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NUBIA: REAL ONE Review

Dave reviews DC Comics NUBIA: REAL ONE (available now) praising the book for its representation of the struggles of black youth.

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Nubia: Real One (DC Comics)

Published by DC Comics, Nubia: Real One is written by L.L. McKinney, the witty and powerful voice behind A Blade So Black, with stunning artwork by the expressive Robyn Smith.

Nubia: Real One is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold. Grab your digital copy now from Comixology.

Synopsis

Nubia has always been a little bit…different. As a baby she showcased Amazon-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But despite her having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she were, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she’s reminded of how people see her: as a threat. Her moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can’t deny the fire within her, even if she’s a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst. 
When Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all-her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class-to become the hero society tells her she isn’t. 

From the witty and powerful voice behind A Blade So Black, and with endearing and expressive art by Robyn Smith, comes a vital story for today about equality, identity, and kicking it with your squad.

Review

Although Nubia: Real One is marketed at a younger audience I wanted to take a look as the story intrigued me. In all honesty I wasn’t prepared for the thought provoking and incredibly powerful story which was laid out before me.

L.L. Mckinney’s story starts out slowly, taking a few pages to get going. However as you read on you get the sense something is big is bubbling under the surface and that is what kept me reading. I just had to know what this “thing” was and I wasn’t disappointed when all is revealed.

The story of Nubia doesn’t hold back and isn’t afraid to tackle modern issues such as racism and social injustice. McKinney does a wonderful job of bringing these issues to graphic novel form for a younger audience. Throughout the book we follow Nubia as she struggles with everyday teen life. The struggles of young black people find a striking analogy in Nubia as she struggles with her burgeoning powers. Add to this that she has to keep them under wraps and Nubia becomes a truly compelling superhero origin.

I enjoyed reading the charming story of Nubia and her close friends as they go about their everyday high school life and thought McKinney handled the story content perfectly. It comes across as accessible for its target audience with a great surprise appearance at the end coupled with a very interesting twist.

Whilst the art style was not to my usual taste I appreciate just how different and quirky Nubia is. Tapping an artist like Robyn Smith adds something unique to the project which feels young, hip and different. The art itself is brilliantly enhanced by the colour palette which only seeks to further stand Nubia apart from other books.

I will be interested to see where the story of Nubia goes after this with solid foundations laid so far.

Verdict

Whilst it took me a while to get in to Nubia I’m glad I kept with it as I enjoyed the latter parts more. I can highly recommend to those looking for a superhero origin which isn’t hugely well known.


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