Who Is Nebula?, The Sadistic Ally Of The Guardians Of The Galaxy
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Who Is Nebula?, The Sadistic Ally Of The Guardians Of The Galaxy

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BY January 28, 2023

From the hand of Roger Stem and John Buscema comes Nebula, one of the most controversial Marvel Comics superheroines, for going from villain to heroine so easily. She made her first appearance in 1985 in The Avengers #257.

Initially, Marvel presents Nebula as a ruthless, mercenary space pirate. She eventually became a heroine and ally in fighting against her stepfather Thanos. Hence the exciting evolution of this character.

Nebula Concept and Creation

Marvel Image: Marvel Comics

The conception and creation of Stern and Buscema from the beginning was to show a dark character, which was retaken by the new president of Marvel, Kevin Feige, in the Comic-Con International of San Diego in 2010.

Thus, the MCU reintroduced the character of Nebula. The director Gunn, 2013) revealed that Karen Gillan would play this character to represent a cyber most simply.

Biography of the Fictional Character

The biography of this fictional character has had a fascinating evolution, where she lives in different facets.

Early Life

Nebula Reading Order - Comic Book Herald Image: Marvel Comics

In his early life, Nebula was one of the many children adopted by Thanos. After killing their families, Thanos assumes Nebula, along with Gamora as his own daughters, to be trained to be warriors.

Gamora, from childhood, in her training for war, always proved stronger coming to Nebula. With each loss, Thanos replaces member by member of Nebula’s body in cybernetic parts, so he transforms her into a cyborg.

The Infinity Gauntlet

With Nebula’s takeover of Sanctuary II, a spaceship formerly commanded by Thanos. The villain was thought to be dead at this point. Yet, she took on her own crew, claiming that Thanos was her grandfather.

After Thanos’s resurrection and discovering the revelation of kinship, he felt offended. Consequently, he took back his ship and almost killed Nebula. To do so, he used the Infinity Gems, transforming her into a horrible virtual corpse that barely lived.

Later, Nebula confronts Thanos and, together with a group of superheroes, manages to defeat him.

Nebula on the Pursuit of Thanos and Gamora

Who Is Nebula Image: Marvel Comics

In 2014, Thanos entrusted Gamora, Nebula, and Ronan with the mission to obtain the Power Stone. Ronan found and used this against Thanos, betraying him to assassinate and destroy the planet Xandar.

Nebula was on Ronan’s side, escaping from Xandar after the frustration of the attack by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Then, the Sovereigns capture her while she is trying to steal their powerful batteries.

She is turned over to the Guardians of the Galaxy as a prisoner, and part of the payment is received for defending the batteries. At the time of the visit to Ego, Peter Quill’s father’s planet, Nebula, joins the Devastators to capture Rocket and Groot. 

There she confronts Gamora for having been a competitive and unloving stepsister. Ultimately, they reconcile and ally to fight against Ego, escaping the planet alive.


Nebula comes out as another of Gamora’s followers in this role, fighting Stellaris and Ronan the Accuser. There she is severely wounded by a triumphant Ronan.

Alliances with the Avengers

Nebula has it in her sights to kill Thanos, so she joins the Avengers with that firm purpose. This attempt fails, and the unexpected happens. She is captured and tortured by Thanos in Sanctuary II.

Thanos takes Gamora to Nebula to reveal the location of the Soul Stone. When the two retreats, Thanos and Gamora, Nebula manages to escape, seeking him out for death again.

Nebula and Rocket join them to accomplish the said mission as Avengers members. But not everything goes as expected. Stark loses his life when he sacrifices to wipe Thanos off the map. Nebula attends his funeral.

Working with the Dark Guardians

With the events unfolding in “Infinity War,” Nebula is present at Thanos’ funeral. At this point, Starfox shows her a previous recording where Thanos indicated that his consciousness was in a new body before his demise.

All present were attacked by the Black Order, who opened a hole in space after stealing Thanos’ body and sent into the blast. The Shi’ar Empire and Gladiator saved everyone.

Nebula Powers and Abilities

Karen Gillan Teases That Nebula's Story in the MCU Is Just Beginning —  GeekTyrant Image: Marvel Studios

Nebula stands out for her athletic figure and being a fighter with and without weapons. Her intelligence is enviable, standing out for her gifted intellect, making her one of the best strategies in battle.

Of all the Marvel heroines, she stands out for the commotion she causes. The explosions she provokes are amazing, coming from an unknown energy that can burn anyone almost instantly.

He also carries a device that allows him to change his appearance. Nebula was experimented on by Dr. Mandibus, who turned her into a cyborg. Therefore, her appearance is a bit grotesque, with an artificial eye, arm, and left shoulder. The same happens with her upper left head and hip surrounded by metal.

This character brings with him something called the Infinite Union, which is contained by the combination of three devices with which he can channel all the energies in his environment. 

Nebula briefly possessed the Infinity Gauntlet, which has six “Infinity Gems” that give her virtually unlimited power, allowing him absolute control of reality. But, on many occasions, she used this power without measuring the consequences, hence her lack of vision.

Nebula’s Alternative Versions

15 Facts About Nebula From The Marvel Universe That Thanos Burned | Dunia  Games Image: Marvel Studios

The alternative versions have been quite diverse. We will tell you about it:

2014 Variant

In this variant, two Nebulas face each other in the events unleashed in Avengers: Endgame. A Nebula from 2014 has a specific mission to obtain the Power Gem alongside her half-sister Gamora and Ronan. But before leaving, she begins to malfunction due to the presence of the other Nebula, who is in the main timeline.

Thanos discovers this fact, uses her to study future events, and then replaces Alternate Nebula with an alternate Thanos, destroying the Avengers Compound and ordering the Infinity Stones to be brought to him. Nebula is killed by Gamora, who tries to persuade her to abandon Thanos.

What If…?

In the animated series What If…? On this occasion, Karen Gillian plays the character again, lending her voice, and we can enjoy several alternative versions of the character.

Working with Star-Lord T’Challa

In this facet, Nebula is a close ally of Star-Lord T’Challa, with whom she maintains a love interest. In this interpretation, the character has no cybernetic body parts except for her left eye. Her appearance is that of an adult blonde.

Nebula In Other Media

Who Is Nebula Image: Marvel Studios

Nebula is present in different media such as:


The big screen has been part of the media where Nebula has made an appearance as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

  • In 2014 she appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, where Thanos sends her alongside Gamora to help Ronan the Accuser to take the device called the “Orb”, which contains the Infinity Gems.
  • In 2017 Nebula reappeared again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in which the Sovereigns take her prisoner for attempting to steal that race’s Anulax batteries.
  • In 2018 Nebula appeared in Avengers: Infinity War, where Thanos captured her by infiltrating his ship to kill him. This led to her torture, and she was used by Thanos as a hostage so that Gamora would be forced to reveal the location of the Soul Gems.
  • In 2019 Gillan again played the role of Nebula in Avengers: Endgame. This time, the actress makes two interpretations of the same character, one in the past of 2014 and one in the present day where she is part of many adventures, ending in Stark’s regrettable loss.
  • In 2022, Nebula appeared in Thor: Love and Thunder, where she joins the Guardians of the Galaxy, already back to life, who returned to space to accompany Thor.

Nebula on Television

Marvel Studios

The small screen has shown Nebula in different versions, such as in:

  • Silver Surfer, the animated series with the voice of Jennifer Dale, who appears in the episode “Learning Curve”.
  • The Super Hero Squad Show, in the second season, Nebula appears in the voice of Jane Lynch. Where she plays Thanos’ older sister, and she appears in three episodes, “Double Denials at the End of the World”, “When the Surfer Attacks,” and “Destiny’s Destiny”.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, the new series, Nebula is voiced by Cree Summer, appears in different episodes.
  • Lego Marvel Super Heroes Guardians of the Galaxy: The Threat of Thanos is voiced by Cree Summer again.

Video Games

Who Is Nebula

In video games Nebula has not stopped appearing, she is one of the characters for the most prepared fight, you will see her in:

  • SNES 1996 Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems, Nebula plays the penultimate boss in the game.
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gautler in the voice of Jane Lynch.
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance, she plays a villain in Spec-Ops 20, a game based on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
  • Marvel: Future Fight, she appears as a playable character.
  • Marvel Avengers Academy, where Linnea Sage voices her.
  • Lego Marvel’s Avengers is a playable and unlockable character.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is voiced by Ashly Burch.
  • Marvel: Contest of Champions is a playable character.

Nebula’s Characterization

Marvel Studios Image: Marvel Studios

Nebula’s characterizations have been varied, and it depends a lot on the role played in the MCU at the time. For example, when Nebula makes her first appearance, she does it in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, where she plays a lieutenant loyal to Thanos and Ronan.

For Gillan specifically, this interpretation is of a really sadistic and evil villain, but she does it for a good reason. As Gamora’s sister, they both present a high competitiveness and rivalry.

The actress conducted exhaustive research on the ancient Spartans to perform this interpretation. Therefore, she tried to imitate their physiognomy by completely shaving her hair, giving herself two months to play this role.

One of the most striking aspects of playing the role of Nebula. For the actress has been the makeup, which takes about 4 hours to apply. The other is the voice, which reminds us of a Marilyn Moroe mixed with Clint Eastwood. This tone seduces the viewer and at the same time, makes the hair stand on end.

We see the character’s evolution from villain to heroine within the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Guardians of the Galaxy, where we see a fascinating evolution and reflect on the reason for her behavior.


The reception of Nebula’s character by some who make a living in the spotlight has been excellent, as is Miles Surrey of The Ringer, who describes her as one of the “most fascinating and compelling characters the MCU has developed in its 20 installments.” For her, it’s fascinating how a villain becomes a heroine, and Nebula does it very well.

Richard Newby, a Hollywood reporter, describes the character as an excellent representation of what it means to be human and Avengers simultaneously. For him, she is “one of the best and most empowering mythos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

On the other hand, reporter Jacob Stolworthy, from The Independent, showed his dissatisfaction with the character. Stolworthy stated that Nebula is a classic Marvel character, and that he was not satisfied with the result.

Awards and Nominations

The awards and nominations received by this Marvel character, Nebula, are varied, we mention some of them:

  • By 2014, for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, she won and was nominated for several awards by different sponsors such as the Detroix Film Critics Society, Nevada Film Critics Society, Empire Awards, Saturn Awards, among others.
  • In 2015 she won the Best Female Debut Award given by Empire Awards for her role played in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • For 2019 she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by Saturn Awards, thanks to her performance in the film Avengers Endgame.

The Sadistic Ally Of The Guardians Of The Galaxy

Marvel Studios Image: Marvel Studios

Karen Gillian is the actress in charge of playing Nebula in the MCU and is one of the warriors raised by Thanos, alongside her adopted sister Gamora. She is one of the characters that has rocked audiences the most because of how easily she transitions from villain to heroine.

She has appeared in many Marvel Cinematic Universe productions, with impeccable makeup work. You can admire her in Guardians of the Galaxy in its two volumes. As well as in Avengers: Infinity WarAvengers: Endgame, and Thor: Love and Thunder as her most recent appearance.

Of all the characters in the comics, she stands out for the level of torture she was subjected to by Thanos, who served as her father, every time she lost a training fight. Hence her appearance, for the times her body underwent replacement by cybernetic enhancements.

Featured Image Via Marvel Comics/Marvel Studios 




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