She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
Six year old, Nova Artino, adds an elevator to her dollhouse through a homemade pulley system. Her parents are trying to help her little sister, Evie, who has a fever. Nova's father tells her that her Uncle Alec will bring medicine for Evie soon, but does not know how fast he can bring it. He also tells Nova to trust the Renegades, as they are the saviors of Gatlon City and will always find and help anyone in need.
Nova wakes up to hear a hitman break into her house and shoot both her parents. She runs to hide in the closet before realizing that she left Evie out there alone. She continuously reminds herself that the Renegades will come, even as her sister is found and killed.
When Nova is found, she uses her powers to put the man to sleep and tries to find the willpower to shoot him. Uncle Alec finds her and kills the hitman himself, telling Nova to call him "Uncle Ace" from then on. Nova realizes that she cannot trust the Renegades as they failed to save her family. She promises to avenge them by bringing down the Renegades.
10 years later, Nova is preparing to shoot the leader of the Renegades, Captain Chromium, during the annual Renegades Parade- a yearly celebration of the fall of Ace Anarchy. She then meets Adrian, as he fixes her bracelet with his prodigy powers - Artwork Genesis. After leaving him in the crowd, she goes to the nearest building as her teammates, The Detonator & Phobia, inform her of being on the wrong building. She jumps over to the nearest building and sets up for a sniper shot.
When the time comes, Nova can’t pull the trigger as a butterfly materializes on the end of her gun. Soon many butterflies coalesce in front of her - Monarch. Nova finally gets a shot on Chromium, but he turns his head at the last minute and the dart bounces off his helmet. A fight ensues between Nova, Monarch and other Renegades who suddenly descend.
Sentinel, a hero Nova is not familiar with, shows up in full body armor. Winston, the harlequin puppeteer hero, arrives on a float. Nova tries to net Sentinel though he burns through it. Nova calls Winston for help, but the Sentinel reaches her first. He pushes her over the building’s edge though she finds a way to put him to sleep. Winston rescues her by sending a puppet string her way so she can swing off the building.
Chaos erupts on the parade route between both teams of heroes as well as civilians. Nova turns her earpiece back on to check in with her team.
Chromium launches a pike at Harlequin’s balloon, hitting the connection to the propane and changing the float’s course. Nova has to sacrifice weight to clear the next building they’re headed toward. Instead of throwing her bag full of inventions, she tosses Winston off instead and Chromium captures him.
Adrian (Sketch & the Sentinel) wakes up hours later, alone on the rooftop. He’s embarrassed his first attempt failed miserably. He uses Artwork Genesis to clean and stitch his shoulder wound.
Adrian goes to Renegade Headquarters to catch up with his team. He’s told no one about his alternate identity and won’t do so now that he accidentally burned one of his own. He lies about where he’s been. They all try to figure out who Nightmare is and what vigilante group she’s with though Adrian knows he has to find her on his own.
Adrian goes to visit Max (Bandit), the ten year old boy who lives in a quarantine. He continually works on his glass replica of the city as Adrian makes him a few new pieces to help him construct his parade replica.
The council returns to headquarters and Adrian goes to greet his dads. They are furious about Nightmare and the Sentinel but don’t have answers. A lab tech comes to them with news on the poisonous dart shot at Chromium. It’s similar to what Anarchist, Leroy Flynn, (Cyanide) has used before. They're unaware of Adrian having stayed to listen to their conversation.
Adrian thinks the council's way is wrong and believes they need to go about their rule more quickly and effectively.
Nova returns home to the subway, which the Renegades pay visits to regularly. Ingrid & Honey are both there. Nova grabs food from Winston’s stash since he won’t be home any time soon and ventures on to her favorite Anarchist: Leroy Flynn. He suggests she infiltrate the Renegade ranks by becoming one of them.
Adrian listens to a newscast about recent events and realizes how their questions are his own: Did the council do a good job with their response? Who is Nightmare? He looks at a photo album to see pictures of his mom before she died and of him a year later on his adoption day. He finally finds what he’s looking for: the news article about her death. It includes a quote written on a note left by her killer that says the same thing Nightmare said: "One cannot be brave who has no fear."
The Renegades show up at the Anarchists lair to discuss the attempted assassination. They try to bully the Anarchists into obedience as Nova thinks once again about how they’re not the heroes the public thinks they are. The Sentinel shows up and says he was sent by the council as they've called his mission off. He says they don’t get reception down here, so there’s no way they would’ve known. They seem unsure. They don’t know who the Sentinel is or whose side he’s on. He says he wants to talk to Nightmare and Nova thinks about how she might be their only hope in defeating the Renegades since they don’t know who she is.
Nova thinks about how Ace was her only close relative after her family’s murder. He talked of their deaths only once - when he told her it was a group called the Roaches and the Renegades didn’t come to rescue them. He died not long after he told her this in the Day of Triumph.
Nova & Leroy arrive at Millie’s houseboat in Harrow Bay. She’s prepared a fake ID and background for Nova so she can enter the Renegade Trials. She’s Nova McClain now, with the prodigy name Insomnia. Millie mentions how talented Nova’s dad was as she looks at the bracelet he made and how handsome the boy was who fixed it.
Adrian, at the trials, thinks this is another part of being a Renegade he disagrees with as he believes a few questions and a 30 second power display can’t show a prodigy’s worth. His Artwork Genesis wouldn’t be flashy enough to win the panel over even though it often proves useful in the field. Adrian’s group wants to see if any talent is worth joining their gang. The girl with the bracelet from the parade steps out and Adrian is drawn to her once again. The crowd is divided on whether Insomnia has any worthy skills though she touts her physical training and scientific wherewithal.
Adrian’s team is the only to vie for her. Frostbite's team challenges their bid because her skill can’t be confirmed as Nova chooses an opponent from the opposing team - Gargoyle. She walks to the ring, realizing the bracelet-fixing boy from the parade is the one who wants her on his team. She realizes he’s the Renegades captains’ son, Adrian Everhart. She then defeats Gargoyle using a few, simple tricks and her new teammates welcome her.
Adrian sneaks into the basement and gives himself a new tattoo for another secret ability. His dads then call him up for breakfast. Adrian asks for his team to be assigned to the investigation of the Librarian, who they think may have supplied Nightmare’s gun. He says their new insomniac teammate could also help though his dads say no. They say his team needs to use their expertise out on patrol in the city. Adrian tries to persuade them, mentioning how Nightmare quoted the note that was found on his mother’s dead body. They give his team two weeks to perform surveillance.
Nova arrives at Renegade Headquarters for the first time. She’s nervous she’ll be found out though it goes smoothly, especially when Nova confirms there currently aren’t any Renegades with mind reading powers. Ruby & Oscar then give her a tour as they ask about what inventions Nova brought with her. She shows what she has, although she couldn’t bring her best ones as Nightmare had used them in public in the past year.
Adrian meets up with Nova, Ruby & Oscar. Nova asks him tons of questions, and seeing headquarters through her eyes makes him realize how amazing everything the Renegades have developed in the past 8 years is. It makes him interested in it all over again.
They take Nova to the training facility, a gutted-out parking garage where superheroes can practice their powers. Adrian assumes Nova’s awe is because of the various talents she sees being practiced. He tells her how prodigies from around the world come here to train before going home to protect their various cities. Nova asks if the Sentinel trains here. Oscar says they don’t think the Council was faking their surprise and anger about the Sentinel and believes he’s gone rogue.
They take Nova to meet their other teammate, Monarch, who didn’t see Nova compete at the trials due to her injuries she sustained from the Sentinel. She’s friendly, but seems skeptical of Nova’s surveillance abilities. Nova invited Monarch to test her, so she does and Nova easily passes her test.
Adrian takes Nova to meet the Bandit. Nova’s amazed at the detail of the glass city he’s created. Max is awed by her and asks Adrian to draw a figurine of her. Nova allows it and is amazed at the quick, accurate results. She asks why he’s secluded and her teammates explain he has a condition that’s dangerous, but valuable.
Before they elaborate, a lady in a hazmat-type suit arrives for her regular collection of Max’s blood and saliva. Nova asks if they’re trying to heal him though Adrian says research and development is using these samples for something much different. The specifics of his condition are classified and Nova makes a mental note to investigate this later.
Adrian gives Nova a wristwatch, the latest in Renegade tech. She’s impressed, but worries it could be used to track her location as she’s supposed to keep it on at all times.
Nova goes to the apartment her friends rented for her and kicks out a homeless guy who'd been squatting there. Soon, two of her friends show up. She recaps what she learned in day 1 at Headquarters. They warn Cronin that Nova’s team is going to start watching the library the next night and he has 24 hours to clear out anything illegal. They want Nova to trigger a search of the place to show the Renegades it’s clean. Once cleared, he can move his illegal business back into the library.
On their first night of surveillance, they share a little bit about their families and superhero origin stories. Oscar goes first, then Ruby, Adrian & Nova. She’s afraid hers gets a little too close to the truth. She takes watch while the others sleep and is slightly disappointed when Adrian doesn’t come check on her. Nova comes back down, berating herself for her disappointment. She talks to Adrian a while before he goes to sleep.
The next morning, the foursome see Ingrid (Detonator) walking into the library, which Nova uses to convince them to go in and search. Adrian calls for back-up, but they go in before the other team arrives and ask for Cronin. Adrian sees the library assistant watching Nova though Cronin arrives and agrees to give them a tour. Adrian wants to tour the parts not open to the public, starting with the basement. Adrian asks Oscar to stay behind and keep an eye on the library occupants’ safety.
During the tour, they encounter Ingrid. Nova can tell something’s off. Ingrid didn’t warn Cronin and has her own plan: to kidnap Adrian as he’s the council members’ son. A fight ensues and Ingrid ends up detonating one of her bombs as the library begins to burn. The Renegades rush to save everyone inside. Oscar says one little boy is missing. Adrian leaves to look for him though Nova finds him first.
The Sentinel arrives asking Cronin for information on Nightmare, guaranteeing his and his granddaughter’s safety if he reveals who or where she is. Cronin considers this though Ingrid kills him. Narcissa (his granddaughter) escapes using her power to pass through mirrors. Nova shoots Ingrid and carries her away from the burning building.
Nova and the Sentinel speak. She doubts his allegiance to the Renegades and asks him to reveal himself to prove his good intentions, to which he refuses. Nova sees Ruby & Oscar below though Adrian isn’t with them and the Sentinel leaves. Oscar goes back into the building to try to save him as their back-up finally arrives. Captain Chromium finds Adrian in an igloo that he sketched and brought to life inside the fire.
That night, Nova goes back to the Anarchists hide out. They’re packing up and leaving. The Renegades are coming after them after the stunt Ingrid pulled. Ingrid isn’t allowed to go with them due to recent behavior. Nova heads back to Renegade Headquarters to resume her undercover position.
Adrian and his team are on trial about what happened at the library. Their defense is that they’re normally a patrol team and they’re used to taking action if they see an Anarchist. Despite their defying orders, the defense works and they receive probation. Adrian asks to question Winston as he was tied to Nightmare.
Nova accompanies Adrian to visit Max. She likes him, plus she’s hoping to pester him for information. Nova poins out a few things that are wrong with his model of the city and offers to help correct them. She also offers to build functioning elevators for his model of Renegade Headquarters. She then tries to milk him and Adrian for information about Max’s background and condition. They’re careful in their responses though Nova learns his parents threw him off a bridge, but Captain Chromium rescued him as his abilities would have people wanting to kidnap or kill him.
Adrian’s request was granted to question Winston. Nova tries to get out of it because Winston has no clue about her undercover assignment here and has no idea how he’ll react when he sees her. Adrian insists she come along and at least use her powers of observation. Winston doesn’t give Nova away, but does act suspiciously. He stares at her several times when they first arrive and gives several strange answers when asked about Nightmare though he keeps Nova’s secret safe for now.
In addition to doing legitimate work at her data entry job, Nova also changes incriminating data (like who a weapon used by an Anarchist is registered to) and often digs deeper into the Renegade database for any information that might be helpful to the Anarchists.
Adrian goes out to dinner with Ruby & Oscar one evening while Nova’s at work as he purchases a variety of sandwiches to take back to her. When he gets to her department, he hears guards yelling and rushes towards the noise. Nova entered the quarantine as she saw Max fall and hurt himself. She tells Adrian about this after he drags her out of Max’s room and she comes to. He tells her what Max’s powers are - he steals other people’s powers permanently if they’re exposed to him long enough.
Both Nova and Adrian are left weak as they’re unsure whether their powers remain. Nova asks Adrian to test his. He grabs his pen and he indeed retained them. Nova asks about Max’s telekinesis. She says he was levitating himself while holding up many of the glass buildings, too. Adrian has never observed him holding up this much with his mind and didn’t realize his powers were this strong. They believe he stole them from Ace Anarchy.
Monarch visits Nova in the hospital wing. They talk about a variety of things, including how she’s used her power to sneak into movie theaters and the artifact wing at Headquarters. She also mentions how Adrian has never had a girlfriend, but seems interested in Nova. Nova’s embarrassed and knows that she’s attracted to Adrian, too. She tells herself it’s just a biological reaction to him, though.
Nova touches Monarch to test her powers. She’s thrilled it’s alive and well, putting Monarch to sleep immediately. Nova packs up and leaves against the advice of the nurse treating her.
Adrian goes to visit Max and helps him rebuild the glass model that was broken during the ordeal. Max shows him how he has a little bit of Adrian‘s power now though he doesn’t know whether he captured any of Nova’s. He hopes not because he doesn’t want to have even more waking hours to try to fill each day.
Max mentions how he saw Adrian fly to carry Nova out of the room. He also mentions how the Sentinel has this ability and asks Adrian if he’s the Sentinel, to which he refuses, but he does answer “hypothetical” questions Max has about the Sentinel. Since the Sentinel seems to have a variety of abilities, he asks whether the Sentinel can capture the invincibility of Captain Chromium. Adrian knows Max is asking because he would love to have someone else who can come in and interact with him. Adrian has never considered trying to develop invincibility and is unsure if this is possible for the Sentinel or not.
Nova leaves the hospital wing and finds an important artifact, Ace Anarchy's helmet. She gets a text from Adrian, wondering where she is and wanting to make sure she’s okay. Nova has warring emotions between the text and the helmet. She finally picks the helmet up and is surprised when no alarms go off. The Dread Warden appears and she realizes there might be a silent alarm attached to it, but as she held it, she noticed it’s a fake. She asks the Dread Warden about it and he tells her the truth. The actual helmet wasn’t destroyed and is held down in the Weapons and Artifacts Department. Nova asks if Renegades are allowed to see it. He says maybe Nova would be allowed in if she bribed the Chairman with sour candy.
Nova gets another text from Adrian but doesn’t respond. She mentions she knows Max came into contact with Ace at some point. The Dread Warden acknowledges this as truth and explains what happened, a story very different to the infamous painting. Captain Chromium held baby Max in his arms and flew toward Ace, hoping the close contact would drain Ace of his powers. It worked as Ace figured out what was draining his powers and tried to fight Max though he was soon too weak. Captain Chromium snatched the helmet and Ace jumped from the building into the fire below.
Nova heads to her home outside headquarters as Honey & Leroy greet her. Nova leaves her watch behind and heads out. Ingrid appears with an offer that’s hard to refuse. She proposes a public fight to the death for both Nightmare and the Detonator, that way they're both off the Renegades radar for good. She’ll be back tonight for Nova’s answer. Ingrid sees Adrian coming and says she hopes Nova knows how he looks at her.
Nova runs back to the house. Honey and Leroy have both vanished. Adrian knocks twice before she answers. He was worried about her since she hadn’t responded to any of his messages. Adrian seems taken aback by the ramshackle house as he draws a bouquet of roses on the forlorn table. He suggests they go to Carnival Cosmopolis since Nightmare is tied to it. Adrian thinks Nova can show him around since her resume says she used to work there. She hadn’t, of course, so during her sleepless night, Nova becomes familiar with the park and plants some clues she hopes Adrian will find.
They play a variety of games, with Nova winning all the shooting ones and Adrian all the strength-related ones. The two get into a friendly debate about the wrongs of the world and as to whether or not prodigies make it a better place. They both understand the other‘s points. Adrian doesn’t seem suspicious that Nova defends the Anarchists at times. Adrian suggests they ride the Ferris wheel to give them a good vantage point to see any clues about Nightmare. Nova feels nervous about being crammed into a little gondola with Adrian but agrees. She can’t believe the feelings she’s having that would have been unbelievable to her a few weeks ago.
Some kids approach them as they walk to the Ferris wheel and the two groups interact. Adrian draws a variety of toys for each of them. Nova realizes how late it’s getting and how she still has to fight Ingrid, so she encourages Adrian to go. She walks him toward the gallery, hoping he'll see one of the clues she left behind. As they’re looking at the pictures, Adrian sees it. It’s the photo Nova altered to make it look like the fun house used to be named Nightmare. Nova asks whether this is supposed to be a date and Adrian dodges the question though she believes it was more than a surveillance mission.
They follow a string of clues. Adrian drags her behind him and Nova can’t believe his touch is affecting her like it is. They make their way into the fun house though the two of them get separated when Nova falls through a trap door. They agree to go through the rest of the house on their own. Adrian discovers some clothes and a weapon that Nightmare had used on him during the parade. It’s all the confirmation he needs as he sends a message to Nova and the Renegades.
Adrian hears a noise and expects to see Nova. Instead, Nightmare pops out of a door. They fight for a second. Adrian runs away, yelling a message into the communicator on his wrist. He looks for Nova but finds Nightmare again. She fires at him but misses. Someone calls out that she thought she trained Nightmare better than that - the Detonator. Nightmare and the Detonator fight over who caused Cronin’s death and the Renegade’s pursuit of the Anarchists. Adrian begins backing away as Nightmare shoots multiple bullets at the Detonator. Adrian draws some more tranquilizer darts for the tranquilizer gun he drew earlier as he loads the gun.
It appears that Nightmare is hit and killed. The Detonator tells Adrian this was supposed to be a fake fight to convince the Renegades they both died, but she changed her mind. She tells him she already took care of Nova. Adrian tries to shoot the Detonator with tranquilizer darts but misses. He eventually draws handcuffs on her as the Renegades arrive. Chromium rushes over to check on Adrian. He tells him Nightmare is dead. A bomb is detonated somewhere in the park as the Detonator had put it on a timer earlier.
Nova arrives and shoots the Detonator. Adrian is relieved to see her and carries her to safety. Blacklight mentions how people like the Detonator won’t even be a problem soon because of Agent N. Nova asks what it is though they don't elaborate. Nova assumes it’s about their research on Max.
Nova goes to the Anarchist lair, thinking about the Renegades as she walks. She realizes why the Renegades are not heroes. They make decisions for everyone and would take away any prodigies abilities if they didn’t fit into the Renegade mold. She goes down into the heart of the lair and announces to the room that the helmet is alive and well at Renegade Headquarters. A wall opens and she finds her Uncle Ace levitating before her, telling her he’s proud of her.
- The Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition Includes six pages of handwritten, behind-the-scenes material.