The Nova Corps is the inter-galactic peacekeeping force in Marvel Comics. Modelled after the Green Lantern Corps, they are so much more than what the MCU showed us.
The Power of the Green Lantern Corps comes from their special Power Rings. The Rings access the Green Lantern Battery at Oa to grant the wielders incredible superpowers. The Nova Corps’ source of powers is their helmet. It allows them to access abilities like powerful energy manipulation and flight. It also helps them fly unaided in space. The Nova Corps helmet acts like a transmitter, granting its user powers respective to the rank of the Corps member.
Adomox was an old Nova corps member who was always dissatisfied with the way the Nova Force’s power was distributed within the corps. So he hatched a plan to hack into the source of all of Nova Corps’ power – the Xandarian Worldmind. By doing so, he achieved his max potential. But he was also termed a renegade Corps member. Jesse Alexander was tasked with bringing him down. Alexander won his trust by ‘killing’ another Corps member. Adomox was apprehended and sentenced to prison. The Nova corps still realized the technology employed by Adomox to hack into the Nova Force was revolutionary. Using the same tech, an elite black ops unit of the Nova Corps called Black Novas were created. They conducted covert operations behind enemy lines and had full access to their Nova Force powers. Jesse Alexander was their leader.
The Nova Corps started out as a military unit consisting of around 500 able-bodied soldiers that soon expanded. Their ranks range from Corpsman to Centurion. Considering their military roots, they have a very strict code of discipline. All acts of disrespecting authority are treated as treason. They do not even allow any alterations to the Uniform. When Richard Rider tried altering his Nova suit, the other corps members asked him to change it back. Their reasoning was that in Nova Corps, everyone should feel equal. A uniform acts as a sign of unity.
The Nova Corps patrolled a space that covered almost all regions of the known universe. The Corps was legally bound by the statutes of the Pan-Worlds Jurisdiction Treaty. After the events of The Annihilation Wave, The Thanos Imperative and Secret Invasion, the Nova Corps had thinned out. It did not have the numbers and the authority it once commanded. The Skrulls used this opportunity to pull out of said treaty. This mean the Nova Corps could no longer patrol in the Andromeda Galaxy. The other alien races followed suit. The remaining Nova Corps members were then killed by one final attack by an alternate reality Church of Truth. Richard Rider was the sole survivor of the Nova Corps who reinstated the peace-keeping force years later, becoming its leader.
The Nova Corps‘ ideology was in start contrast to that of the expansionist policies of the Kree Empire. The tensions soon boiled over to war. The Kree Empire and the Nova Corps were involved in a massive inter-galactic conflict that lasted more than a thousand years. Even after the declaration of a cease-fire, tensions still exist. The Kree and the Nova corps members are yet to see eye to eye. One interesting fact is that it was Ronan the Accuser who destroyed the Nova Corps home world. The Kree did not endorse his actions but they did not do anything to persecute him either. As a result, the Nova Corps grew to hate the Kree forever.
The Xandarians are the original creators of the Nova Corps. Their home planet of Xandar was the inspiration behind the Nova Corps. The Planet is part of a star system that has three suns. The symbol of the Nova Corps is three light piercing each other from different angles. representing the three stars of Xandar.
The Kyln is an inter-stellar prison that houses the worst criminals of the universe. This prison is nigh-impenetrable. A fortress in the middle of the void, the Kyln has every kind of scum, including Rogue Nova Corps members imprisoned for life. This was the prison we saw in Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 1. Rocket racoon claims that this prison is so twisted even the very people who guard it are corrupt. In the comics, the Nova Corps guard the facility. The Kyln Prison Guard is a part of the Nova Corps but they remain corrupt to the core, not standing by the moral code the other Corps members adhere to.
The Nova Force is a near-limitless source of energy that was created by the humanoid extra-terrestrials known as the Xandarians. After the destruction of Xandar, the Xandarians created the alien super-computer called the Xandarian Worldmind to harness the power of the Nova Force and regulate its energy for access to the Nova Corps. Each member of the Nova Corps gains all of his or her abilities like reduced need for food, air and water, as well as gravity manipulation and energy projection from the Nova Force. Only Nova Prime has access to the maximum range of powers granted by the Nova Force.