’d expect if there were no significance to the uniform’s color scheme.
But that’s a question for next issue. For now, we’ll just look forward to seeing what Rocket Raccoon can do with a fully-powered Nova uniform.