Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Nubia & The Amazons #2 Review

The First Rule of Fight Club

Written By: Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala
Art By: Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales
Colors By: Emilio Lopez, Allen Passalaqua
Letters By: Becca Carey
Cover Art By: Alitha Martinez, Laura Martin
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 16, 2021

Nubia & The Amazons #2 follows life on Themyscira as Queen Nubia considers who will be her new champion to guard Doom's Door. While everyone blows off steam in the Paradise Island version of Fight Club, an old threat begins to slither its way through the unsuspecting Amazons.

Was It Good?

It was a grudgingly okay issue. There's a lot of standing around and talking, there's a little bit of action, and there's the reveal to the readers about the threat emerging. It's all reasonably executed, and while there's no outright flaw in either the art or the story, the issue is largely bland verging on boring. I say it's grudgingly okay because, admittedly, there was some expectation that, going into Themyscira with Nubia as Queen, there would be more engaging and exciting content than what's presented here, so some of the reaction of this review may be a result of unfair expectations.

There are two major developments in this issue. First, we learn Themyscira has a form of Fight Club. Second, we see the threat that will likely be the impetus for future disaster.

The Fight Club concept introduced works in and of itself, but it was difficult to understand its purpose. Nearly every Amazon on the island knows about it, and its stated purpose is to allow warriors to blow off steam "away from prying eyes." Whose eyes would be prying and why would they care if warriors who've been trained and honed to fight over thousands of years are sparring? How is the Fight Club any different than the hand-to-hand combat training several of the Amazons are already doing on a daily basis? It seems like a contrived plot device that doesn't make sense in context and has no real purpose.

The purpose of a Fight Club (based on Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 novel and the 1999 film of the same name) is to allow people constrained by the laws and social restraints of civil life to let loose. But on Themysicra, none of its residents have any such systems that oppress that fighting spirit. The way it's used here, it's like somebody working in an ice cream shop all day long needing some release by going home after a long day and eating a big bowl of ice cream. Eating ice cream as a pressure release works. Eating ice cream as a pressure release when you're surrounded by ice cream all day long does not work.

If it seems like I'm being overly picky on a small point, that's because it's not a small point. The Themysciran Fight Club is supposed to be the big "Oooh! Aah!" moment of the book.

The second major development in this issue is the reveal of the villain. I won't spoil it here, but you'll know who it is immediately. And sure, it's fine. The "spirit" of the character slithers its way through Amazonians one-by-one to get at critical information, and you can imagine how bad things will turn out if it succeeds. The villain is a worthy opponent, and I'm interested to see what the creators do with it.

The art in this issue is serviceable. What saves it from turning mediocre is the stellar coloring. Many panels have a point of popping color that helps the standard pencils/inks stand out in a pleasing way.

Bits and Pieces

Nubia & The Amazons #2 introduces a cool concept about a Fight Club on Themyscira and a formidable villain. That said, the Fight Club concept doesn't make sense in the broader context of life on the island, and it has no relevance to the central conflict of the story. The art is just okay, but it's elevated by gorgeous coloring.


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