In light of the widespread confusion prompted by Nebula’s appearance on the promotional image, actress Karen Gillan has come forward to acknowledge that she looked less-than-stellar on the debut theatrical poster for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
But not really.
Released on February 17th, the first poster for the final chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy features the titular team – along with Sean Gunn’s Kraglin Obfonteri and Maria Bakalova’s Cosmo – posing together in front of an orange space-scape.
However, thanks to the Marvel design team’s overwhelming amount of questionable choices – from Drax being shown as more ‘casual hiker’ than ‘Destroyer’ to the image’s overall blending – the poster was met with mockery rather than applause.
A favorite subject of such mockery was Nebula, who rather than resembling her original ‘femme fatale’ design was presented as a barrel-chested male with a near-developing beer gut.
With criticisms of Nebula’s appearance on the poster beginning to pile up on social media, Gillan took to her personal TikTok account on February 19th to playfully apologize for her character’s poor depiction.
“Okay, can anybody tell me what I was thinking when I decided to pose like this on an international, worldwide poster that will remain forevermore?” jovially began the former Doctor Who companion.
“I remember doing this pose and thinking, ‘I think I look pretty cool here,” she then laughed. “So I take full responsibility for this choice, but oh my God, what am I leaning against? What is my elbow doing?”
“Maybe I should double down and make this pose a thing,” the Scottish actress joked. “Maybe I’ll do it at a couple red carpets, see if it takes. You know how men are always checking their cuff links? Maybe women will start *imitates the pose*”
“I stared at it for so long, I was like, ‘Oh maybe, I’m reaching for a weapon to take out and fight someone,’” a baffled Gillan added. “And then I remembered that I’m not wearing a holster or anything that would carry a weapon, so it’s not that either.”
Ultimately, Gillan signed off by sarcastically cautioning fans, “You’ll be seeing that pose again somewhere where you’ll least expect it.”
Yet despite actually addressing the actual subject at the center of fans’ ire, Gillan coyly made no mention of Nebula’s transition from ‘blue hottie’ to ‘dad body’, thus sidestepping the actual issue entirely.
As such, for the foreseeable future, it seems like the new unspoken character design norm at Marvel is to take the concept of ‘desexualization’ all the way to its inevitable conclusion – making their female characters look like men.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 sets out for one last ride on May 5th.