Nubia & the Amazons #5 is at a crossroads as it wraps up a major storyline while setting up DC Comics’ big Trial of the Amazons event. Opening with a kaiju-sized Medusa fight scene, it’s also a reminder of how rich the Amazon world has become. We’ve gotten a taste of what’s to come, but how do we get there?
From a story by Stephanie Williams and Vita Ayala, Williams writes a tight script opening with big action that’s visualized extremely well by Alitha Martinez. The book opens with not only a full-page splash but a double-page splash right after that, which is quite uncommon. It’s going for big and splashy and it achieves that quite well.
Joining Martinez is Mark Morales on inks and Romulo Fajardo Jr. on colors who both add a lot to the fight scene. Nubia is fighting Medusa and there’s a great use of shadow to convey the evil and monstrous look of Medusa. She’s ten stories tall and the snakes on her head are articulated well. As they spar, you get the sense that Nubia is fearless and incredible at fighting. Wearing a mask that covers her eyes (which has a very cool design, I might add), the fight takes some surprising turns. It’s epic and suits a comic book climax.
Much of the rest of the book is about the fallout of Nubia’s win and wrapping up loose ends. Williams does a good job closing out plot lines in satisfying ways. It feels more like an epilogue in some sense, but we are barreling towards Trial of the Amazons in a few short weeks. Most importantly, Amazon feels more fleshed out than ever after this series, and you can get that sense simply from all the characters who appear in the last half of the book. This is a living world with many different personalities that’s well worth exploring further in the future.
There’s also a rather cool page devoted to the Staff of Understanding. The weapon is used in the main battle and it’s neat to see a history about the weapon and details on it. Depicted on a page that looks like old paper, the sketch looks like something that could be found in an old Amazon encyclopedia. It’s also a reminder there are magical elements as cool as Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.
Something that doesn’t quite work is some animosity from some of the Amazons toward the women who came from the Well of Souls. There’s some kind of prejudice going on here, but it feels a bit stuffed in before the book can close things out. It’s an interesting concept to introduce, and hopefully one explored in the future.
Nubia & the Amazons #5 is a good end to a series that added a lot of new elements to Amazon and its many interesting characters. Ending on an epic battle not only reminds us of Nubia’s incredible power but leaves readers wanting as far as her future endeavors in conquering mysterious supernatural threats.
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