Nebula in Annihilation: Ronan #1 (June 2006)
Art by Gabriele Dell'Otto
|First appearance||The Avengers #257 (July 1985)|
|Notable aliases||Captain Nebula, Ms. Peale|
Nebula is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Roger Stern and John Buscema, the character first appeared in The Avengers #257 (July 1985). A pirate and mercenary operating in outer space, the character has frequently appeared as an enemy of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Silver Surfer.
Nebula has appeared in various adaptations of the Marvel comics, including animated television series and video games. Karen Gillan portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy and its 2017 sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. She reprised the role in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War and will do so for the 2019 fourth Avengers film.
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Fictional character biography
A brutal space pirate and mercenary, Nebula seized control of Sanctuary II, a massive spaceship previously under the command of Thanos. Thanos was believed to be dead at this point, and Nebula claimed that he had been her grandfather. Nebula's band of mercenaries and pirates consisted of Skunge, Kehl, Gunthar and Levan.
Nebula asked the second Captain Marvel to join her mercenary band and aid them in conquering the Skrull Empire. However, Firelord learned that Nebula had massacred the Xandarians. Nebula used her space fleet to attack the Skrull space armada and the Avengers.
Nebula then schemed to gain absolute power using Earth scientist Dr. Harker's atomic compressor to release vast amounts of energy that were absorbed by the Infinity Union (Although this attempt nearly triggered the end of the universe when the experiment caused a second Big Bang that came close to annihilating everything before a small group of Avengers – Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man and Sersi – were able to escape the destruction and shut down the equipment in time to negate the unmaking of existence). She fought the Avengers, and absorbed energies from the Infinity Union through the implant in her brain. As she fought the Avengers, she lost her powers when Sersi removed the brain implant. Nebula then escaped.
The Infinity Gauntlet
The newly resurrected Thanos was offended by Nebula's claims of kinship. He reclaimed his ship and almost kills her, using the Infinity Gems. He transformed her into a grotesque virtual corpse still barely alive, leaving her as a maimed and seemingly mindless zombie, burned and disfigured by his energy beams.
When he later claimed the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos boasted that Nebula was his greatest creation — unable to die, but not truly alive either. However, when Thanos defeated Eternity and took his place, Thanos expanded his consciousness into the universe, leaving his body comatose. Nebula managed to take the Gauntlet from Thanos, using its power to restore herself to health and banish Thanos, seeking to conquer the universe herself. Thanos agreed to help a loose band of heroes defeat Nebula. The group in question consisted of Adam Warlock, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Thor, the Hulk, Firelord, Doctor Doom and Drax the Destroyer— the only heroes that Strange had been able to locate in the time available to him. The group confronted her, and, with Thanos exploiting Nebula's inexperience with wielding the Gauntlet, she was tricked into undoing the events of Thanos's godhood and all the death and destruction Thanos wreaked with his power.[volume & issue needed]
The Cosmic Pantheon (which Thanos had earlier defeated) immediately appeared, and battled her. With Nebula thus distracted— lacking the knowledge to realize that they were keeping her occupied by attacking her all at once, thus preventing her from thinking of a less direct method of assault— the Surfer and Warlock were able to steal the Gauntlet from her by exploiting Warlock's connection to the Soul Gem, disrupting the unity between the Infinity Gems and forcing Nebula to drop the Gauntlet. Nebula was captured by Starfox and returned to Titan for trial, while Adam Warlock claimed the Gauntlet.
Nebula was later confronted by Firelord in the Titanian prison. In flashback, the murder of her abusive father was depicted. Nebula was later freed from prison by Geatar, and converted into a cyborg by Doctor Mandibus. She attempted to free her pirate crew from the "Anvil" space prison, but was thwarted by the Silver Surfer and Jack of Hearts. She killed her crew in escaping.
Powers and abilities
Nebula is an athletic woman, and an excellent armed and unarmed combatant. She possesses a gifted intellect and is a brilliant battle strategist.
Nebula uses blasters worn on her wrists that fire concussive blasts of unknown energy or heat blasts that can incinerate a human being almost instantly. She also apparently wears a device that enables her to disguise her appearance, either through illusion-casting or through actual molecular rearrangement of her body and clothing.
Nebula was converted by Doctor Mandibus into a cyborg. She was given an artificial left eye, left arm, and left shoulder. The left upper quarter of her head and part of her right hip are sheathed in metal.
Nebula briefly possessed the Infinity Union, a combination of three devices that together could channel all forms of ambient energy into her which infused her with vast energies. She also briefly possessed the Infinity Gauntlet, which held six "Infinity Gems" of virtually-unlimited power, which gave her seemingly-absolute control of reality while she possessed them. However, her short sightedness meant that she often made crucial errors in judgment when wielding the power, like undoing the events of Thanos's godhood without realizing that this would revert her to her near-death state and free the imprisoned Cosmic Pantheon whom Thanos had recently defeated.
In other media
- Nebula is featured in the two-part episode "Learning Curve" of the 1999 animated series Silver Surfer, voiced by Jennifer Dale.
- Nebula appears in the second season of the 2009 animated series The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Jane Lynch. This version is the older sister of Thanos, and appears in the episodes "Double Negations at the World's End", "Fate of Destiny" and "When Strikes the Surfer."
- Nebula appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy TV series, voiced by Cree Summer. In the episode "Origins," Gamora and Nebula were put through training by Ronan the Accuser so that they can fight for Thanos. In the episode "The Backstabbers," the death of Ronan the Accuser has left a power vacuum where Nova Prime mentions to the Nova Corps that there is competition between Korath the Pursuer, Nebula, and Gamora to see who will succeed Ronan the Accuser as Thanos' new general. Gamora pretends to betray the Guardians of the Galaxy so that she can get Nebula and her Chitauri crew into fighting Korath the Pursuer's group. Following the plan and the Guardians of the Galaxy getting away, Nebula recovers Ronan the Accuser's Universal Weapon that Drax the Destroyer threw at her ship. In the episode "Bad Moon Rising," Nebula attacks the Guardians of the Galaxy on the living moon Mandala. Using Mandala's life-giving powers and a special seed, Nebula resurrects Ronan the Accuser and gives him his Universal Weapon as Ronan the Accuser plans to pilot Mandala to Xandar in order to annihilate the enemies of the Kree there. With help from Star-Lord and Groot, Mandala broke free and uses a special magma attack to send Nebula and Ronan the Accuser flying far away from Mandala.
- Nebula appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat, voiced again by Cree Summer.[better source needed]
Karen Gillan portrays Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of the children raised by Thanos alongside her adopted sister Gamora. Over time, Nebula developed an obsessive need to best Gamora in combat. Every time she lost a sparring match, Thanos subjecting Nebula to torturous mutilation, replacing parts of her body with cybernetic enhancements for further improvement. This imbued Nebula with a deep hatred toward Thanos.
- Nebula is introduced to the franchise in the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy. She is sent by Thanos alongside Gamora to assist Ronan the Accuser in acquiring an orb containing the Power Stone. When Ronan learns that he was seeking out an Infinity Stone and betrays Thanos with the intent of using the stone himself to destroy Xandar, Nebula becomes a willing follower when Ronan vowed to kill Thanos once Xandar is destroyed. Nebula is ultimately defeated in combat by Gamora, refusing to be saved by her as she severs her trapped mechanical left hand and escapes Xandar in an Ravager ship.
- Nebula appears again in 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Nebula ended up being captured by the Sovereign for stealing their anulax batteries before the Guardians retrieve her to claim her bounty on Xandar. But Rocket Racoon's act of stealing some anulax batteries placed the group in jeopardy as they crash their ship on a nearby planet, with Rocket and Baby Groot looking after Nebula while the rest are taken by Ego to his planet. But Nebula eventually tricks Groot into freeing her as she takes out both Rocket and Yondu Udonta at the benefit of the latter's mutiny orchestrated by Taserface. Nebula convincing Taserface to claim the bounties on both Rocket and Yondu, convincing the Ravagers to give her a cut of the profit along with a replacement hand and a ship to reach Ego's planet. After an extended fight on Ego, Nebula finally defeats Gamora and vents out her motivation in tracking her down before the two enter an uneasy alliance as they learn of Ego's true nature. Nebula helps the Guardians kill Ego, later parting ways with Gamora after they reconciled to set out alone in her journey to kill Thanos.
- Nebula reappears in the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War. Nebula was captured by Thanos following her nearly successful attempt on his life. Thanos then tortured her to coerce Gamora to take him to the Soul Stone. Nebula later escapes and joins Star-Lord, Drax and Mantis as well as a faction of the Avengers on Titan. She deduces Gamora's fate and is one of the surviving characters after Thanos uses the completed Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of the universe, stranding her on Titan alongside Iron Man. She and Rocket are the only two surviving Guardians by the end of the film.
- Gillan will reprise her role in the untitled sequel (2019).
- Nebula is the penultimate boss in the 1996 SNES game Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems.
- Nebula appears in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, with Jane Lynch reprising her voice role.
- Nebula appears as a villain in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. She is featured in Spec-Ops 20 which is based on the Guardians of the Galaxy film.
- Nebula is a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Nebula appears in Marvel Avengers Academy, voiced by Linnea Sage.
- Nebula appears in Lego Marvel's Avengers as an unlockable and playable character.
- Nebula appears in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, voiced by Ashly Burch. Following the death of Thanos, Gamora states to Star-Lord at a bar at Knowhere that a small part of her wants to see her sister Nebula again. Star-Lord will either tell Gamora that Nebula's family or that calling her could be a mistake. If it is the former, Nebula expresses anger in her call with Gamora of how the Guardians killed their father. In episode 2, Nebula attacks the location where Thanos' body is being held. Regardless on Star-Lord's choice revolving around Rocket Raccoon's trip to Halfworld, Star-Lord and Gamora fight Nebula and managed to subdue her. On the Milano, Nebula is shown to be locked up in Gamora's room. Entering Gamora's room which Nebula has been locked up in, Star-Lord and Gamora tell Nebula that they need her to translate the ancient Kree language which Nebula is reluctant to do. When Nebula tells Gamora that she still remembers Tar-Voll, Gamora draws her sword on her as Nebula orders for Gamora to leave. If Star-Lord has Gamora leave, she does so while stating to Star-Lord that she won't help him if she hears screams. Nebula states that she never cared for them. If Star-Lord agrees with Gamora, he states that Gamora's got the right idea as he pins her against the wall (Star-Lord will also have the option to spit back on her). Drax the Destroyer later tells Star-Lord that there was a device found in Nebula's skull. Star-Lord persuades Nebula into giving him the device where she states that it will tell him everything he'll want to know while stating to Star-Lord that he owes her. When Kree soldiers working for Hala the Accuser attack the ship, Star-Lord will have the option to release Nebula to help fight the Kree soldiers while warning her that the trust exercise will be over if she back-stabs them in battle. In episode 3, Star-Lord experiences Gamora's flashbacks involving Nebula back when she was being trained by Thanos. The first one has Gamora dueling Nebula. Depending on the outcome, Thanos will still favor Nebula as the winner. The second flashback has Nebula being ordered to kill Gamora as a test. After the final flashback, Star-Lord had to decide to tell Nebula to go or told her to stay. If Star-Lord tells Nebula to go at the end, she will join Hala the Accuser's forces. If Star-Lord tells Nebula to stay, she and Gamora finally reconciled.
- Nebula is a playable character in Marvel: Contest of Champions.
- Avengers #257, 260
- Avengers #311–312, 314, 316–318
- Infinity Gauntlet #1
- Infinity Gauntlet #5–6
- Silver Surfer Annual #5
- Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #69–73
- Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #76–78
- Annihilation: Ronan #2
- "TV stars invade Marvel Super Hero Squad | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment". Robot6.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Vanessa Marshall (August 24, 2015). "@IAmCreeSummer Hey Nebula, GuuuRRRRLLLLL!!!! You are amazing! xoxo". Twitter. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- End credits for Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat
- "Marvel Studios Begins Production on Guardians of the Galaxy". Marvel.com. July 20, 2013. Archived from the original on July 21, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Vejvoda, Jim (July 15, 2016). "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Zoe Saldana On Gamora, Nebula And Thanos". IGN. Archived from the original on July 17, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- McLean, Pauline (17 January 2017). "Karen Gillan on Tupperware Party, Inverness and Avengers". Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via www.bbc.com.
- "Voice Of Nebula - Marvel Universe ǀ Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved June 21, 2017. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources
- Linnea Sage [@LinneaSage] (April 7, 2016). "I'm the voice of #Nebula in #Marvel's '#AvengersAcademy' smartphone app. Pretty proud of this one. Another kick... fb.me/2NexFvage" (Tweet). Retrieved June 21, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Ashly Burch [@ashly_burch] (March 19, 2017). "Yo! @telltalegames' Guardians of the Galaxy is out and I play Nebula! Stop being mean to my dad!" (Tweet). Retrieved October 18, 2017 – via Twitter.
- "Entering Marvel Contest of Champions: Nebula". News - Marvel.com. Retrieved 16 May 2017.