Stephanie Williams and Alitha Martinez take Queen Nubia on a mission outside of Themyscira in Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1.
Out this week, the issue opens with a mysterious assassin who is tracking down an amulet. These opening pages drawn by Martinez are exciting enough a place to start, but then Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1 becomes a slog. Readers are introduced to page after page of characters on Themyscira. While it’s admirable that Stephanie Williams and Alitha Martinez are showing readers who these characters are through vignettes rather than telling the audience, these moments on Themyscira aren’t particularly engaging. There are lots of characters, but not a lot of reason to care.
As the story progresses Nubia must leave Themyscira. The reason for Nubia leaving is to act as an advocate against deforestation occurring in Brazil. Nubia’s stance makes sense given the history of this franchise (and, you know, having a brain), but unfortunately, this first issue only pays lip service to the idea. Hopefully, future issues will give this conflict more attention than simply treating it as an inciting incident.
When the issue moves to the first stop on Nubia’s voyage outside of her kingdom, these introductions pick up more energy, in part due to the Amazons interacting with the Justice League. These scenes allow the Amazons to stand out a bit more as they subvert some of the League’s expectations for them. The artwork by Martinez, inkers Mark Morales and John Livesay, and colorist Alex Guimáraes are beautiful throughout the issue, and the small pieces of action make for an exciting tease of things to come when the miniseries gets going.
However, Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1 is otherwise a rather dull start. The images themselves are beautiful, but this feels very much like an issue that could have been summed up in a cast page and then kicked off the story where Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1 begins.
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