December 28, 2021

Review: Nubia: Real One

Nubia: Real One Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this story, and I wish the art lived up to it. This is the story of Nubia, Wonder Woman's twin sister, sculpted from the earth at the same time as Diana by their mother, Hippolyta, and given life by the gods. She was later stolen away by Ares and put in stasis, and when Diana discovered her she was still a baby. Diana placed her with an Amazon warrior who fell in love with a woman in the world of men, to be raised by them in the modern world. Thus, Nubia is more or less a normal (if freakishly powerful) teenager, with friends and crushes and two overprotective mothers who insist on her hiding her abilities from the world. This is the story of how Nubia learns who and what she is, and her decision to step up and assume the mantel of a hero, including rescuing her best friend from a stalker.

Unfortunately, the art isn't very good. It falls into what I call the "Noelle Stevenson style" of art (and as much as I admire what Stevenson did with the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, I don't care for her art), which comes across as juvenile and not colored very well. (Although Nubia illustrator Robyn Smith doesn't have quite as many square block faces.) Wonder Woman, especially, is not drawn well. It was hard for me to get into the story because of this. I realize the powers that be wanted a person of color to draw this comic, but I wish they had chosen someone else.

But if you can overlook the art--which, since this is a graphic novel, is not an easy thing to do--you have a nice story of what a hero means in the world of police brutality and Black Lives Matter. That's an important story. I just wish this had some better visuals to carry it.

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