Comic Review: Nubia: Real One (DC Comics)

Nubia, the black twin sister of Wonder Woman, is coming into her own in DC Comics’ Nubia: Real One graphic novel. Written by fan-fave young adult author L. L. McKinney […]

Nubia, the black twin sister of Wonder Woman, is coming into her own in DC Comics’ Nubia: Real One graphic novel.

Written by fan-fave young adult author L. L. McKinney (A Blade So Black trilogy, Black Widow: Bad Blood, etc), this stand-alone original story brings us into the high school world of Nubia. With two mothers, friends, and a prospective love interest, Nubia’s days and nights are multilevel and complicated. Plus, she has secret powers!

Heavy themes are explored in a meaningful way in Nubia: Real One, including racial inequality, police brutality, teen parties, school violence, and other timely issues for today’s 13+ audience.

Artist Robyn Smith (Jamaican: minicomic The Saddest, Angriest Black Girl In Town, etc) gives this a hand-drawn indie feel, which, frankly, can take some getting used to. Her ‘off-model’ Wonder Woman has a very different face than we admire in traditional DC Comic renderings, for example. And some of the secondary characters waffle between looking accurate and fascinating, to perhaps distracting and off-putting. But overall, the going is awesome. Nubia’s facial expressions, gestures, and surroundings represent today’s youth. And Smith’s is a fluid line, boldly presented, with a careful eye to body shapes, hair, hysteria, and hilarious antics. It’s for teens, it’s their shifting world of bumps and growing pains, and that’s why we love reading it!

The storyline, without me revealing anything, is a solid one, and it’s engaging. The length of the book is such that we feel like we can immerse ourselves in the subplots, adjust to the rhythm and the setups, and really settle in for a good story. McKinney’s dialogue and character interaction is fascinatingly fresh and irreverent; this does sound ‘real’ indeed, and worth looking into!

DC Comics, Nubia: Real One, Graphic Novel, $16.99 for 208 pages, 13+

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!