Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Nubia & The Amazons #5 Review

Oh-Oh-Oh It's Magic

Written by: Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala
Art by: Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales
Colors by: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover art by: Hi-Fi, Darryl Banks
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: February 15, 2022

Nubia & The Amazons #5 traps Nubia behind Doom's Doorway in a face-off against the legendary Medusa. But, when the battle is done, one of the combatants will never be the same?

Was It Good?

Nubia & The Amazons #5 marks the end of the series with a finale that changes one character's status quo and opens the door (no pun intended) for future storytelling possibilities. However, that person isn't Nubia. It's Medusa.
Were you expecting that? Was anyone expecting that? Was anyone clamoring for a Medusa redemption arc in a Nubia series? *shrug*

The challenge with this series is the same with the Aquaman: The Becoming series (also concluding this week). These sidelined characters finally get their title for creators to elevate the characters' status and show why they are worthy successors to their legacy counterparts. However, neither give much focus or attention to the main characters. In truth, Nubia gets a little bit of a better deal than Jackson Hyde, but not by much.


When last we left Nubia, she offered to give Medusa her head back as the first step towards reconciliation. Williams and Ayala are playing VERY fast and loose with Medusa's mythology to paint her as a victim to make this scenario playout for the better. Does it work? Sort of, kind of. Nubia uses the magic spear Io created to revert Medusa to her human form and somehow un-petrify all the Amazons. There's no logic or explanation for how Nubia accomplished all this, and you're left feeling like the creators don't know how it works either. The creators want you to say, "It's magic, so it doesn't have to make sense," resulting in an unsatisfying resolution.

Medusa is human again and invited to join the Amazonian population to make amends and "be better." Of course, there are hints dropped that acceptance isn't that easy, and Medusa's new life requires a watchful eye, but this story at least accomplishes a new status quo. Likewise, Nubia's intentions as queen have been tested and validated, so she is a little more sure of herself by the end.

That said, the big mystery is not only NOT resolved but outright ignored. What's the deal with the Well of Souls suddenly reactivating? Since it makes up an important plot element for the first half of this series, you'd expect to see some resolution. Nope. Nada. Nothing. DC expects you to read the Trial of the Amazons, and maybe they'll clue you in if they get around to it.

The art in this issue is serviceable enough for the story. There are some odd continuity errors (how did human Medusa go from wearing a toga to naked to wearing a towel in the span of two pages?) but nothing severe enough to disrupt the readability of the issue.

Bits and Pieces

Nubia & The Amazons #5 finishes the arc with a lot of Medusa character growth, a little bit of Nubia character growth, and no answers surrounding the mystery of the Well of Souls. This was a weak attempt if the point was to build up Nubia. If the end was to make a statement about redemption and forgiveness that has little to do with Nubia, you get that here. If the point was to tell a complete story about essential changes on Themyscira and the lives of the Amazons, look elsewhere.


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