In 2012, Marvel’s big event was Avengers vs. X-Men. The New Warriors involvement wasn’t huge but it was used to launch the official debut of the new Nova in the start of the story. He doesn’t participate in the rest of the event, only showing up in the beginning and end, but it helped set the character up for his own solo series. Of course, a few mutant members of past New Warriors teams also show up, but only sparsely. I’ve decided to have the event, the Avengers vs. X-Men mini-series and tie-in issues, kick off a new Phase Seven in Limbo Part 4.
Before the official start of the event, Marvel had been teasing it for some time, including Nova’s story in Point One #1. As another teaser to the event, a story starring Nova was used to launch a new digital comics imprint called Infinite Comics. Using techniques pioneered by French cartoonist Balak, writer Mark Waid and artist Stuart Immonen created a digital-first comic unique to the online use of space while retaining the reader’s control of time in the experience of reading a comic book story. There were two other Infinite Comics released during the Avengers vs. X-Men event, although they did not star Nova. Marvel continued the Infinite Comics program until early 2017 but unfortunately they seem to have abandoned it. While designed for online, print versions have been included in collected editions.
The digital comic was originally referred to as Avengers vs. X-Men #1: Infinite but the naming convention led some to believe that the story content was mostly the same as the print comic Avengers vs. X-Men #1, released around the same time. While it still retains that name on comiXology, Marvel.com now calls it Avengers vs. X-Men #1.5 (even though most of the story takes place prior to Avengers vs. X-Men #1). Some comics database sites refer to it as Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite #1, which I find to be the most clear title so that is what I will use on this site.
Nova is in virtually all of Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite #1, as he races the Phoenix Force to Earth, picking up from his story in Point One #1. If you can only get one of these AvX issues, this is the one to get. This is only his second published appearance, although his origin story that is published after this is set earlier. His real name has yet to be given, so it’s unclear if this is Rich Rider or someone new, although it’s again clear he’s new at this, which suggests it’s not the more experienced Rich. Some resentment at his father is established. We learn that his helmet talks to him and is helping him mentally adjust to traveling at hyperspeed. While Nova’s narration says the helmet is talking to him, it is not given any specific dialogue like with Worldmind in Nova volume 5. Nova says he’s either been traveling for 5 minutes or 5 weeks. Travel across vast distances in space can get a bit abstract, as he explains, so I’m not exactly sure which version to go with. Since his story in Point One #1 seems to happen simultaneously in relation to most of the other stories in the issue, due to the linking scenes, I’m going to lean toward 5 weeks and keep a gap between the two stories.
Nova‘s arrival on Earth is seen from the Avengers’ perspective in Avengers vs. X-Men #1. There is some new information as we find out Nova slipped into a coma at the end of Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite #1, and Iron Man collected energy signature readings off Nova, which help them realize he was talking about the Phoenix Force. We also see that before Nova crashed through the Chrysler Building, he also cut through a commercial airplane’s wing. It seems like the Avengers saved everyone from both collisions, but it seems highly unlikely absolutely no one died. He appears on 5 pages, although for 3 of them he’s just a streak of light entering the city and isn’t identifiable until the last 2 pages. On a 6th page later in the story, an image of him (taken from an earlier page) is seen as Captain America and Iron Man debrief the United States President, but he isn’t physically present.
Little fun fact: both issues use a version of the Nova logo from Nova volume 2.
Chamber is seen in one panel in Wolverine & the X-Men #9, a crossover with Avengers vs. X-Men. He attends a teachers meeting at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning where Wolverine is announcing that he’s leaving to go with the Avengers to try to bring Hope Summers into custody since she is the most likely host for the approaching Phoenix Force. There’s also a cute panel of a student giving a class report on why the Nova Corps is awesome and why he should be a member. The issue is basically set during Avengers vs. X-Men #1 but for our purposes and the relevant events, it’s easiest to have it set between Avengers vs. X-Men #1 and 2.
Jubilee is seen in the background of two panels on two different pages in Avengers vs. X-Men #2 beside her X-Men volume 3 teammates Domino, Psylocke and Warpath. They are helping defend Utopia from an attack by the Avengers, who are there to collect the mutant they believe to be the next host of the approaching Phoenix Force. This issue was released as The Curse is Broken storyline was in progress, so it wasn’t yet known Jubilee was going to leave the X-Men. Her inclusion here is probably a mistake but she’s definitely there so let’s make it work. We can’t say Avengers vs. X-Men takes place before X-Men volume 3 #24-27, because Jubilee is missing at the end of the previous X-Men story arc War Machines, and the Utopia status quo is clearly in place then, which won’t be the case by the end of Avengers vs. X-Men. The event doesn’t really have much room for unrelated side adventures, so the easiest solution is to just say Jubilee stopped by for a visit or to pick up her things after deciding to stay with The Forgiven at the end of X-Men volume 3 #27, and the Avengers happened to attack Utopia while she was there. She helped out her friends until the battle ended, and then took off, since she isn’t seen for the rest of the event. Despite all that, these are very minor appearances with no dialogue. Although, in the second panel, Jubilee can be seen facing off with Black Widow, which is a nice but probably unintentional callback to the exchange between Jubilee and Black Widow toward the end of X-23 volume 3 #20.
Chamber shows up again in Wolverine and the X-Men #10. This time he shows up in two panels and gets some dialogue. The issue takes place during Avengers vs. X-Men #2, after the battle on Utopia concludes. What complicates it is that his fellow teachers Rachel Grey and Iceman decide to leave the school and actually take off, which they do again in the beginning of X-Men Legacy #266. Presumably these two issues are depicting the same events framed slightly differently, but X-Men Legacy #266 seems to take place after Wolverine goes missing at the end of Avengers vs. X-Men #2, while here Wolverine is present for their departure.
Chamber is seen again in a teachers meeting at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in X-Men Legacy #266-267. He attends a briefing of recent events and decides with the majority to stay with the school and watch over the students despite the escalating conflict between Cyclops’ X-Men and the Avengers. Two other teachers, Rachel Grey and Iceman, leave to help Cyclops. Comparing X-Men Legacy #266 and Wolverine and the X-Men #10, it looks like the teachers meeting in X-Men Legacy 266 is happening during Wolverine and Cyclops’ private meeting in Wolverine and the X-Men #10. Once the meeting concludes in 266, they go out and announce their decisions to Wolverine in 10. Then an hour passes, at which point, Avengers vs. X-Men #2 concludes and Wolverine is now MIA. The Avengers catch wind of Rachel and Iceman defecting, so they send a small team to watch over the school to make sure no one else defects, as seen in the rest of X-Men Legacy #266. Of course tension escalates until a fight breaks out, which carries over into X-Men Legacy #267. Chamber mostly stays back, helping some students who got caught in the fight. He only appears on 2 pages in #266 and 3 pages in #267, so I wouldn’t call any of these crucial appearances. For Chamber’s chronology, he only appears in the opening scene of X-Men Legacy #266, so I’m going to place that issue before Wolverine and the X-Men #10, where he shows up after that scene where they all talk with Wolverine. Then he appears again in X-Men Legacy 267 to help with the fight with the Avengers.
No other New Warriors show up until the very end when Nova makes a surprise return in Avengers vs. X-Men #12 to help defeat Cyclops, possessed by the Phoenix Force. Or at least he slows him down long enough to let the rest of the Avengers defeat him. At the end of the issue, Nova is seen flying with Thor, who offers him Avengers membership. He doesn’t accept because he has to check with his mother, which is another strong signal this isn’t Rich Rider. He appears on 4 pages (5 if you count the double-page spread as 2 separate pages). It’s a neat moment to bookend his arrival in Avengers vs. X-Men #1 but not essential.
Nova also appears in a single panel in Uncanny X-Men vol. 2 #19, which just recreates the moment Nova collides into Cyclops.