Review: Nubia & The Amazons #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams
Artist: Alitha Martinez
Inks: Mark Morales
Colors: Emilio Lopez
Letters: Becca Carey
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Nubia and the Amazons #3 brings the story closer to its deeper conflict. Nubia must decide how she will address the need for a guard at the door, the challenge raised by her doubters, and the evil she thought defeated arising anew to threaten Themyscira. But then, what is evil?
Positives — Heavy Weighs The Crown
Nubia is struggling with a new transition. After she came through the Well of Souls she became a member of the island. Then she spent years guarding the entrance to Hades. She knew who she was as a warrior but as a queen she is unsure.
In a limited series, it is important to establish where Nubia’s challenges and opportunities lie along with the forces that are pushing and pulling her. It is the tests and challenges that she responds to that will define her.
Nubia’s willingness to address her struggles and share them is a sign of the maturity she will need to sustain herself when the petty sniping increases. When Bia experiences a painful vision Ipithime claims that it is another sign of the growing number of dark events ticking up like wildfires since Nubia assumed the crown.
The queen of Themyscira tends to her sister’s well-being and then addresses the fear-mongering directed at her. Her response that, “There is a particular kind of responsibility joined with patience and it requires a wider vision,” is pitch-perfect.
Positives — Who They See
Just as it is important to establish who Nubia is based on how she responds to adversity, it is equally important to show how she is seen by her sisters. Turns out all of the new arrivals have varying degrees of a crush or infatuation towards Nubia. But, it is not just about sex appeal. In fact, there are layers to the admiration they have for her.
Nubia is an example of all that they can aspire to become. She also came through the well and now she is queen. They could one day prove worthy to wear the crown and sit on the throne. Does this add to the desire they feel for her? That might take some careful parsing to uncover.
History is a foundation for tradition, beliefs, and identity. History is also many-sided. Recently, the history of the Amazons has come under greater scrutiny. Revelations and long-buried secrets have led to division and the need for greater understanding.
Now, there are vanquished foes who seek to cast themselves as the victims of a corrupted narrative. They believe that this concept can weaken the resolve of those uncertain of their place in the present or how they will be remembered by history. Nubia will need to draw on her own complicated history to combat the secrets that threaten to undermine her sisters.
None for this issue.
Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams have taken hold of the roots of the Amazons and are using their known and unknown story to create something new. Nubia is a symbol of change, and in order for real progress to occur, she will have to lead by example with patience and passion. Her strength will lie in finding a way to use the past to inform the present and build toward the future.
The art of Alitha Martinez, the inks of Mark Morales, and the colors of Emilio Lopez paint the island, the sisters, and even the portents of visions bold and dark, in layers of brilliance. Becca Carey’s nuanced letters share the tones, inflections, and emotions of every character’s thoughts and words.