Hey, back at it again with another one of my opinions! Today, I wanted to take a look at Nubia: Real One, a DC graphic novel and discuss why these types of comics perfectly illustrate why western comics featuring Black characters never seem to take off!
Over the years, we’ve seen more Black characters rise in the comic space, which to me is great! However, when you start to look beyond the surface-level stuff, you’ll soon start to realize that in actuality, there’s still not much progress being made. That’s why when I saw Nubia: Real One, it perfectly captures everything wrong with how writers are approaching Black characters. Nubia for those not-versed in DC lore is an Amazonian character who happens to be the twin sister of Diana aka Wonder Woman. She debuted in Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #204, (January 1973) yet since then DC hasn’t done much with that character, like most Black characters created in the past. There’s a good story to be told with her too which makes it frustrating. We could have seen what it was like being raised by Mars the god of war, who abducts baby Nubia, and the turmoil she endured in an all-new modern take, which would introduce her to new fans in a natural way that makes sense.
Instead, the name Nubia and her character are used as commentary on the politics and social issues that just use her for political purposes. The storytelling suffers from contrivances and a heavy-handed message that overexaggerates to the point where it’s hard to take things seriously. Not to mention that you could literally take the name “Nubia” away from the comic and it wouldn’t even impact the story! This is one of the major issues I have when writers decide to write Black characters. It’s never about the story but always about commentary! The comic itself is bad, and that’s not even mentioning the art style. The art style, my god, I really don’t get my modern comic illustrates are insistent on making everyone so damm ugly.
Anyways, this one of the biggest problems that plague a lot of comics that feature Black characters as leads of the story, and thus leads to low sales or even mass adoption by fans. Heck, even the story made no sense at all which didn’t help its cause. Trust me when I say this, most Black readers would not enough this comic/graphic novel at all. We get it, our reality currently sucks balls, but what I don’t want is to be reminded of that with the media that’s known for “escapism”! Sometimes, I wanna see cool people do cool shit!
I really don’t have an issue if you’d like to discuss real political issues, but for the love of God, make it tasteful at least, and make it make sense. Anyways that’s just my opinion on this, let me know what you think about this novel if you’ve read it!