Nubia: Real One is a DC Comics young adult graphic novel featuring Wonder Woman’s twin sister by author L.L. McKinney and artist Robyn Smith. The story focuses on Nubia’s life as a teenager dealing with school violence, racial inequality, and other issues many young people of color face today.
I was provided with a free eARC of Nubia: Real One from DC Entertainment. All opinions are my own.
Nubia: Real One takes place in modern day society, tackling current racial inequality issues. It is a very important book for today’s young reader. I must confess that I had only heard about Nubia in passing prior to reading this book. I knew she was Wonder Woman’s sister, but that was about it. I’m so glad that I decided to read this book and am excited to read more about Nubia in the future.
Please note that there will be some spoilers below.
Nubia: Real One begins outside a gas station convenience store where Nubia and her friends Jason and LaQuisha are hanging out discussing what they want to do during their upcoming summer vacation. They have no idea how exciting their summer vacation, especially for Nubia, is going to turn out to be. While they are talking, a boy named Oscar who Nubia has a crush on goes into the store. Nubia’s friends take off in hopes that it’ll force Nubia to talk with Oscar. Little does Nubia know, this is where her adventure begins.
While Nubia and Oscar are in the convenience store, a couple of robbers come in with guns. One of the gunmen threatens Oscar. Nubia knows she can do something about it, but she’s also scared to reveal what she can do. However, she quickly makes a decision, picks up the ATM machine and throws it at the robber. When she runs off, she is stopped by the police because the store worker said she was involved. Thankfully, Oscar had vouched for her and she was let go.
When Nubia gets home, she shares with her mothers what had happened. This wasn’t the first time that someone had witnessed her powers. And in the past, it always involved the family having to move. Nubia and her family are hoping they can avoid that this time, but things continue to get worse. Thankfully, they’re able to bring in someone special who can help Nubia decide who she wants to be.
Nubia: Real One is written by fan favorite young adult author L.L. McKinney. McKinney is an advocate for equality and inclusion in written works. This is her first novel with DC Comics and it does not disappoint. She creates a world that is very real and not much different from our own. She does not shy away from the racism, violence, and inequality that people of color face.
As a Black author, McKinney wrote from a place of understanding in hopes of giving more representation for under-represented voices. Nubia’s message is that you can be a hero in a world where some do not even see you as a person. Like I said, McKinney does not shy away from the real, tough, issues. She highlights them in a way that cannot be ignored.
Nubia: Real One is drawn by Jamaican cartoonist, Robyn Smith. Her art style is very free and flowing. It is simplistic, yet detailed at the same time. Each panel shows a lot of movement of the characters which is so important in comic’s more static way of storytelling. I found the art throughout to be enjoyable and felt that it fit the story very well.
Overall, I enjoyed Nubia: Real One. As someone who is not a person of color, I always aim to strive to understand and be better. I feel that stories like these are important for everyone to read, not just the intended age range of 14-17 years. Stories like these are an invaluable source of education. Parents of younger readers may want to be prepared to answer some of the tough questions their children may ask when reading this story.
I highly recommend Nubia: Real One to anyone who would like to learn a little more about Wonder Woman’s twin sister. The story is very inspirational and can teach us all a lot about what it means to grow up in a world with so much racial inequality. After reading this graphic novel, I definitely want to read more about Nubia!
Author: Jessica Rae
Jessica has a BA in music with an emphasis in voice and spends her day typesetting, editing, writing, and moderating webinars. Jessica primarily reviews anime and comic book series. She also offers insights on various movies, books, games, and other geeky topics.
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