If we follow the comics, Nebula is a powerful Galactic rival capable of putting our entire Solar System in check, destroying entire planets and uniting traditional enemies such as humans and the Skrull in an attempt to stop her. Beyond being a granddaughter of the crazy giant, Thanos, little is known of her origins. She arrived suddenly, like a blast from a solar storm and took control of the Sanctuary II space station that Thanos had abandoned in one of his journeys between life and death, and later preparing for the conquest and destruction of the planet Xandar. This new threat put Carol Danvers Avengers on alert, who try to stop her. Even then, it is the returned Thanos who, upon finding his home occupied and in spite of their kinship –or whatever it is that is between them— reduces Nebula to a pulp, her soul clinging to life by a thread.
She manages to return by means of the power from the Infinity Gauntlet after Thanos defeats the mystical entity Eternity and leaves her body behind –as well as the gauntlet that had cost so much to obtain! After being defeated by Adam Warlock, she returns to wander the universe, sometimes alone and at other times accompanied by others, looking for new enemies, empires and galaxies to conquer.
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Nebula does not have pity for her enemies –nor her friends— and she makes it clear that she will do whatever it takes to reach her goal. Furthermore, she has demonstrated, on innumerable occasions, that she is afraid of no one and nothing, she faces her enemies with a constant feeling of superiority and arrogance. She has no scruples and is not someone you want to cross… nor someone in whom you want to trust.
Friends and Enemies
With this description, it is logical to think that it is much better for Nebula to gain enemies than to keep allies. However, she is the type of villain that does not have enemies, but rather she has henchmen who can be used as voluntary cannon fodder. Among her enemies, are the aforementioned Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers, who tries to keep her close to Starfox, Thanos’ brother. She has also faced Silver Surfer as well as Thanos himself, with disastrous results. Ultimately, Nebula is found in the Marvel Universe comics in a squadron of female fighters led by Gamora.
Marvel’s Cinematic Universe
Nebula is one of the few cases in which the cinematography version of the character is much more known and practically replaces the prior version in the collective imagination of the fans. In the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebula, played by Karen Gillian, is still a villain, of that there is no doubt, but instead of being a great granddaughter of Thanos, she is his adopted daughter and deeply indoctrinated, just like Gamora. In fact, their relationship is much closer and she serves as Titan’s transmission whip to control Ronan the Accuser. Although, when she discovered that she was expendable to her father she decides that the time had arrived to take the universe by storm and make her own story.
Because of this, and because at no time is she on good terms with the Guardians and much less with her sister, Gamora, it’s surprising that in all the trailers and all the promotional material for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Nebula appears as one of the team. It will be interesting to see how this strange alliance comes about, although, let’s face it, she won’t clash too much with a group that already has a psychopath –Drax, a repentant killer –Gamora, a killer tree –Groot, and a genetically modified raccoon with an obsession for explosives capable of destroying entire planets –Rocket. Fortunately, April 28th, the release date in Spain, gets closer and closer.
Nebula doesn’t have any powers that stand out. That is to say, she doesn’t have original powers. She is very strong and is able to lift to the tune of a half-ton and she has superhuman resistance which makes her muscular tissues stronger than that of a human. It is stressed, however, that her lack of scruples is almost a super power in and of itself because it allows her to gather sufficient henchman or to take powerful objects such as the Infinity Gems, so that organizations such as Nova Corps can catalogue them as a threat to all creation. Come on, it’s the typical power needed to move about the Marvel Universe with ease.
Daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter. Marvel is complicated with their time lines, their relationships, and many multiverses. The fact is that Nebula looks a lot like Thanos. She is ambitious and ruthless and inspires fear in her enemies by her appearance as well as her reputation and strength. Who knows if when the ripples, romantic included, of the purple Titan will be made permanent when she dies, and Nebula will turn into a Universal power like him.