Nubia and The Amazons (stylized Nubia & The Amazons) is a mini series written by Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams with art from artist Alitha Martinez. The creative team also includes Mark Morales with inks, Emilio Lopez with coloring and Becca Carey with lettering. This month of October marks the 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman and DC Comics is bringing a massive collection of comics featuring her and other characters of the universes that she inhabits. This includes the highly anticipated series featuring her twin sister, Nubia who, in the past, has not always had her time in the spotlight. This series picks up after the events of Infinite Frontier, where Nubia becomes queen of Themyscira, but the new title also brings challenges and new faces.
I really appreciate how accessible Nubia and The Amazons #1, especially since comics, as a medium, sometimes feels hard to follow as big ticket events happen – even enough to displace a regular reader if they have been away from a certain title or character. This entry-point feels familiar but new. As a reader, I kept reading and loving every minute of it, seeing old faces like Nubia and Phillipus and fresh ones like the new Amazons to the island settling into their new lives.I never thought that we would get Ayala and Willliams on the same book together: an exciting collaboration as they both have recently written some of my fave women in comics, period.
Seeing legendary artist Martinez’s art once again is a treat as her art paints not just Nubia but the other women of the island as characters to follow, wanting to know more about and even choose faves early on. Seeing women of all body types, hues and hair types populate the place makes my heart sing. Morales’ inks bring all the depth to the art that makes me stop and appreciate the layers to everything from a character’s face to an action scene.
Lopez colors a world I would love to visit. He successfully captures all the hues of the women present sitting at a banquet stand out gloriously in harmony as does the bewitching eyes of a certain Amazon guarding a notorious entryway that brings serious bad vibes. Casey’s lettering really helps illuminate the emotions of certain scenes like Nubia’s first as Queen as she rises out of bed, her monologue before the day aiding in giving us insight of the passage of time.
Towards the end of Nubia and The Amazons #1, a open spread of art of a certain character dreaming a prophecy befalling Themyscira is eye candy that is both vividly haunting and tragic. I can’t stop thinking about how regal Nubia looked on the throne, standing on the beach and consulting the ones closest to her. (The Queen of Themysrcia wears a head scarf protecting her hair to bed–come through! I know Black folks, Black women worked on this book!) For a character as important in the hearts of many comic book lovers, especially Black girls and women, reading this issue feels like a grand homecoming celebration.
Getting to know Nubia and Themyscira in this issue is a treat. Easily accessible, fantastic art and a story that features women being trusted, comforted and celebrated makes a great first issue. Being able to see Nubia in the spotlight in this new mini-series is a long awaited treat as this superb creative team tackles one of comic’s first Black superheroes. Ultimately, Nubia & The Amazons feels like a grand homecoming with all the right beats in place that honors a hero who has always deserved it.