When half of the universe’s population perishes in the genocidal climax of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s generally assumed that Thanos refrained from choosing who would live and who would die, leaving their fates largely to chance. But when you look at this world-changing event from the perspective of the MCU’s creative team, it’s clear that decisions were made on which characters would be left standing for Avengers 4.
For one thing, it’s no mere coincidence that the original Phase 1 line-up of the heroes is still in tact, allowing the next era-closing installment to take the saga full circle. While it’s less obvious how the rest of the survivors were chosen, it certainly makes sense to have a few familiar Wakandans around to respond to the aftermath of the Infinity War climax, and with Rocket still in the game, at least we have someone to mourn the many fallen Guardians of the Galaxy.
And then there’s Nebula, a character that many fans were ranking among the most likely to die in the recent blockbuster. Though we can’t yet know for sure what plans the writers have for Thanos’ adopted daughter, one Redditor thinks that the upcoming film may delve further into her troubled background as a means of better understanding the Mad Titan himself.
First, Redditor lionheart28 looks back on the role that Nebula’s adoptive sister played in the last movie, saying:
“In the first IW we see the relationship between Thanos and one of his daughters, Gamora. Honestly for me that was one of the best if not the best side-plots we see throughout the IW. It shows the humanity of the Thanos, the good in him, the kind of good that spares half of the universe…”
Of course, it’s hard to give the despot too much credit for not killing half universe when he subjected the other half to such a grim fate. Lionheart28 posits that it’s this darker half of Thanos that will be explored via the backstory of his less favored child.
“And as I have mentioned Nebula survived the snap for a reason. And the first dialogues between Nebula and Thanos in IW is: N: ‘You should have killed me.’ T: ‘It would have been waste of parts.’ I don’t know if it’s just a throwaway burn between them but I think it has a deeper meaning. Also, in the Infinity comic saga, we all know the condition [that] Nebula is in at the [start] and her importance towards the end. I think in the next, one of the first things Thanos will do will be kidnapping Nebula and making her life [miserable] like the comic version. And through that we will see flashbacks of Nebula and Thanos’s relationship over the years. With them we will see the madness of Thanos. The kind of madness that murders half of the universe.”
Well, the purple tyrant is, after all, a big fan of balance, and so a flipside to the similarly twisted Gamora saga of Infinity War could be rather fitting, even if we don’t necessarily need a whole subplot to explain to us why Thanos is kind of an evil guy.
In any case, you can bet that there’s a plan for each one of the Infinity War survivors, and so we’ll be finding out what Nebula and her new friend Tony Stark will be doing after their conflict on Titan when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd, 2019.