Nebula #1: Krak. Bam. Boom!

The cyborg Nebula is hoisted up with wires attached all over her body

There’s a powerful new weapon in the galaxy and Nebula, right-hand of Thanos, wants to get her hands on it in Nebula #1. When your reputation for death and destruction precedes you, can one bounty hunter stand in your way?

Nebula #1

Vita Ayala (Writer), Jen Bartel (cover artist), Travis Lanham (Letters), Claire Roe (Artist), Mike Spicer (Colours)
Marvel Comics
February 12, 2020

Nebula #1 Cover A by Jen Bartel. Marvel Comics. February 2020

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans who are expecting a lovable, heroic Nebula are going to be in for a shock—the Nebula in this new series is not a nice person. She kidnaps and threatens a child in order to get the child’s father to hand over dangerous tech. She kills without compunction and only thinks of herself. A good guy, she is not!

But it’s fun to read about a villain just going about their day. Nebula’s motivations seem purely self-serving; she wants the new tech for herself, but for what purpose? We know Nebula caused a lot of pain in Thanos’ name, but she had no love for the man who she was forced to call ‘Father’. Is this new weapon for Thanos or is it for her? To escape her father, is Nebula willing to integrate her cybernetics with untested technology? I think so.

However, things don’t go as planned. A bounty hunter named Devos shows up, and he’s a big, scary guy who can go toe to toe with Nebula. That doesn’t mean that she backs down, which I found very enjoyable. She’s a scrappy fighter who isn’t afraid of someone bigger and stronger.  Of course, by this point in Nebula #1, our protagonist has already received an enhancement that should give her the advantage. Except that doesn’t work out as planned, either. Talk about fate being stacked against you—Nebula can’t catch a break!

Not that any of that stops her from fighting or being her best sarcastic self. I love that about this story. Yes, it’s disturbing to see a character point a gun at a child and be so coldhearted, but Nebula is also a ton of fun to read. Nebula #1 is shaping up to be an insightful look into a villain’s mind, without excusing their dangerous behaviour. And in writer Vita Ayala’s hands, one can trust that the nuances of Nebula’s characterization will be handled well.

Especially considering the ending of the book, which comes as a major surprise. As cliffhangers go, this book has a great one—I am intrigued. It could also go a long way in explaining Nebula’s personality and her relationship with her father and sister.

The art in Nebula #1 by Claire Roe is beautiful but also powerful. There’s a menace to Nebula that exudes from every page; it is obvious that she is not an assassin to mess with. There’s also a vivid, brutal quality to the fight scenes that makes them realistic. You can feel the punches off the page. Mike Spicer’s colours are glorious; Nebula stands proud in her red and blue suit, a vibrant demon in the midst of her monochromatic rivals. I love that the colour scheme changes according to how in control Nebula is of the situation.

Nebula #1 Page 2 by Jen Bartel. Marvel Comics. February 2020Nebula #1 was an incredibly enjoyable read and I’m excited for more. This story is shaping up to be exciting and a little left-field, which is just what you would want from a character like Nebula.

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir