Nebula (comics)

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For the DC Comics character, see Nebula Man.
Avengers 318.jpg
Nebula on the cover of The Avengers #318 (June 1990). Art by Paul Ryan and Tom Palmer.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Avengers #257 (July 1985)
Created by Roger Stern
John Buscema
In-story information
Species Luphomoid
Notable aliases Captain Nebula, Ms. Peale

Nebula is a fictional character, an alien supervillain 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 Avengers and the Silver Surfer.

Nebula has appeared in several other media adaptations of the Marvel comics, including animated television series and video games. Actress Karen Gillan plays the character in the 2014 live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy.

Publication history[edit]

Nebula was created by writer Roger Stern and artist John Buscema, and first appeared in The Avengers #257 (July 1985).

Fictional character biography[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2]

The Infinity Gauntlet[edit]

The newly resurrected Thanos was offended by Nebula's claims of kinship. He reclaimed his ship and almost killed 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.[3]

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. 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.[4]

Nebula was later confronted by Firelord in the Titanian prison. In flashback, the murder of her abusive father was depicted.[5] Nebula was later freed from prison by Geatar, and converted into a cyborg by Doctor Mandibus.[6] 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.[7]


Nebula has appeared as one of Gamora's followers, 'The Graces'. In this role, she battled Ronan the Accuser alongside Stellaris. Ronan triumphed, severely wounding her.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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; this 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; she undid 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[edit]


  • 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.


Karen Gillan as Nebula from the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Karen Gillan portrays Nebula in the 2014 live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy.[11] She is portrayed as an adopted daughter of Thanos, and she is augmented and converted into a cyborg; at least her arms are completely mechanical, as she is shown making repairs to circuits in her forearm. Despite her familial ties to Thanos, Nebula allies with Ronan the Accuser when Ronan steals an Infinity Stone to destroy Xandar and later use against Thanos only to be defeated in combat by Gamora. When Gamora offers to save her, Nebula rejects Gamora's help and severs her trapped mechanical left hand so that she can steal a ship and escape.
  • Gillan will reprise the role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, set for release in May 2017. The character will join the Guardians.[12]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Avengers #257, 260
  2. ^ Avengers #311–312, 314, 316–318
  3. ^ Infinity Gauntlet #1
  4. ^ Infinity Gauntlet #5–6
  5. ^ Silver Surfer Annual #5
  6. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #69–73
  7. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #76–78
  8. ^ Annihilation: Ronan #2
  9. ^ "TV stars invade Marvel Super Hero Squad | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  10. ^ Vanessa Marshall (August 24, 2015). "@IAmCreeSummer Hey Nebula, GuuuRRRRLLLLL!!!! You are amazing! xoxo". Twitter. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Marvel Studios Begins Production on Guardians of the Galaxy". July 20, 2013. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ 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 16, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]