Why Nebula Was Really Smiling During Her Game With Tony Stark

Out of all Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, Nebula (Karen Gillan) seems the most tragic, if also being one of the greatest survivors after being the adopted “daughter” of Thanos. As also the adopted sister to Gamora, the two became overly competitive, almost to a point of killing each other.

Later, of course, they become close, if Nebula being tortured for years due to always feeling inferior to her sister. Having Thanos as her father never helped matters much either.

Once joining The Avengers, she had a few lighter moments. Fans recently mentioned a scene with Tony Stark that brought a smile to many viewers’ faces. Ironically, it was due to Nebula cracking a smile for the first time.

Nebula’s friendships in The Avengers

RELATED: MCU Actress Karen Gillan Loved Shaving Her Head to Play Nebula

Having Nebula join The Avengers was ultimately good for her psyche, including having her participate in the ultimate decimation of her step-father. Before officially joining, however, she was on Titan with Tony Stark to attempt to stop Thanos from acquiring the Soul Stone.

When Thanos wiped out half of all civilization with the snap, it managed to spare Nebula and Tony. Nevertheless, while attempting to escape Titan, they left in the broken down spaceship Benatar.

They were soon stranded in space when finding out the fuel cells were damaged when the battle on Titan occurred. With Nebula and Tony Stark stuck in space together, it was inevitable they would find some way to bond.

As mismatched as they looked, fans call out the scene where Nebula and Stark play paper football to fill time with limited resources.

Fans say Nebula and Stark’s friendship was “sweet and nice”

On Reddit, someone noted that paper football scene and something no one had seen prior: Nebula cracking a smile for once. Having her do this was proof she was capable of showing feelings if everyone knowing why she kept a straight face for so long.

Stark teaching her a simple, human, earthly game seemed to have charmed her, even if fans still analyze what was behind her smile. Perhaps it was as beguiling as Mona Lisa’s smile, something bringing just as much mystery.

Said one Reddit commenter: “After Infinity War, I was convinced that Tony would just annoy the heck out of her after they were both the only ones left on Titan, but the fact that they ended up bonding in this survival situation was really sweet and nice to see.” From the outset, one would probably think of them clashing based on their abrasive personalities. When stuck in space and facing possible death, things had to change.

Perhaps one could say they were forced to get along because of their situation. At the same time, Stark was starting to become a better person by this time. He began to realize the gravity of sacrifice and forming a bigger mission to take on.

Will Nebula smile again when seen in future Avengers movies?

Karen Gillan as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Karen Gillan as Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel

Nebula was clearly affected by Tony Stark’s death since they both bonded on Benatar. Fans think that maybe she smiled because she ultimately won the paper football game. Winning was never a part of her character after being made to feel inferior her whole life.

In many ways, it was like Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation smiling for the first time. Maybe it seemed foreign, yet Nebula managed to feel something. Having it be due to Tony Stark teaching her a very down-to-earth game makes it all the more fulfilling.

The big question is whether she can smile again when likely seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. No one should force her to. Yet, her life is now much different than how it was since first introduced in 2014.