|Series #1 - NOVA #20|
Cover Date: July 1978
Writer/Editor: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Carmine Infantino
Inker: Dave Hunt
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: George Roussos
Cover Artists: Carmine Infantino & Tom Palmer
Title: "At Last...The Inner Circle!"
Robert's good-natured jokes about Rich's upcoming test are interrupted by the Rider's mailman, Hank. Rich asks Hank if he has any letters for him from Brazil. Hank informs Rich that he has no letters for him today. Rich begins to worry about his Brazilian pen pal who hasn't written to him in weeks. The young student realizes it's time for his test and leaves for school.
After his brother and mother leave, Robert goes down to the basement to work on his latest scientific project. Robert is convinced Rich has a secret he's not sharing with the family. To uncover the truth, Rich's brother has created "Factor X", a robot dressed as Sherlock Holmes! Using its sensors to lock in on Rich, Factor X begins his mission!
Meanwhile, Rich is finishing his test and waits for the results. Outside, Rich meets up with his girlfriend, Ginger Jaye, and his friends, Bernie Dillon and Roger "Caps" Cooper. Rich's teacher comes out to congratulates the young student. Rich Rider has passed his test and will move on to the next grade! The gang decides to celebrate at Uncle Fudge's Ice Cream Parlor.
While they are enjoying their sodas, Ginger hears sobbing from the next booth. She turns around to see Donna Lee Dover crying. Donna tells Rich that her boyfriend, Mike Burley, hasn't been seen for days and no one knows where he is. As Nova, Rich last saw Mike robbing a laboratory for Yellow Claw but hasn't seen him since. Rich tells Donna that he'll do his best to find Mike. Ginger is less than happy at Donna's grateful kiss!
Later that night, Gloria Rider is worried that her husband hasn't come home yet. Just then, Charles Rider comes in. He informs his wife and son, Rich, that he's going to turn states evidence against the Inner Circle. He's also determined to confront the criminal organization and inform them of his plans! After Charles leaves, Rich changes to Nova and follows his father. Robert and Factor X arrive at Rich's room shortly after he's left and just misses discovering the truth about Rich!
Unaware that his son is following him, Charles drives into the Midtown Tunnel. Nova flies to the other side only to find his father's car has disappeared! Somewhere deep inside the tunnel, Charles meets the hooded group known as The Inner Circle. The masked men inform Charles that they know of his intentions. They also tell him that he'll never be allowed to leave alive. Elsewhere in the secret lair, the Inner Circle's leader tells his henchman to bring Charles to him.
In the meantime, Nova has followed a tip on a couple of thugs who can tell him about the Inner Circle. The young hero crashes in on the criminals, Francis and Ed, and forces them to tell him what he wants to know. The two didn't know the Inner Circle's location but did provide the address of an informant who would know. Nova flies to a small ship in the harbor and talks to a man named Shuffles. Shuffles gives Nova the address of the Inner Circle and tells the Human Rocket what he expects in return. The informant only wants Nova to owe him a favor, nothing more.
Nova crashes into the Inner Circle's headquarters and begins tearing it apart! After throwing a number of masked henchmen around, Nova turns to face the last one. The helmeted hero grabs the front of the criminal's gun as it goes off. The backlash knocks the hooded man unconscious. Nova tears off the hood to reveal the man's identity. The young hero is stunned to discover the man is his father!
Just then, Robert and Factor X open the door to find Nova standing over his father. Robert believes Nova has killed his dad and swears vengeance on the hero!Back To Series 1 Index