|“||Do you have what it takes to be a hero? Ugh. Stab me with an egg beater.||”|
Nova Artino, also known as Nova McLain, Nightmare or Insomnia, is an Anarchist who has the power to put others to sleep and never sleep herself.
Nova is collecting syringes from the alleyway behind her apartment, which she uses to invent a functioning hydraulic elevator. She had tested it when she hears her sister Evie Artino's cry from the next room. Nova thinks about her Uncle Alec before she returns to her hydraulic system. However, Evie continues to cry, which prompts Nova to put her to sleep to quiet her.
Nova then watches her father, David Artino, create metalwork with his ability to pull threads of energy from the air. She asks what he is making, to which he cryptically answers that he hopes the object will right some of the wrongs he had caused the world. This prompts Nova to think about how unsafe she had heard the city was at such times like this, and she asks her father whether her family will be okay. He responds unconvincingly that they will of course be fine. He tells her about the Renegades, which comforts her. She soon falls asleep.
Nova wakes up to the sound of a door slamming. She hears low voices in the hallway, which she identify as her father and her mother, Tala Artino. She peers out into the hall to see a man in the house holding a gun. Her father and mother plead with the man. Nova watches fearfully as her father tells her mother to escape with Nova and Evie, only for the stranger to fire the gun, killing her. Her father sees her and tells her to run, before the stranger shoots him as well.
Nova flees to hide in her closet, only to realize that she had left Evie behind. She considers running back out to find Evie, only to stop when she hears the door of the closet creak upon her touch. She hides there are pleads for the Renegades to come, but to no avail, as Evie starts to cry and the stranger shoots her as well.
The man finds Nova in the closet and presses the gun to her forehead, but before he can fire, she grabs his wrist, which puts him to sleep. She stands over him with his gun and tells herself to pull the trigger, but she is unable to.
Later, Uncle Alec finds her standing over the stranger and comforts her over the deaths of her parents, promising to protect her. He then aims the gun at the sleeping man and fires, killing him.
Ten years later, Nova goes to the annual Renegade Parade in an attempt to assassinate Captain Chromium. Ingrid Thompson and Phobia work with Nova as a team. While waiting for the parade, a young girl steals Nova's bracelet, but Adrian stops the young girl and gives Nova back her bracelet. Adrian also draws on a new clasp for Nova. Nova then leaves quickly to begin her assassination. Nova aims at Captain Chromium's eye but is unable to pull the trigger in time. Meanwhile, Monarch, Smokescreen, and Red Assassin arrive to confront her. The Sentinel interrupts and burns Monarch. Nova then escapes on a The Puppeteers hot air balloon after telling the Sentinel "One cannot be brave who has no fear."
Nova asks Ingrid and Phobia for assistance, but they decline to help. Captain Chromium throws the pike at the hot air balloon, which hits the heater. The hot air balloon's descent skyward slows and Nova realizes that the hot air balloon will soon crash. She then throws the Puppeteer out of his hot air balloon to lose weight, and with the loss of weight, the hot air balloon continues to drift skyward.
Nova has blue eyes and wavy black hair that cuts just above her shoulders. She has a sharp nose, sharp chin, and sharp cheekbones. Nova is half-Italian and half-Filipina. Her fingerprints were mutilated to conceal her identity so that she could join the Renegades.
Nova wears a dark hood and a metal face mask over the lower half of her face to conceal her identity. She also wears a bracelet that was created by her father, which holds a star in the empty prongs, drawn by Adrian Everhart. The clasp is also drawn by him.
Description by Marissa Meyer
"Ever since the day her family was murdered, Nova has been unable to sleep. But she doesn’t miss it. In fact, her insomnia is part of her superpower: She never sleeps, and can put others to sleep just by touching them. After her family was taken from her, Nova was raised by the Anarchists, a group of villains who live hidden beneath the city, lying in wait to take down the Renegades and reclaim Gatlon for themselves. But now Nova is old enough to participate in the Renegade trials and potentially infiltrate their ranks. If she makes it through the trials, the Anarchists may come out of hiding..."
Abilities and Skills
- Tranquilization: Nova possesses the superpower to put others to sleep. This power can function only through skin-to-skin contact.
- Insomnia: Nova never sleeps, yet still remains mentally fit and does not suffer from lack of sleep.
- Master Engineer: Nova is a very skilled engineer who can design and create her own weapons, as well as other equipment, such as a miniature, functioning hydraulic elevator.
- Master Accuracy: Nova's accuracy with a gun was demonstrated many times throughout Renegades and Archenemies. She was almost able to hit Captain Chromium in the eye with a dart during the Renegade parade, and did so many times afterwards with magazine clippings of him.
- Juggling: Nova became skilled at juggling in order to improve her hand-eye coordination.
Nova carries weapons and other useful objects which she invents herself. Nova clips many of them to her weaponry belt or keeps them in her duffel bag.
- Heat-Seeking Throwing Stars: Nova used two heat-seeking throwing stars against Red Assassin, Smokescreen, and Monarch in the skirmish during the Renegade Parade. She mentioned that she had worked all summer to perfect the heat-seeking throwing stars. During her and Adrian's search of the Anarchists' abandoned subway system, Adrian finds the throwing stars in Nightmare's train car.
- Bazooka Netting Gun: Nova used a netting gun that she engineered from a toy bazooka when she was eleven against The Sentinel and Thunderbird in their skirmish during the Renegade Parade. The gun shoots out a net of nylon ropes whose eight points spread out like an octopus around the victim.
- Pen: Nova took a pen with a secret compartment behind the ink refills, loaded with poisonous darts, to Renegade Headquarters when she was masquerading as a Renegade. She considers using the pen against Captain Chromium and Tsunami on her first day as a Renegade.
- Shock-Wave Gun: Nova took a gun that could stun an opponent up to thirty feet away to Renegade Headquarters when she was masquerading as a Renegade.
- Exothermic Micro-Flares: Nova took a set of exothermic micro-flares to Renegade Headquarters when she was masquerading as a Renegade. When snapped, the exothermic micro-flare would glow a luminescent yellow.
- Duffel Bag: (to be added)
- Nightmare's Uniform: Nova's uniform that she wore as Nightmare consisted of a weaponry belt with special pockets and hooks for her inventions, a lightweight, waterproof black hooded jacket with a flame-retardant coating, and a hard metal shell that hides the lower half of her face.
- Renegade Uniform: Nova's uniform that she wore as Insomnia, masquerading as a Renegade, consisted of the standard charcoal-gray bodysuit with red detailing and a red R, and boots with ankle braces and slip-resistant soles, along with a number of unknown features.
- Renegade Communicator: Nova received a Renegade communicator on her first day masquerading as a Renegade. The communicator is a thin strip of plastic that will light up on one end and sound an alarm during an emergency and display the city map. Pressing the other end of the communicator and speaking another person's name will allow the wearer to communicate with someone else while holding it in front of the face will record a video message.
- Binoculars: (to be added)
Nova: "Oh, I'm sorry. I was busy daydreaming about your funerals."
- Nova in Renegades, page 39
Ruby(as Red Assasin): "Who are you working for?"Nova (as Nightmare): "Your worst nightmare."
- Nova and Ruby in Renegades, page 39
Adrian (as The Sentinel): "You can't escape me, Nightmare. I'm taking you into custody, and you will answer for your crimes." Nova: "Lovely as that sounds, I actually had other plans for this afternoon."
- Nova and The Sentinel in Renegades, page 44
Nova(as Nightmare): "You think I'm afraid of a pompous neophyte in a toy suit?"
- Nova in Renegades, page 39
- Nova has taken up a lot of hobbies over the years, such as knitting, bird-watching, juggling, embroidery, astronomy, etc.
(To the Right: Fan Rendition of Nova in her Nightmare costume, artwork by Amanda Zito.)