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Real Name: Frankie Raye

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-829, 20th to 24th Centuries) human mutate subsequently empowered by Galactus

Occupation: Herald of Galactus
   (as the Human Torch) Super-hero
   (originally) Interpreter at the United Nations

Group Membership: Heralds of Galactus
   (as the Human Torch) Fantastic Four

Affiliations: Galactus, The Brotherhood (Kawa survivors who worshipped Galactus)

Enemies: Everyone who feared the coming of Galactus (including the Ciegrimites from Ciegrim-7 in the Omacron system of the Andromeda Galaxy)

Known Relatives: Thomas Raye (secretly Phineas T. Horton, step-father, deceased), Lanette Raye (mother, deceased), unidentified father (deceased), Victoria Anderson (step-niece, deceased)

Aliases: Human Torch, "beautiful one" (from Hercules)

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout space;
   formerly New York City, New York, United States of America, 

First Appearance: Hercules I#3 (November, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: Prior to being mutated, Frankie Raye possessed the normal abilities of a teenager of her size, weight and build.

   After being doused in the unspecified chemicals which had been used in the creation of the android Human Torch, Frankie gained superhuman abilities similar to (but less powerful than) those possessed by the second Human Torch (Johnny Storm). As a Human Torch herself, Frankie could envelop all or parts of her body in a fiery plasma without harm to herself. This plasma (a super-heated state of matter) was generated by the mutated cells of her body and Frankie could mentally manipulate it for various effects, including flight and the projection of energy releases in the form of heat blasts. Her powers also rendered her immune to harm from any external heat sources that were below her maximum output.

   As Nova, Frankie's flame powers were massively enhanced by the Power Cosmic bestowed upon her by Galactus. Nova could then mentally manipulate cosmic energy in the form of stellar fire and use it for various effects. With the energies contained within her body making her the humanoid equivalent of a miniature star, Nova could project any of the types of electromagnetic energies generated by stars (i.e., heat, light, gravity, radio waves and charged particles) from any point on her body. Nova could easily generate enough heat to burn through any Earthly substance (except Adamantium). Nova could project a stream of fire resembling a solar flare for distances of up to several hundred miles (usually as a signal to Galactus). Her flight power was enhanced so that Nova could fly at near-light speeds through interstellar space and she could safely travel through hyperspace on her own power with no need for a starship.

   So that Nova's body would be able to withstand the nuclear energies that were to course through it, Frankie's organic carbon-based body was transformed by Galactus into a cosmic form that was almost completely impervious to harm, so much so that she could fly through stars without being injured by the intense heat, pressure and gravity present within them. Her cosmic form was also normally far stronger than any human being and she could lift (press) approximately 40 tons. Additionally, she could use her energy to augment her physical strength to even greater levels.

   As Nova, Frankie Raye could survive indefinitely in space, needing neither atmosphere nor warmth. With her original life force replaced by the Power Cosmic, Nova absorbed cosmic energy into her new body's aura (energy field) which then fed her physical form so that she no longer needed to eat or drink. Sustained by ambient cosmic energy, Nova no longer aged and was immune to death by natural causes.

   Nova's whole body, especially her head, was usually plumed with cosmic energy resembling flames. However, Nova could transform her body so that it looked identical to her original human form, complete with red hair and no flames anywhere. While this change presumably only altered her external appearance, it may (or may not) have extended to her internal bodily structure as well. It is also unknown if there was any limit as to how long Nova could remain in her "human" form or if the change was permanent until she willed herself to return to her "herald" form.

   Nova's cosmic form looked almost identical to her Human Torch form, appearing to have red skin and be wearing a yellow costume that resembled a one-piece bathing suit. In contrast, her Reality-616 counterpart's entire body was covered with a golden sheath of unidentified material. It is not known if these two Novas had always looked different from the time of their respective transformations or if they both began with the same appearance but the 829 Frankie later learned how to change her look.

   While Nova's intelligence remained normal, her cosmic form possessed godlike durability and stamina and her agility and reflexes were at superhuman levels.

Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 140 lbs. (in Earth gravity)
Eyes: Blue; (as Nova) yellow (no visible irides or pupils)
Hair: Red; (as Nova) orange flames
Skin: Pink (Caucasian); (as Nova) red

History: The life experiences of the Frankie Raye from the planet Earth in Reality-829 are presumably identical (or very, very similar) to those of the Frankie Raye who existed in Reality-616. Like her Earth-616 counterpart, Frankie was the step-daughter of "Thomas Raye" (who was secretly Professor Phineas T. Horton) and when she was 14 she was doused in special chemicals which mutated her and gave her flame powers. Her horrified step-father hypnotized her into forgetting about what had happened and the powers she had gained. Over six years later (in "1982"), Frankie discovered her powers, regained her memories and began to work with the Fantastic Four as another Human Torch. It was soon afterwards, when Galactus was so weakened that he felt that he would have to consume Earth in order to live, that Frankie volunteered to become his Herald if he would spare Earth. Galactus agreed and transformed her body so that she could carry out her duties as his new herald.

(Note: Given that the point at which Reality-829 diverged from Reality-616 has never been revealed/established, including any of the adventures which the 616 version of Frankie Raye experienced after she became a herald in this profile would be mere speculation.)

(Hercules I#4 (fb) - BTS) - Nova served Galactus as his Herald for almost four hundred Earth-years. During that time she came to regard him as "really a pussycat underneath all that omnipotent stuff."

(Hercules I#3 (fb) - BTS) <mid-24th Century> - For five consecutive years, the Brotherhood who worshipped Galactus had left life-bearing planets as offerings for him at the outer edge of the Omacron system in the Andromeda galaxy. Then, when it was time for the sixth sacrifice to be made, Galactus arrived and found that there was no planet waiting to sustain him at the predesignated coordinates.

(Hercules I#4 (fb)) - Sent by a hungry Galactus to find the planet that should have been waiting for him, Nova entered the Omacron star system and passed through its sun. Arriving at Ciegrim-7, Nova melted the wreckage of the Brotherhood ships that were still orbiting the planet as she passed through them on her way to the surface. After she located the largest metropolitan center, Nova cleared and secured an area and then sent a signal flare to Galactus's mothership to indicate that everything was ready for Galactus. Nova then took a closer look at the natives and stated, "Snails...YECH!"

   Soon afterwards, Nova was confronted by a half-naked and heavily-muscled male humanoid who told her to "Begone" because the planet was under his protection. Unimpressed, Nova told him to defend it if he had the power while simultaneously firing a fiery bolt at her opponent that should have destroyed him. However, Nova was astonished to see that only her foe's clothing had been damaged by her attack. As the now-angered male retaliated by picking up a heavy cornerstone, Nova took to the air to evade him, but he then hurled the cornerstone so swiftly that it struck her "with the force of a colliding meteor" and sent her flying through the air and into a nearby refinery where the heat of her body caused the entire complex to explode. Emerging unscathed from the rubble, Nova challenged her foe, telling him that he would now learn what it meant to incur the wrath of a herald of Galactus! Her defiant opponent responded that her master would not destroy that planet "while a single breath remains in the breast of Hercules!" Shocked to discover who she had been fighting, Nova asked if he was "The Hercules? From Earth?" When Hercules confirmed his identity, Nova's manner became awkward and she said, "Golly...! Can we go somewhere and talk?" Nova and Hercules then went back to a lodging place that had been reserved for the demigod and his Recorder.

(Hercules I#4 (fb) - BTS) - While Recorder #417 was unable to observe them, Frankie and Hercules engaged in certain unspecified activities. After hours of such activity, Frankie was eventually left slumbering and Hercules assured the Recorder that her "fire (was) out, for the nonce."

(Hercules I#4) - Later, after Hercules had "defeated" Galactus and the world-devourer's starcraft had left the system, two Rigellian Colonizers arrived and confiscated the Recorder unit. As the Rigellian starship took off, Hercules began to express his thoughts aloud. When he wondered what he should do next, Nova, in human form and clad only in a dressing gown, approached him and asked, "Would you care for a suggestion, handsome?" Nova then revealed that Galactus had seemingly given her some time off and asked Hercules if he had any ideas on how she should use it. Hercules confirmed that he did have some ideas but then asked if Galactus would be angered by her absence. Nova replied that Galactus was really a pussycat underneath all that omnipotent stuff and then mentioned that at light speed she would catch up to him in no time. As Hercules led Nova back to his quarters, he asked if she had ever seen the antler-dance ritual of Sirius Four.

(Hercules: Twilight of a God#2 (fb) - BTS) - "Decades" later, when the last known surviving member of the Kawa race finally met his god, Galactus transformed the Kawa into the second Silver Surfer to serve as his Herald. The whereabouts of Frankie Raye at this time have not been revealed.

   The fate of Frankie Raye/Nova remains unrevealed.

Comments: The original Frankie Raye character was created by Roy Thomas, George Perez and Joe Sinnott.
   This alternate timeline version was created by Bob Layton and Luke McDonnell.

   The "mainstream" Frankie Raye became a Herald of Galactus in Fantastic Four I#244 (July, 1982) and this alternate future version of her first appeared in Hercules I#3 (November, 1982). This makes her appearance in the first Hercules miniseries the first time that her cosmic self had appeared since her transformative Fantastic Four issue. Since this future Frankie was created before any of the many other storylines that featured her Nova self were ever written, that means that there is no reason why anything that happened to the 616 Frankie absolutely had to have happened to the 829 Frankie as well. For all intents and purposes, the two timelines could have diverged immediately after she left Earth. Or not. Only some future writer will know for sure.

   It should be noted that, in her only appearance to date, Frankie Raye from Reality-829 was NEVER called "Nova" or identified herself by that alias. This is because Hercules I#4 was published over six months before Fantastic Four I#256, the issue in which her "Nova" alias was first revealed. Therefore, since her cosmic identity hadn't been named yet, everyone in the Hercules story (including Frankie) only ever referred to her as "the herald of Galactus." I considered using that term as the name for this profile but I decided to go with "Nova" because that's what she's called in the profile on EARTH-HERCULES 2300.

Credit where credit is due: I obtained the data about how Frankie Raye's Human Torch and Nova powers functioned from the deluxe and master editions of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

Calendar complications
   Although I really enjoyed reading Bob Layton's stories about Hercules' adventures in outer space in the far-flung future, they do have some weaknesses, one of which is the lack of any exact dates for the various happenings. This problem stems from the fact that Mr. Layton uses three different dating systems in these stories and does so in an inconsistent manner.

   The only firm date in all of the stories comes from the second miniseries whose prologue specifically states that "by Earth chronology, it is the year 2385!" Since the events depicted in that miniseries take place over the course of less than a week and the graphic novel refers to said events as having "recently" occurred, it seems safe to conclude that all of the events in both that miniseries and the graphic novel take place in that year. However, the placement of the rest of Hercules' adventures are a bit more dubious.

   The uncertainty is caused by conflicting statements as to how long before 2385 A.D. the events of the first miniseries occurred. It was during that miniseries that Hercules first met Layana Sweetwater and then, an unspecified time later, Commander Amayd Malin. However, their statements (made in 2385) as to when they met Hercules are (or seem to be) significantly different. In the first issue of the second miniseries, it is twice stated that Malin and Hercules have known each other for "forty-one years" while in the graphic novel Layana, Arimathes and Hercules all state that the demigod visited the Wilamean system "thirty years ago." While at first glance this does seem to be a problem, I believe that an easy solution can be found in the fact that these two first meetings took place on planets in two different star systems. A year is the time that it takes any given planet to make one complete orbit around its star and it follows that (almost) every planet in the universe must therefore have a year whose length is uniquely different from that of the years of all other planets. For example, within our own solar system, a Martian year is 687 (Earth) days long while the years on other planets range from 88 (Earth) days for Mercury to 248 (Earth) years for Pluto. With that in mind, it seems perfectly plausible that 41 years as measured in the Omacron system could be equal to only 30 years on the planet Wilamean. All that would be required is that one year on Wilamean be about 37% longer than one Omacron year. Of course, this also means that neither an Omacron year nor a Wilamean year are likely to be the same length as Earth year, so that would make it still difficult/impossible to pinpoint exactly when Hercules was banished by Zeus. Without knowing the relative lengths of the various years involved, "around 2344 A.D." is only a best guess.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

Nova (Frankie Raye) from Reality-829 is the alternate reality counterpart of

Nova (Frankie Raye) has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Hercules I#4, page 9, panel 2 (main image)
      page 5, panel 6 (head shot)
      page 7, panel 1 (blasting Hercules)
      page 22, panel 4 (in human form)

Hercules I#4 (December, 1982) - Bob Layton (writer and artist), Rick Parker (letterer and artist), Christie Scheele (colorist and artist), Mark Gruenwald (editor and artist), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief and con artist), Sam De La Rosa (embellishing assist)

Last updated: 09/20/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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