12 Days of Pitchmas 2019, Part 1: Nova

To make a long story short, these were written last December, rather than finish the NaNo I was working on; my assistant was having some health problems, and I didn’t realize until this week these never got published to the blog, so I’ll be putting them up on days that I’m not posting new Breed. It’s a silly project: the 12 Days of Pitchmas. For 12 Days, I pitch a ‘new’ Marvel movie. I’m staying away from any of the announced movies I know virtually any plot of (Blade right now is the only one announced I’m pitching). The names are mostly silly and punny rather than real, because we mustn’t get too grimdark with our silly productivity preventer.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Pitch: Nova

We’ll start with an easy one, one that’s had the groundwork laid, and is grounded in recent events, but is otherwise fresh and interesting. This one’s going to have shades of Flight of the Navigator and the Last Starfighter, with maybe a little bit of ET if we were led to believe the little brown squish had a full interior life.

Starts off with Thanos’ attack on the Nova Corps. to steal the Power Stone. Richard Ryder, the sole Terran inducted into the Corps., standing with John C. Reilly and Nova Prime (Glenn Close), holed up in the area where the Stone is guarded. Outside, we see the few new Nova ships failing to stop Thanos’ fleet. Reilly asks for permission from Prime to use the stone to repel the invaders, and is denied; the stone could wipe out all life on the planet if he can’t contain its power. Ryder asks for permission to deploy the new Nova Power Shell. Reilly barks that it’s still untested; he could kill all of them just as easily as the Power Stone. Thanos bursts through the doors, and Prime comes over comms, telling all Novas to activate their new weapons. Outside, we see hundreds of Nova Corpsmen launch into the sky, sheathed in yellow light, making a dent in Thanos’ ships (it’s a moment of joy- we forget for a moment we know how this story ends). Back inside, Ryder steps to Thanos and blasts him, giving him the full force of power in his suit in a blinding flash. Thanos is still standing, and backhands him through a wall, and we watch him falling until the last second, his shell flickering but failing to activate. Back inside, Reilly trades blows with Thanos, lasting several before falling. Nova Prime is last, and backs into the stone, grabbing it in her hand almost by accident. Thanos wraps his hand around hers and squeezes, shattering the bones in her hand until she drops the stone. Reilly is back, tackles Thanos through the wall, leaving Prime in the building. They fall together, with Reilly using all of his power to fly Thanos towards the ground. They impact, and Reilly lays dead on the ground, not having reserved any of his power to save himself from impact.

Ryder kneels over Reilly (Rhoman Dey), and gets a message. “Buddy, if you’re hearing this, then I’m gone. I know, you’ll want to blubber for a while, and I respect that, but I need something from you, first. Take care of my wife, and our daughter. You know I’d do the same for you- if you ever got a woman plastered enough to agree to marry you.” “Crap,” Ryder says, before launching into narration. “So that’s how I ended up stuck on this dirtball millions of miles from Earth. But how did I get here?”

A slightly younger Richard Ryder, wearing his Dairy Queen uniform, flees from one of Ego’s spores. “That’s a long story.” It sure is. So we’re going to montage this. “Weird alien shit happened.” In a dark room Ryder is interrogated by a Nova alien demanding he renounce his fealty to this Queen of Dairy and explain what happened. “The weird alien shit police- themselves also weird- picked me up for questioning. I think they questioned me too hard, because,” Ryder flops onto the floor, foaming at the mouth. “my brain fossilized for a bit. They took me back to Xandar and fixed my brain.” We see Xandar from his hospital bed as he sits up. “As an apology, they offered me an honorary title in the Nova Corps, which I refused,” (he demands to be a real Corpsmen). “I served for a few years with distinction, even got a promotion, before I made it back to Earth, to tell my mom and little brother, Sam, I was okay.” He says, “I’m going off to save the stars… kidding, I got an internship at a prestigious technical program- prestigious for Jersey, anyway.” He toussles Sam’s hair. “I also, kind of, left him something, my first helmet, as a keepsake. But I didn’t want him to have it, yet; it was for when he was old enough not to do something really stupid with it.”

Cut to Earth, where Sam is crawling through the family crawlspace, through cobwebs, before bonking his head on his brother’s old Nova helmet. “Hey, little bro, if you’ve found this, it’s because I’m in trouble. Nah, I’m screwing with you. It’s because you’re old enough I told you where I hid it. Or you’re a little clod going through my stuff, and I am so telling mom when I get home.” Sam grabs the helmet and runs out of the crawlspace. He puts it on, and we jump into his head as text displays across the visor asking for his name. “Sam Alexander” (daddy took off before he was born, so mom gave him her maiden name). The helmet scans his face, then projects an image of him in full Nova gear. “Cool,” he says. The helmet grows the suit around him, and he’s surprised and a little worried, running outdoors as he tries to get it to stop. He accidentally takes flight, scorching his mother’s front lawn.

Cut back to Ryder, walking along Xandar’s surface. The destruction wrought by Thanos’ army is near-total; he’s walking through a post-apocalyptic world. We hear his voice distorted as he tries to broadcast. “This is Nova 9176, to all points, please respond, Nova 9176.” Ryder finds a single home, relatively protected amongst the devastation. There are scorch marks in the yard, and the charred remains of the Nova who died defending the home. Ryder rushes into the home, to find Rhoman Dey’s wife and daughter, huddled inside. She’s shocked at his intrusion, but recognizes him almost immediately and embraces him. “Richard! Is Rhoman-” “I’m so sorry…” Pull back from the house, through the window in the front door, continuing to recede. We start to hear Ryder’s distress signal. “Nova 9176 to all points, May Day. Xandar has fallen. Remaining Nova forces are insufficient to effect an evacuation of the remaining populace. This is Nova- this is Richard Ryder, of Earth. Any Nova within the sound of my voice, please respond.”

We hear the last two sentences again, this time through Sam’s helmet as he’s flying through the air back on Earth. “Rich?” he asks, before the helmet automatically responds to the distress signal and launches him into space. He’s flailing as he breaks atmosphere, yammering that “I can’t survive in space, you’re going to kill me,” until he realizes, “wait, I am surviving in space. Cool. Lets go save my brother.” Sam flies off into space.

Rich leads Dey’s family towards a rally point elsewhere in the city, where other Novas would have gone to make their final stand. On the way they hear the sound of a wounded Nova, and plan to help her until they realize she’s being tortured for information by Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, left behind to ensure that the Nova’s can’t rally to help fight Thanos. Richard asks for a threat assessment from his helmet; they are classed as threats that would each require a powered Nova to combat, and he does not have enough residual power to fight either, let alone both, and trying to save her would likely mean the discovery of all three of them. Ryder has the Deys hide in a nearby building, and collapses a building on Midnight, Glaive and the Nova.

Sam breaks atmosphere on Xandar, both impressed by being on an alien world and awed at the devastation. He’s not quite sure what he can do, but sends out a broadcast on all channels- one picked up by Midnight and Glaive, who Rich and the Deys are now following. They set a trap for Sam, which he nearly falls for, except it’s clearly an alien Nova and not Rich. Sam blasts the both of them frantically, buying enough space for Rich to step in. They have a reunion, and Rich splits Sam’s power between the two of them so they can fight. Rich tries to teach Sam the Nova capabilities on the job, with some hilarious and mixed results. At one point, the Novas are on the ropes, about to be killed, when Dey’s daughter starts throwing rocks, distracting them. Her mother joins suit, flinging rocks from the other side (for my money, they both should eventually join the Corps outright as Novas). The distraction is enough to get the Novas on their feet, and they’re able to detain Thanos’ henchpeople long enough for them to receive a message from Thanos about another stone located on Earth, and they depart.

The fight sapped most of their remaining power, and they’re not going to be able to make it off world as is. They are able to find and repair the Nova power source and communications arrays (damaged in Thanos’ assault), allowing them to power back up. 

End Credits scene: Sam and Rich are flying through space, with Rich in the lead. “Now what?” Sam asks from behind Rich. “Now we rally the remaining Novas, track down the Mad Titan and stop him from wiping out half of all life.” “No,” Sam says weakly, “I meant what’s happening to-” he stops as he turns to dust. 

Bonus pitch: Nova 2 takes place over 2 time periods, the five years Sam is gone during the Blip, with Rich spiraling after the loss of his brother, becoming somewhat of a drunk and derelict Nova (that he saved the Corps at the moment of its greatest vulnerability is the only reason they don’t bounce him- but I can see them attaching like a breathalyzer to his helmet so he has to hero responsibly), and his eventual reunion and redemption once Sam comes back and breaks him out of his funk. (Note: It ended up happening a little differently, but you can see the result in my pitch for Nova 2).

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