Girls, Power, and the Wonder Family REVIEWING Nubia: Real One

Welcome to The Real World According To Sam!

I've got another DC YA graphic novel to talk about, with a character who I've been rapidly getting into because she's so awesome.  

Nubia: Real One

Creative Team: L. L. McKinney, Robyn Smith, Bex Glendining, Brie Henderson, & Ariana Maher
Year: 2021
Genre: YA Graphic Novel


Can you be a hero...if society doesn't see you as a person?

Nubia has always been a little bit...different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor's cat. But despite Nubia's similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she's no Wonder Woman. And even if she were, they wouldn't want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she's reminded of how people see her as a threat. Her moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can't deny the fire within her, even if she's a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst. 

When Nubia's best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all - her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class - to become the hero society tells her she isn't. 


Nubia's comic history had been pretty rocky up until just recently (last year). She's had sporadic appearances and she has yet to receive an official up-to-date canon comic origin (which is coming this Spring). This graphic novel provides her with a new origin that shares similarity with her original history, while adding some very different elements to her youth. While Nubia is still a sister to Diana, she doesn't grow up on Themyscira. She's raised in man's world as a normal kid - albeit one who has powers which have caused her to have to move repeatedly. This shares some elements with Disney Pixar's The Incredibles in that regard, as well as with the issues of self-acceptance, responsibility, and societal acceptance. 

Nubia's struggle is even more pronounced because she's Black and her community has had increased racial tensions. This graphic novel tackles those issues head on, as well as the standard growing pains teens face. I liked this graphic novel and I think it's one of the better ones DC has put out so far. The strength of this one is also that it focuses on a character that hasn't had a lot of time in the spotlight, despite definitely deserving it. This is a great way to introduce younger readers to a character who is now playing a bigger role in DC Comics (and who should be kept around for a long time, in my opinion). There also aren't a lot of stories to negate, since Nubia hasn't had a consistent presence, meaning she's very fresh and can be molded to being a hero for today's generation of comic readers and upcoming fans. 

Fair warning, this graphic novel contains a decent bit of profanity and topics that may not be comfortable for all readers. However, this is a book that will be very helpful to many and will be a means of addressing big issues that teens may not yet be comfortable bringing up or tackling. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it and see where it's strongest points could be with some teen readers. Nubia has so much potential and I'm glad today's comic creators are getting to try new things with her. I hope this graphic novel and her current stories allow her to become a DC mainstay for years to come. I give Nubia: Real One a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯ and a half stars. I do prefer some of Nubia's current comic adventures as Queen of Themyscira more, but this one is definitely a good entry into her list of stories.  

Thanks for joining me for today's review here at The Real World According to Sam, where I bring the books to your computer screen and even put in my two cents about them! See you at the next review!