One of my favorite types of superhero stories is that of a young hero or heroine coming into their own and learning about their powers, so L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith's reworking of an older, mostly forgotten Wonder Woman character into a modern young heroine seemed like it would be something I would enjoy. And enjoy it, I did.
I love that Nubia is unapologetically black. While X-Men has often touted itself as being about heroes trying to exist "in a world that hates and fears them", the old trope of mutants being a sci-fi allegory for racism is brought kicking and screaming into the light here as the real issue it has always been. Nubia is forced to deal with issues straight out of the headlines because they are not headlines to her, they are her life. While as a white male, I can only imagine her struggles when dealing with people who hate her for the color of her skin, or fear her for the same reason, the creators of this story made it very easy to put myself in Nubia's shoes. Her typical high school troubles are blended beautifully with the greater struggles she as a young black woman is forced to contend with, and her soul-searching and quest to discover and decide what kind of person she is meant to be is one that almost anyone would be able to see their own journey to adulthood there. While not having had to deal with the racial issues Nubia faces in the book, I did have a sheltered upbringing and never went anywhere or did anything. I never attended dances or parties or went to prom, and I see that aspect of myself in Nubia.
I can't fault the story or the art, they made the characters solid and real to me. My only complaint about the book is that I didn't want it to end. I don't want this to be the last I read of Nubia and her friends. I want a volume two (and three and four and...) - I guess what I'm trying to say is that Nubia is an amazing young woman that I feel deserves to have more adventures. I want to see her grow up and become a superhero and continue to fight the good fight on behalf of her people, and also deal with mad dinosaur scientists who want to blow up the moon, and go toe-to-toe with Darkseid. I want her to be every bit a part of the regular DC universe that her paler twin has so long been a part of. Simply put, I just want more.
I enjoyed the read very much; Robyn and L.L. Make a great team! I really enjoyed the character design and coloring. It felt very sweet and reminded me of the queer dreams of my own high school days. Nubia is a great character with a lot of room for growth in future volumes. The relationships between Nubia and her friends and family are also well constructed and very sweet, which I feel offsets some of the violence in the story. I’ll definitely buy the next volume!