Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Nubia & The Amazons #1 Review

 Written By: Stephanie Williams
Art By: Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales
Colors By: Emilio Lopez
Letters By: Becca Carey
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 19, 2021

Nubia & The Amazons #1brings readers back to Themyscira with Nubia as the current Queen of the Amazons. When the Well of Souls activates, giving birth to more reincarnated souls, the Amazons greet their new sisters with a welcome and some hesitation. Why has the Well of Souls, dormant for centuries, come alive again?

Was It Good?

Well, that depends on the kind of story you're looking for. The vast majority of this issue is a "slice of life" type comic with a little extra. The Well of Souls starts giving birth to more Amazons (this is post-Crisis 1987 Themyscira), and while more Amazons are a good thing for the existing population of the island, nobody knows why the Well went dormant so long ago or why it suddenly started back up. It's a mystery, but a very soft one and not very compelling unless you're very invested in life on Themyscira.

That said, the mystery does add an element of danger when Penelope describes apocalyptic dreams about the Wells awakening. It's a modest setup with a modest element of danger. In short, it was fairly boring.

The art, on the other hand, is fairly solid. The character designs give each Amazon a distinctive look while still incorporating them into the overall aesthetic - with two exceptions.

Exception one -- and I hate to touch on this point but it's unavoidable when you see it -- why would brand new Amazons born into brand new Amazonian bodies be reborn overweight. It makes no sense, and once you see it, it throws you off of the whole concept of a reborn soul becoming a new Amazonian sister.

Exception two -- the cultural dress. When the souls are reborn, they have no memory of their past lives. Except for their ability to move and speak, they're blank slates. If that's the case, why would the new Amazons start dressing in cultural dress specific to their ethnic origins? It seems like an effort to make the inhabitants of Themyscira multicultural, but how can you have a desire to represent your culture when you have no memory of your life or where you came from?

I won't hazard a guess as to why the artist made these creative choices that are in direct opposition to the concept of how the Well of Souls works, but it's completely jarring and chills the effectiveness of the world-building. Again, the execution of the art is solid but it's the creative choices that are nonsensical.

Bits and Pieces

Nubia & The Amazons #1 is a novel story about life on Themysciara with a mild mystery to build curiosity, but the central conflict lacks energy or excitement. The art is decent enough, but the bizarre artistic choices for the "new" Amazons seemingly ignore the rules of the world the creators have introduced to new readers in the same issue.


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