Avengers: Endgame might not be real cinema according to a few old men, but it’s certainly one of the most exciting movies ever made. It took Marvel ten years to put it together, accomplishing something that had never been done before. Some 20 movies were intertwined to create Infinity War and Endgame, before Spider-Man: Far From Home concluded the Infinity Saga. And Marvel isn’t stopping anytime soon, having already announced its plans for Phase 4.

Those plans don’t currently include a new team-up movie, but Avengers 5 must be coming eventually, maybe as soon as the next MCU phase. What Endgame proved is that fans are hungry for the storytelling these movies deliver, and Marvel just can’t afford to stop making more Avengers sequels. When the next Avengers does happen, we’ll have plenty of new team members to replace the fallen and retired, including a superhero everyone has been waiting to see. But this specific hero almost made his debut before the last Phase ended.

Fans of the comics and those of you who’ve followed all the Marvel rumors closely, especially after that dreadful but brilliant Infinity War cliffhanger, probably have an idea of who that superhero is. It’s Nova, who’s already rumored to be part of Marvel’s future for the MCU. We’ve already seen a few reports saying that Marvel is figuring out how to introduce Nova. The most recent came just a few weeks ago, from MCU Cosmic’s Jeremy Conrad:

According to very reliable sources, Nova appears to be one of the big characters planned for a Phase 5 debut alongside Blade, The Fantastic Four, and the Mutants. And from the sound of things, and how it’s been in development for a while, it could be relatively early in Phase 5 as well.

This brings us to a new ComicBook interview with Infinity War and Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who confirmed that Nova was indeed considered for Infinity War and Endgame. Nova’s arrival on Earth, with news of an imminent cosmic threat following the destruction of Xandar, “would’ve been amazing,” said Marcus:

We actually had, I remember in the big manifesto thing that we did, where the first work we did on these movies where we just… every possible storyline that you could take from what’s around, that Nova has the Xandarian Worldmind. Yeah, the Xandarian Worldmind, was that after… it was almost going… In this conception, he would be the herald, not unlike the Hulk, who was actually standing in for the Silver Surfer, but that one member of the Nova Corps survived Thanos’ attack. The Xandarian Worldmind would be the voice of Glenn Close because you had her, and why not? And that he would be Richard Rider, and he would come to earth.”

However, the problem with adding Nova to the mix is that you’re introducing “a whole new character when we’re trying to say goodbye to all the ones that you know,” McFeely explained.

Before the last two Avengers films, Marvel considered adding Nova to Guardians of the Galaxy, which would have been an amazing treat for fans as well. But while Nova was in the earliest drafts of James Gunn’s film, he was ultimately scrapped, Kevin Feige revealed last year. If anything, all this seems to prove that Marvel keeps returning to Richard Rider, so his MCU debut at this point seems almost a given.