|“||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 hydraultic 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.
The Renegade Parade
Ten years later, Nova observes the Renegade Parade from the back of the crowd. As she thinks about the Renegades' victory over the Anarchists and Ace Anarchy's death, the parade begins. Ingrid Thompson and Phobia communicate with Nova using a transmitter in her ear; their mission is to take out Captain Chromium, the leader of. Phobia informs Nova that he will alert her when the Council's parade float leaves the warehouse. Nova watches the parade with disgust, but with amusement, watches the impersonators for Phobia and Honey Harper, one of the other Anarchists, on one of the villain floats. However, her amusement is quickly replaced by fury when she sees the impersonator for Ace Anarchy, who the civilians throw rotten fruits and cabbages at.
As Nova is reading a banner advertising the Renegade trials, a girl crashes into Nova. The girl quickly apologizes and returns to the crowd, but a stranger she crashes hauls her back to Nova. The girl reluctantly returns the bracelet she stole to Nova and leaves. The stranger notices that the clasp of the bracelet snapped, and he draws a clasp to reconnect the bracelet, which comes to life, fixing it. Nova suspiciously asks if the stranger is a Renegade, to which he responds that his name is Adrian.
Phobia tells Nova to go to the rooftop of the west station, and she quickly leaves, promising to be there in two minutes. She climbs onto a weighted rope, which brings her up to the roof. However, Ingrid informs her that she went to the rooftop of the wrong building. Phobia and Ingrid begin to argue about taking out one of the Council members, but Nova insists that she can get to the west station. She jumps over to the west station rooftop. Ingrid congratulates her, which causes her and Phobia to start bickering again. Nova watches the Council's parade float with disgust, and is distracted when she sees Ace Anarchy's helmet skewered on the top of Captain Chromium's pike.
Nova aims at Captain Chromium, but is unable to pull the trigger in time. Meanwhile, Monarch, Smokescreen, and Red Assassin arrive to confront her. Red Assassin uses her hooked bloodstone wire to snatch Nova's gun away. Nova retaliates by throwing her throwing stars at Red Assassin, but she quickly disables both of them. Smokescreen holds her from behind and demands to know whether she was working alone or not, but she launches Smokescreen over her head with his own cane. Red Assassin throws the wire at Nova and presses the point of her bloodstone dagger into Nova's jugular and asks who Nova works for. Nova refuses to answer and instead puts Ruby to sleep with her power.
Smokescreen fills the air white thick white mist, causing Nova to be unable to see him or Monarch. She pinpoints her duffel bag and bolts for it, but Monarch appears. Nova tries to stab her with the dagger, but as the dagger touches her skin, she shapeshifts back into her swarm of monarches. Nova sprints toward the fire escape on the next building, jumps, and sprints for the far side of the rooftop before she is intercepted by the Sentinel. Before they can attack each other, Nova hears the sound of the Puppeteer's laughter, and watches as he picks eight children to control with his powers from within his hot air balloon.
Meanwhile, Nova fires her bazooka netting gun at the Sentinel, but as she jumps onto the next rooftop, he burns through the net. Nova is unimpressed and taunts him, but he launches himself over her head, quelling her smile, as she had never heard of a Renegade with a combination of such powers. Monarch reforms and demands to know who the Sentinel is, and he introduces himself. Nova tries to attack both of them, but the Sentinel wraps his arms around her, making her unable to move. She pushes backward and sends them over the side of the building, and they land on the next roof. As the Sentinel tries to push himself up, she stabs him between his chestplate and shoulderplates, prompting him to release a column of flames upon her, which instead injures Monarch.
While the Sentinel and Smokescreen are distracted, Nova throws her duffel bag into the Puppeteer's hot air balloon and is about to climb into it when the Sentinel grabs her and demands to know why she tried to assassinate Captain Chromium. As he tightens his fingers around her throat, she quotes "one cannot be brave who has no fear", which shocks him enough for her to put him to sleep. Then she hauls herself into the Puppeteer's hot air balloon to escape, and watches the chaos beneath as the Puppeteer controls the children beneath him. However, Thunderbird suddenly appears and shoves the balloon backward with a blast of air. She lifts a lightning bolt over her shoulder as Nova grabs the bazooka netting gun and fires at Thunderbird, successfully entangling her in the net. Thunderbird falls toward the street but is caught by Captain Chromium.
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.
The Subway System
The balloon crashes into an apartment. Nova jumps off and walks for nearly two miles to find a place to hide. She heads for the Anarchists' subway system hideout and finds Ingrid on the central platform. She confronts Ingrid for leaving her behind at the Renegade Parade, but ingrid insists that as Nova, herself, and Phobia were fine, the fact that she left Nova behind didn't matter. Nova points out that the Puppeteer had been captured by Renegades, but Ingrid says that he deserved it.
Nova hears wailing from above that she identifies as Honey Harper. Ingrid complains how all of the Anarchists are lost causes, and Nova helps her drop off supplies at their storehouse. She then makes her way back to her own abandoned train car to prepare a cup of tea. Afterwards she decides to visit Honey in her room, and notes that the room is filled with hives and nests. Honey asks about the parade, and as Nova is unwilling to tell her about their failure, she instead says that there was an actress portraying her on the villain float. Honey is surprised that the Renegades haven't forgotten about her. Nova asks to borrow honey and leaves the room.
Nova then enters Winston's tent and takes kettle corn and candy from his room, thinking that he wouldn't be back anytime soon. Afterwards, she visits Leroy Flinn, and tells him about the failure of their mission, which doesn't concern him. She confides that it was her fault that Winston was captured by the Renegades, but he says that if he was stronger than the Renegades, he wouldn't have fallen to them. Nova tells him that the Renegades might raid the subway system tonight in retaliation of what happened at the parade. Leroy asks if the Renegades were advertising Renegade trials at the parade, to which she distastefully says yes. Leroy tells her that she could be a promising spy, and Nova tells him that she would think about it.
During the night, as Nova has no need to sleep, she practices her aim with a dart gun, shooting darts into the eyes of magazine clippings featuring Captain Chromium. She thinks about how she had failed to assassinate him when it mattered. Nova also thinks about Ace Anarchy's opposition toward prodigy oppression and his passion for a free world. As she makes her way back to the tracks, she notices the ground shaking beneath her and stumbles. At first, she assumes it was only an earthquake, but she then hears a crash, alerting her to the arrival of the Renegades.
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.
Powers and Abilities
- Sleep Inducement: 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, and clips many of them to her weaponry belt or places 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.
(to be continued)
- 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.
Nova: "Oh, I'm sorry. I was busy daydreaming about your funerals."
- Nova in Renegades, page 39
Ruby: "Who are you working for?" Nova: "Your worst nightmare."
- Nova and Ruby in Renegades, page 39
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: "You think I'm afriad 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.)