Why Nebula Should Kill Thanos in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Chris Tilly

The Avengers movies — and the many MCU flicks before them — have been building up to a battle royale with super-villain Thanos. And as ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ are likely to be hit by casualties, but unlikely to lose, the smart money is on them defeating the big bad. Either in Avengers: Infinity War, or its as-yet-untitled sequel. But who will be the hero who takes the life of the ‘Mad Titan’? We believe there’s only one candidate… and her name is Nebula.

Nebula’s Torturous Childhood

Nebula is an orphan who had the misfortune of being adopted by Thanos. Alongside Gamora. The pair were trained as warriors, loyal to their despotic father. Who had a pretty twisted way of schooling them.

“My father would have Gamora and me battle one another in training,” Nebula explains during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. “Every time my sister prevailed my father would replace a piece of me with machinery, claiming he wanted me to be her equal. But she won. Again, and again, and again.”

The bionic upgrades gave her super-strength, speed and agility, turning Nebula into the fiercest of fighters. But those many agonising operations also effectively meant she spent most of her childhood being tortured by her father. Which takes its toll on her psyche.

Nebula and Ronan

Ronan and Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy
Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Thanos gifts Nebula to Ronan the Accuser to help retrieve the Orb he so coveted. Which she did with little hesitation, torturing Nova Guards, killing scores of prisoners, destroying Gamora’s ship, and leaving her sister for dead.

But while she appeared to do this out of loyalty to Thanos, it soon became clear that Nebula had an ulterior motive. Because as soon as Ronan mainlined the power of the Orb, and revealed that he planned to destroy her despotic Dad, she immediately switched allegiance. Vowing to help him kill Thanos, followed by a thousand planets.

At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Ronan’s plan fails and he’s the one who gets killed. Via the power of dance. But Nebula survives, flying away on a Ravager M-Ship, her intentions towards her adopted father now very much clear.

Nebula and the Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy
The Guardians and Nebula.

Nebula resents her sister Gamora, because she was the Mad Titan’s favourite, and because, as she puts it, “You were the one who wanted to win, and I just wanted a sister. You were all I had, but you were the one who needed to win. Thanos pulled my eye from my head, and my brain from my skull, and my arm from my body… because of you.”

In Nebula’s mind, this makes them mortal enemies, and when she is captured by the Guardians of the Galaxy at the start of Vol. 2, that hatred burns bright, the sisters verbally sparring and very nearly coming to blows.

When Nebula escapes their clutches, she tells Kraglin of her plan to kill Gamora. Then adds that she would use the bounty  placed on the rest of the Guardians to kill Thanos. Her objective becoming ever more pronounced.

As the film progresses, Nebula and Gamora are forced to form an uneasy alliance, and slowly start to bond. With Nebula even saving her sister’s life. But when Gamora says, “I was a little girl, trying to live day-by-day, not knowing or understanding what that meant to you. There are many other girls out there, like us. You can stay with us, and help them,” Nebula’s response is simple and unwavering. “I can help them. By killing Thanos.”

Why Nebula Should be the One to Kill Thanos

Nebula Marvel
Surely it has to be Nebula!

While there are a few candidates, in FANDOM’s opinion, Nebula must be the one to kill the big bad. She has that horrible history with Thanos, which gives her the ideal motive. She is also a villain who has turned into a hero over the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. So destroying the Titan who destroyed both her body and spirit would give Nebula a satisfying story arc.

Of course, there are more decent and heroic figures in Infinity War. If the trailers are anything to go by, the likes of Captain America, Vision, Thor, and Scarlet Witch will all have their reasons for wanting to take Thanos out.

Equally, it might be a team effort, with the Infinity War requiring the might of the Avengers and their many super-friends and sidekicks working together to finally bring him down.

But the most satisfying conclusion — be it in this movie, or the next — will be for Nebula to deliver that final blow. Giving closure to her tragic tale, and earning Nebula redemption as she finally puts Thanos to the sword.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
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