Nebula has had one of the most complex stories in the MCU. She began as your common villain, killing good guys and fighting the heroes. The good streak that came equipped with Gamora was seemingly nonexistent in Nebula but Marvel had a plan for her. Instead of killing her off, as one might expect, she was allowed to survive another day. It was in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 where her heroic side finally started to blossom, leading to what would be a very redemptive story in Avengers: Endgame.
Having Fun for the First Time
You’re probably looking at this picture and saying to yourself, “What? Is that Nebula smiling?” Yes…it is. At the beginning of Endgame while Tony Stark and Nebula are stranded aboard Star-Lord’s ship they play a game. For nearly all of Nebula’s life, she has been trained to be a killing machine. The competition between her and her sister Gamora was never pleasant. They were always at each other’s throats, each daughter trying to prove dominion over the other, and as Nebula constantly lost their sparring matches Thanos would replace another part of her with something to augment her abilities.
Nebula didn’t know what fun was until this very moment with Tony Stark. For a second, she almost seems like a normal human being whose every instinct hasn’t been crafted to kill. It’s actually a really touching moment and the first step of her redemption story.