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Garthan Saal (Earth-616) from Nova Vol 4 25 001.jpg
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Avengers #301 (March 1989)
Created byTom DeFalco (writer - artist)
In-story information
Full nameGarthan Saal
Place of originXandar
Team affiliationsNova Corps
AbilitiesGravametric manipulation

Supernova, also known as Nova Omega and Garthan Saal, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. His first appearance was as an antagonist in The Avengers #301 in 1988.

As a Nova Corps officer, he was played by Peter Serafinowicz in the Marvel Cinematic Universe 2014 film in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Publication history

Supernova first appeared as the main antagonist in The Avengers Vol 1, #301-303. He later returned in The New Warriors Vol 1, #40-42 and Nova Vol 4.

Fictional character biography

Garthan Saal, a member of the Xandarian Nova Corps, was one of the few Xandarians who survived the destruction of Xandar at the hands of Nebula the space pirate.

Garthan Saal contained the power of the entire Nova Corps within his body which increased him to the size of a giant and drove him mad. Supernova's desire for revenge against Nebula led him on a quest to track her down and exact his revenge. He had heard that Nebula had recently been a member of the Avengers (in actuality this was a temporal counterpart to Kang's long lost love Ravonna who assumed the guise of Nebula).[volume & issue needed]

Supernova first attacked the Avenger Star Fox (another alleged relative of Nebula's) in space which led to a confrontation between Supernova and the combined forces of the Avengers, Fantastic Four and fellow surviving Xandarian Firelord (a former herald of Galactus). Supernova was only defeated by tricking him into the timestream to find the woman he believed was Nebula as she had been lost in the timestream during a previous encounter with the Avengers.[1]

Years later, Garthan Saal returned from the time stream even more crazed. He had come to realize that there was a small sliver of the Xandarian Nova Corps power that was still housed within the earthling Richard Rider a.k.a. Nova, a former member of the Xandarian Nova Corps and at that time a member of the New Warriors. Supernova came to earth and drained Nova of all his powers effectively killing him (ruining his date with Laura Dunham). Richard was resurrected thanks to another surviving Xandarian (and former herald of Galactus) named Air-Walker. Air-Walker and Firelord joined Nova and the New Warriors into a battle in space with Supernova. During the battle Supernova tried to drain a powerless Richard Rider again but this led to Richard himself having full control of the Nova Force. Nova was convinced by his friends to relinquish the power and use it to reboot the Xandarian Worldmind (A network that serves as a repository of all Xandarian knowledge, culture and power). Having done this the Worldmind resurrected the Xandarian race and Nova Corps was reborn. Nova was given more power but eventually was depowered again at which point Garthaan Saal became the Nova assigned for Earth and took the name Nova Omega. His appointment caused great friction between him and the depowered Richard Rider. Garthan began tracking Volx the queen (and mother) of the Dire Wraiths. Volx murdered Garthan, who returned the Nova force to Richard Rider.[2]

Malik Tarcel, a temporary Nova Prime during the second Kree-Shi'ar War, was captured by Shi'ar forces and tortured. After the torture was over, a man claiming to be Garthan Saal arrived to rescue him.[3]


There was a black ops unit of the Nova Corps called the Supernovas. They were also called the Black Novas because their helmets were black instead of gold.[4]

During the "Original Sin" storyline, Sam Alexander learned from the eye of the murdered Uatu the Watcher that its membership consisted of thieves and killers.[5]


In other media



  1. ^ The Avengers #301-303 (1988)
  2. ^ The New Warriors #75
  3. ^ Nova vol. 4 #25
  4. ^ a b c d e f Nova vol. 5 #1
  5. ^ a b Nova vol. 5 #18
  6. ^ a b Nova vol. 5 #4
  7. ^ Nova vol. 5 #5
  8. ^ Serafinowicz, Peter (July 23, 2013). "Re Guardians, I'm a Nova Corps Officer with John C Reilly". Twitter. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Douglas, Edward (July 24, 2014). "Guardians of the Galaxy". Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.