|Series #3 - NOVA #4|
Cover Date: August 1999
Writer: Erik Larsen
Artist: Joe Bennett
Inker: Armando Durruthy
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Editor: Ruben Diaz
Title: "The Condor Strikes!"
Rich changes to Nova and races across town. When he arrives, he finds that it's not the Sandman who's committing the crime. It's Quicksand. Nova is disappointed that it's not a major villain, but knows that he must stop her.
A fast and furious battle erupts between Nova and Quicksand. Nova finally defeats her with an optic blast. However, due to his recent power fluctuations, his blast turns Quicksand into glass! To make matters worse, while Nova's back is turned, Quicksand gets shattered by an oncoming truck!
Meanwhile, in Egypt, the reanimated form of the Sphinx enters the tent of terrorists who are holding a woman hostage. The Sphinx needs more energy and doesn't care who's a hostage and who's a terrorist. In moments, all of the people are drained of their life forces and the Sphinx continues on.
Back at Marvel Burgers, Rich and his friend, Bernie Dillon, are working behind the counter. Bernie gives Rich a hard time about his lack of snappy comebacks to give villains. Rich asks his friend to help him come up with better comebacks so that Nova will receive more media attention. Along with saving lives, Rich wants to be able to make a living as Nova and feels the better jokes would help him get his own tv show and comic book! While they're talking, their other friend, Roger "Caps" Cooper, comes in. Roger has just made the baseball team but on the condition that he keep Rich from leaving games. Rich talks to Roger and Bernie about his fluctuating powers and decides to visit Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Unknown to Rich, his conversation is being monitored by his foe, the Condor!
Nova arrives at one of the FF's Long Island facilities and meets Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards. Reed has shut off the security devices to allow Nova in. Reed and Nova begin analyzing the Human Rocket's powers and cellular structure. Mr. Fantastic discovers that Nova's entire genetic structure has been altered to a staggering degree. In order to control the power surges, Reed develops a device to help dampen Nova's powers. As they begin the process, the Condor strikes! Due to the security devices being disabled, the Condor is able to easily blast Reed unconscious from behind. The winged criminal then turns his attention to Nova and begins inflicting the restrained hero with pain.
Suddenly, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four arrive to battle the Condor! As the fight rages on, Nova is able to break loose of the dampening machine. He grabs the Condor and gives him a solid punch to the face. However, due to the Condor's tampering, the dampening device has worked too well! Nova's punch has no effect and he is easily knocked to the ground by the Condor. The feathery foe is grabbed by Mr. Fantastic and disarmed quickly. Facing the full fury of the Fantastic Four, the Condor panics and backs up to flee. At the same time, Nova is reaching for the Condor's wrist weapons which were tossed to the floor. As a result, the Condor unwittingly trips over Nova and falls on his own weapon!
Later, as the Condor is being hauled away by the authorities, Reed tells Nova that his powers are only dampened not removed. The Human Rocket leaves the FF but begins to feel violently ill. He barely makes it to Ginger Jaye's house before collapsing on her front porch!
Half a world away, the Golden Age hero known as the Red Raven is watching the Condor's capture. He declares that the Condor is one of the Avian race and must be tried by Avian justice. He intends to reclaim the Condor and will destroy anyone who gets in his way!Back To Series 3 Index