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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-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she com 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-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, 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. From the witty and powerful voice behind A Blade So Black, L.L. McKinney, and with endearing and expressive art by Robyn Smith, comes a vital story for today about equality, identity and kicking it with your squad.


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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-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she com 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-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, 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. From the witty and powerful voice behind A Blade So Black, L.L. McKinney, and with endearing and expressive art by Robyn Smith, comes a vital story for today about equality, identity and kicking it with your squad.

30 review for Nubia: Real One

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    I really hope L.L. McKinney gets given a chance to make this into a long running series because Nubia as a character, a hero and a story have the power to change so many readers lives for the better. This was a truly phenomenal read and one of the best graphic novels I've read in a while. It's poignant, powerful, relevant, brilliantly self aware and tackles racism (specifically that towards the Black community) with nuance, sensitivity and unwavering, brutal honesty. Nubia is such a powerful cha I really hope L.L. McKinney gets given a chance to make this into a long running series because Nubia as a character, a hero and a story have the power to change so many readers lives for the better. This was a truly phenomenal read and one of the best graphic novels I've read in a while. It's poignant, powerful, relevant, brilliantly self aware and tackles racism (specifically that towards the Black community) with nuance, sensitivity and unwavering, brutal honesty. Nubia is such a powerful character to follow. I thought McKinney did such a wonderful job at balancing the multiple sides of Nubia's character. She's bold, scared, unsure, powerful, brave, awkward and passionate. She's a hero who doesn't know how to be one yet, an awkward teen with a crush, best-friends and Mom's she adores but still lies to and she's a young Black girl trying to navigate the reality of how that fact effects her safety and actions everyday in a society working against her. Plot wise, this was action packed, emotion filled and utterly addictive from the first page until the last. Despite exploring everything from racial profiling to protesting to gun violence to super-heroism, there was never a point in which it felt 'too much'. It was perfectly balanced, painfully relevant and I adored every moment. With countless bold and powerful panels, Robyn Smith's art style couldn't have been a better pairing for L.L. McKinney's story. It fit Nubia as a character beautifully and the way the colour scheme flowed and changed throughout the story was wonderful. This was honestly sensational. I have so much love for Nubia and the journey she went through throughout this book and I hope I get to see a lot more of her in the future. I've officially found a new favourite teen hero.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    May 28, 2020: We have a coming-of-age story with authentic representation based on the first ever black woman superhero in DC Comics, Nubia! It's clear how passionate L.L. McKinney is for bringing this young black woman on the front and center, and I can't wait to feel all the love that has gone into making this. Also, the cover has just been revealed and IT'S PERFECT OMG. May 28, 2020: We have a coming-of-age story with authentic representation based on the first ever black woman superhero in DC Comics, Nubia! It's clear how passionate L.L. McKinney is for bringing this young black woman on the front and center, and I can't wait to feel all the love that has gone into making this. Also, the cover has just been revealed and IT'S PERFECT OMG.

  3. 5 out of 5

    The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears

    As you can see from my avatar, I'm a huge fan of Storm. I remember how much of a revelation it was for my little Black girl nerd self to see a superheroine who looked like me (minus the snow white hair lol). Also being a fan of Wonder Woman, discovering that Diana had a twin sister who was Black just cemented my lifelong love of comics. #Representationmatters beyond the box of "accepted" ideas of Blackness. With that said, what would life be like for a young Black girl with superpowers in this da As you can see from my avatar, I'm a huge fan of Storm. I remember how much of a revelation it was for my little Black girl nerd self to see a superheroine who looked like me (minus the snow white hair lol). Also being a fan of Wonder Woman, discovering that Diana had a twin sister who was Black just cemented my lifelong love of comics. #Representationmatters beyond the box of "accepted" ideas of Blackness. With that said, what would life be like for a young Black girl with superpowers in this day and age of police brutality, sexual harassment and racism. How would a gifted and caring Black girl navigate life while everything she does is viewed and misconstrued through the lens of race? Nubia just wants to be a normal teenage girl but knows she isn't. She has powers she doesn't understand and in using them for the most benign reasons causes people to view her with even more suspicion. She and her mothers have to relocate in order to avoid unnecessary attention. However, the moves and the rules her parents have set for her brush up against Nubia's desire to help, especially when it comes to her friends. She has moments where she gets to be a typical teenager with friends and a cute boy crush. I'm hoping this will be an ongoing series. I'm eager to watch Nubia slowly come into her own as a young superhero in the DC universe.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    This was my first time reading a DC comic - I've always been more of a Marvel fan, but I've been wanting to branch out a little. I don't know a lot about DC's world building and characters, but this was a really accessible comic. The comic was initially focused on Nubia's day-to-day life, and it especially delves into how difficult it is for Nubia as a Black superhero: where her white counterparts are praised for saving the day, she ends up in handcuffs. It's a story very clearly set in 2020, dea This was my first time reading a DC comic - I've always been more of a Marvel fan, but I've been wanting to branch out a little. I don't know a lot about DC's world building and characters, but this was a really accessible comic. The comic was initially focused on Nubia's day-to-day life, and it especially delves into how difficult it is for Nubia as a Black superhero: where her white counterparts are praised for saving the day, she ends up in handcuffs. It's a story very clearly set in 2020, dealing with gun violence, police brutality and BLM protests, showing the reality of what it's like to be Black in America. And showing very clearly how dystopian the current reality is. Unfortunately I wasn't the biggest fan of the art work. It's just not a style that appeals to me very much. CWs: police brutality, school shooting, armed robbery, gun violence, racism, blood

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    I absolutely CANNOT wait to read this comic by a Black author, a Black illustrator and a Black colorist, the true rep and it shows I absolutely CANNOT wait to read this comic by a Black author, a Black illustrator and a Black colorist, the true rep and it shows

  6. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    I received a free copy from DC in exchange for my honest review. WOW. Okay, so I didn't think DC's new graphic novel line couldn't get any better than Oracle Code but here we are. From the artwork to the plot and the hard issues presented, this is a masterpiece. Oh, and the author, illustrator, and colorist are all Black so, if that isn't reason enough to buy this right now, I don't know what is. *insert shrugging lady* Nubia has powers that she'd rather keep under wraps. Until one day, she gets i I received a free copy from DC in exchange for my honest review. WOW. Okay, so I didn't think DC's new graphic novel line couldn't get any better than Oracle Code but here we are. From the artwork to the plot and the hard issues presented, this is a masterpiece. Oh, and the author, illustrator, and colorist are all Black so, if that isn't reason enough to buy this right now, I don't know what is. *insert shrugging lady* Nubia has powers that she'd rather keep under wraps. Until one day, she gets in the middle of a robbery and thwarts the perps by throwing an ATM at him. The only person who saw her do this is Oscar, her crush. Back at home, she faces her moms who do everything in their power to keep Nubia's secret safe. But with a shady classmate causing trouble, and an impending protest, keeping her powers a secret may be the last Nubia needs. This is a hard-hitting story that touches upon racism, classism, sexual and domestic violence, and police brutality; everything that exists in the world today. If you can't swallow it, don't touch this book; it's not for you. But if you are triggered, here is your warning. It's the artwork that drew me in first, and the words were icing on the cake. Nubia's vulnerability will tug at your heart. She wants to do good in the world but thinks the world will see her not for who she is, but for the color of her skin. But despite that, she is strong, loyal, and a fierce protector of her friends and family. I can see this as the next DC box office SMASH, once COVID decides to take a hike. This is the superhero movie, book, show, etc that we all need. Please, make this into a series. Signed, Celia

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Duncan

    Seriously, pre-order Nubia. It belongs in every public and school library. So much story packed into these pages, and the art is the perfect complement. And the more I think about how amazing this story is, the more I want to read more Nubia. But Nubia written by L.L. McKinney. Her writing is perfection.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Nubia: Real one in exchange for an honest review. Nubia has single-handedly turned me into a superhero comic fan. Everything about this was so well done. From the art, to the social commentary, to the intriguing, fast moving plot, but I especially like how real of a character Nubia felt like. When creating someone superhuman, it's often really difficult to keep that character relatable without it feeling unrealistic, but Nubia crushed it. Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Nubia: Real one in exchange for an honest review. Nubia has single-handedly turned me into a superhero comic fan. Everything about this was so well done. From the art, to the social commentary, to the intriguing, fast moving plot, but I especially like how real of a character Nubia felt like. When creating someone superhuman, it's often really difficult to keep that character relatable without it feeling unrealistic, but Nubia crushed it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Colby

    This is the superhero story we need to be reading right now and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world. RTC. Thank you to DC Comics and to Edelweiss for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    First off, I need to fully and authentically Thank DC Comics for sending me a free review to copy. All opinions and words are my own and the fact I got a free copy did not change that. Did you read the synopsis yet? Sounds Amazing Right? Let’s add the fact that this novel was written, illustrated, and colored all by POC individuals. It shows and it is fantastic to see their teamwork come together on the pages. Nubia Real One has this ability to represent the life and struggles for so many people First off, I need to fully and authentically Thank DC Comics for sending me a free review to copy. All opinions and words are my own and the fact I got a free copy did not change that. Did you read the synopsis yet? Sounds Amazing Right? Let’s add the fact that this novel was written, illustrated, and colored all by POC individuals. It shows and it is fantastic to see their teamwork come together on the pages. Nubia Real One has this ability to represent the life and struggles for so many people in the black community, that this novel is a powerhouse for their coming-of-age literary representation. Keep in mind on the fact that this novel was entirely crafted by individuals who could have needed this as kids themselves. Painfully Relevant When we usually read typical hero origin stories, they are almost always the same. The hero has a bit of an epiphany and discovers themselves, right? While that may be true for Nubia, her story hits the reader in a very different perspective. This was a raw and authentic look into the American society for kids of color and the way they have to live their life in such a cautious way to survive. Yet, even that can’t help them. Nubia: Real One takes on the topics of the BLM movements, protests, police brutality, racism, school shootings, homophobic bullying, profiling, and so much more. You may be thinking, “wow, that’s a lot to cover.” And you may be right. But this is the lives of so many American children, that it is absolutely incredible to get it on paper. Nubia’s story transforms away from the typical absolute of super-heroism and breaks the barriers of what it means to learn to be a hero when literally everything tells you otherwise. This novel was a perfectly balanced narration of Nubia’s struggles in society as well as within herself. You may be thinking that this is a character driven novel, and of course it is, it’s all about Nubia; but it is so much more than that. This graphic novel is loaded on every single page with action and adventure. It sensationally built the lives of many children and teenagers into something powerful and real. This is a novel that (in my personal opinion) belongs in libraries, schools, and community centers. It prevails the significance of what it means to be a hero but in a realistic and transformative way for children who never had these stories growing up. But more importantly, it’s a staple for children and teenagers who feel part of the dystopian society that America has created and serves as hope for them in the future. Again, I would love to thank DC Comics for sending me this one for my free review. Nubia: Real One was touching in the most heartfelt ways and is the heroic story we all need right now. Trigger Warnings: School Shooting Racism Police Brutality Homophobia Bullying Profiling Robbery Gun Violence Protests Thank you for reading through this review. It means so much to me that you would take the time to do that not only for me, but for this book and team behind it. I am so touched by the events and perspective this novel portrayed to the public that I can’t wait to share with so many people. As I said earlier, this is a story that needs to be heard. Needs to be seen. Needs to be around. Now, as much as I wish that we could have more stories without the brutality and injustice of the POC community, I fully understand the need to bring these stories to light which is why I hope you all take the time to learn and educate yourself on a perspective outside of your own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kris Mauna

    From the outstanding plot to the beautiful artwork by Robyn Smith, Nubia: Real One is one powerful book and readers are in for a treat. It’s just an ordinary day for Nubia and her friends as they’re hanging out at the convenience store drinking slurpees. Nubia didn’t expect what happened next to be the beginning of all the changes to come in her life. The sudden robbery at the convenience store means Nubia makes a brave decision that helps save innocent lives. Her superhuman powers are supposed to From the outstanding plot to the beautiful artwork by Robyn Smith, Nubia: Real One is one powerful book and readers are in for a treat. It’s just an ordinary day for Nubia and her friends as they’re hanging out at the convenience store drinking slurpees. Nubia didn’t expect what happened next to be the beginning of all the changes to come in her life. The sudden robbery at the convenience store means Nubia makes a brave decision that helps save innocent lives. Her superhuman powers are supposed to stay hidden and her crush is definitely going to recognize her, but how can she just sit back and watch the robbery go down without doing anything? Lifting a heavy ATM and throwing it at the robbers may have knocked the robbers out, but now the convenience clerk is convinced that Nubia is the one trying to rob the store. Without thinking, Nubia bolts. All she can think about is how she risked her life to save those innocent people, and for what? She had forgotten that the world will never see her as a hero thanks to the color of her skin. I was immediately drawn to this story in those first few pages. The striking artwork by Robyn Smith helps showcase how emotional this novel truly is. There are a lot of tough topics tackled in Nubia: Real One such as racism, police brutality, sexual assault, gun violence, and more, so please take note of all the trigger warnings. I found everything to be dealt with extreme sensitivity. Every panel is drawn with love yet brutal honesty. Nubia is every teenager who is forced to learn how tough the world can be. She goes to parties with friends, has crushes, and a life full of tests at school. She just so happens to also have superhuman powers. There’s not a lot that she knows of when it comes to her powers because whenever an incident like the robbery occurs, her family immediately moves to a new city so no one can find out Nubia’s secret. Nubia’s character is amazing. We see her vulnerability, especially when her mothers remind her that police don’t see her as “just a kid” or every time she’s scared just to walk down the street with her friends. Her bravery is admirable. She’s always willing to risk herself in order to do what’s right for her people. Nubia is the superhero for anyone who has ever felt like they weren’t being seen or felt like their voice didn’t matter. This novel is for the young Black readers who need to see that they can be the hero of their story, too. L.L. McKinney is the perfect choice to pen Nubia’s story. Her passion for this character is shown in each panel and she handled these tough topics beautifully. There is a harshness to the story that is handled with care. I admire how she was able to tackle so many difficulties teenagers face these days, and how she gives hope to whoever picks up the novel. Overall, Nubia: Real One is a fantastic graphic novel. It needs to be on everyone’s radar — especially young readers. This is a bold story that is both emotional and action-packed with stunning art that helps it flow. Nubia: Real One will hit shelves on February 23, so get ready! | review originally on Bookstacked |

  12. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette

    NUBIA!! I have been waiting to read this amazing story! A phenomenal story about identity, equality and friendship. Nubia struggles to be herself, when so many in the world are against her. Along with learning about her true identity, she still balances school, party and relationships. I like the incorporation of the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality and issues with consent; great way for teens to open discussions about heavy topics. Definitely a great addition to high school classro NUBIA!! I have been waiting to read this amazing story! A phenomenal story about identity, equality and friendship. Nubia struggles to be herself, when so many in the world are against her. Along with learning about her true identity, she still balances school, party and relationships. I like the incorporation of the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality and issues with consent; great way for teens to open discussions about heavy topics. Definitely a great addition to high school classroom libraries. Thanks Net Galley!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Rundle

    NUBIA IS EVERYTHING!!!!!! The plot. Characterizations. Stakes. Voice. I loved it all. This story inspired me so much that I did more research on Nubia, and I didn't know she existed. I actually love Nubia way more than Diana. Hollywood NEEDS to make a Nubia movie. Wow. So much powerful messages in these pages. COME ON HOLLYWOOD! NUBIA IS EVERYTHING!!!!!! The plot. Characterizations. Stakes. Voice. I loved it all. This story inspired me so much that I did more research on Nubia, and I didn't know she existed. I actually love Nubia way more than Diana. Hollywood NEEDS to make a Nubia movie. Wow. So much powerful messages in these pages. COME ON HOLLYWOOD!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I really liked this: the story, writing, and art. I loved that Nubia is unapologetically tall and dark-skinned with natural hair. Furthermore, Nubia's parents are a loving lesbian couple who struggles to walk the fine line between raising their daughter to be her authentic self in a world that is a danger to Black folx who are unapologetically themselves. The parent-daughter relationship in these issues was one of the things that strongly pulled me in (perhaps because I am not part of the teen, I really liked this: the story, writing, and art. I loved that Nubia is unapologetically tall and dark-skinned with natural hair. Furthermore, Nubia's parents are a loving lesbian couple who struggles to walk the fine line between raising their daughter to be her authentic self in a world that is a danger to Black folx who are unapologetically themselves. The parent-daughter relationship in these issues was one of the things that strongly pulled me in (perhaps because I am not part of the teen, Gen Z target audience). I very much appreciate that the secret superhero thing in the case of this series is used as a metaphor to underscore how difficult it is, perhaps even more so as a teenager, to hide yourself in order to protect yourself and your family (paralleling the necessity of code-switching and not rocking the boat). Nubia also has strong friendships, even if they are strained due to her keeping her powers secret, and even though there is a "love story" thread, Nubia is skeptical until her love interest proves to be loyal, genuine and caring without insecurity about the fact that Nubia is not only taller than he is, but superpowered! Plus, Nubia both saves, and is saved by the love interest and there isn't any sort of weird power imbalance. Since the series was written by a self-ascribed blerd, the language is pithy in the way in which comic book writing often is, but in a blunt way that pulls no punches about racism and white supremacy. Yes, white people might argue that the "villain" is too mustache-twitching, but Idaf because we don't really need to spend more time empathizing with fragile racist misogynist cishet white men (especially in a week of two high-profile spree killings unsurprisingly committed by white-presenting men), and we all know that the character is representational of larger societal ills ::shrug:: I also appreciated the art because it was fun, but also because it's always a treat (though it shouldn't be unusual) to see Black folx drawn as diverse, individual, characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brandie Shanae Bridges

    This book was so good!!! This story is about a girl named Nubia who has finally settled down in a new town and made friends. Though she looks back in her past and always sees herself constantly moving because she has super powers. Once someone found out about her powered her moms would decide that it would be best to move. And so now that she has made some friends and now are her best friends she is faced with many things. But this book displays how you should love yourself regardless on what pe This book was so good!!! This story is about a girl named Nubia who has finally settled down in a new town and made friends. Though she looks back in her past and always sees herself constantly moving because she has super powers. Once someone found out about her powered her moms would decide that it would be best to move. And so now that she has made some friends and now are her best friends she is faced with many things. But this book displays how you should love yourself regardless on what people or the world says about you. And so in this story there is a boy named Wayland who is straight out racist and constantly antagonizing Nubia’s best friend Quisha. So Nubia can’t take it anymore and faces him and pretty much shows him who’s boss. Now mind you there is a peaceful protest approaching due to the killing of an innocent black boy by a police officer. So of course Wayland is embarrassed and wants to get even so he sabotages the protest by throwing debris at the police officers while saying “Black Lives Matter” knowing good and well he is racist. And so the police officers start attacking the protesters and eventually Nubia goes after Wayland again and shows him who’s boss. But apparently Wayland still could not take the embarrassment and so as the next comes and everyone is in school he shows up with a gun and starts shooting up the place and wants to get even with Nubia and Quisha but killing them. Though Wayland had know idea that Nubia had super powers and so Nubia put him on his place and became the hero of the school. Now Nubia at first wanted nothing to do with having powers but she received a visit and got more information about herself and her real mom she knew for sure that she had powers for a reason. This book was awesome and I definitely will be reading it again.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Nubia has been hiding her powers to protect herself in a world where existing as a black girl puts her in danger even before her super strength is in evidence. This superhero origin story isn't about an overwhelming thirst for vengeance or a bad case of ennui. It's about standing up for your friends, fighting back against an unjust society, and facing down moral corruption. It's a coming-of-age story where Nubia must decide how much she wants to hide and from whom. It's a story about embracing o Nubia has been hiding her powers to protect herself in a world where existing as a black girl puts her in danger even before her super strength is in evidence. This superhero origin story isn't about an overwhelming thirst for vengeance or a bad case of ennui. It's about standing up for your friends, fighting back against an unjust society, and facing down moral corruption. It's a coming-of-age story where Nubia must decide how much she wants to hide and from whom. It's a story about embracing oneself instead of apologizing for it. The story features so many beautiful relationships. Nubia's sweet family dynamic with her moms, her fierce friendships, and her adorable first romance all brought a smile to my face. I also loved the art, which conveyed so much emotion and atmosphere in each scene. Plus, you know I'm here for rose gold bracers any day. I would urge all readers to pay attention to the trigger warnings for this graphic novel because there are several. I would note that this is not because the story is using traumatic topics as a plot device or opportunity to sensationalize. The topics are heavy because it's the reality of racism and violence in our society. If we want superhero stories to have relevance, they need to address these pressing issues that endanger and ultimately take so many lives. I highly recommend this graphic novel. I hope this is the direction of superhero stories moving forward because Nubia is the kind of hero that is not only shaped by our reality but also provides a template for how we should all strive to behave in said reality.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia Pika

    Received an ARC from Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Nubia is an average girl struggling with typical teen problems, dating drama, strict parents, and super-strength. Wait, super-strength? In the comics, Nubia was Diana of Themyscira's twin sister until Ares kidnapped her. This story follows the same aspect of the comic history behind Nubia which is nice. Thankfully, Ares does not get a chance to make her into a villain and Diana saves her and gives her to two loving mothers. I reall Received an ARC from Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Nubia is an average girl struggling with typical teen problems, dating drama, strict parents, and super-strength. Wait, super-strength? In the comics, Nubia was Diana of Themyscira's twin sister until Ares kidnapped her. This story follows the same aspect of the comic history behind Nubia which is nice. Thankfully, Ares does not get a chance to make her into a villain and Diana saves her and gives her to two loving mothers. I really enjoyed the stylized artwork in the story, especially the bright colors, it felt unique and was well-handled. The callbacks to the protests across the country were drawn beautifully well and you could see every bit of emotion being poured into it. The story was incredibly poignant and relevant to the political and social turmoil happening in America right now. As reviewers have said, it can hit too close to home, so be wary about the content! I really hope this expands into a series with the same artist/writer handling it because it'd be fantastic! Nubia is a very relatable protagonist and I love her support system with her mothers and friends, I'd love to see more of them as well. A must-read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Milky Mixer

    Hola! Nubia! Although she was introduced back in 1973 and is DC's first black superheroine, Nubia isn't as well known as Black Lightning, Black Panther, Vixen, or Storm. In fact, she has always been kind of a novelty. Wonder Woman's secret black twin sister. So I was curious when DC announced Nubia's first ever graphic novel, a young adult take on the character that isn't necessarily part of the proper DC universe. Would she remain just a novelty? "Nubia: Real One" is no tacky soapish teen drama Hola! Nubia! Although she was introduced back in 1973 and is DC's first black superheroine, Nubia isn't as well known as Black Lightning, Black Panther, Vixen, or Storm. In fact, she has always been kind of a novelty. Wonder Woman's secret black twin sister. So I was curious when DC announced Nubia's first ever graphic novel, a young adult take on the character that isn't necessarily part of the proper DC universe. Would she remain just a novelty? "Nubia: Real One" is no tacky soapish teen drama but a graphic novel that is just right for our time. A personal story with enough Wonder Woman cred that it can exist as a standalone or be embraced by fans of canon. The artwork isn't your traditional superhero style and won't be for everyone. The language and the themes are definitely older teen. I do wish DC would print these "young adult" graphic novels in a standard comic book size rather than this smaller scale, especially in this case since the text is just too tiny! But I'd definitely love to see "Nubia: Real Two" and "Three" and "Four." And give her a lasso.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Rogers

    I don’t even know how to begin! This book is outstanding. The characters come to life easily and the dialogue is incredibly believable as well. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the art style was. The colors and character design worked so well together. I don’t want to talk too much about the story, just be aware that it involves a lot of tough subjects so be prepared going in. I loved this story and I am excited to read more from this author and creative team!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Thank you to Netgalley and DC Entertainment for a digital arc of this graphic novel. Nubia has grown up moving from town to town to avoid other's noticing her superpowers. As a Black girl, her and her moms know she would not be treated the way a superhero should be treated if she was revealed. When Nubia accidentally exposes herself once again, she has to make a choice--hide her true identity and leave her life here, or become the superhero she was always meant to be! Meanwhile, her best friend is Thank you to Netgalley and DC Entertainment for a digital arc of this graphic novel. Nubia has grown up moving from town to town to avoid other's noticing her superpowers. As a Black girl, her and her moms know she would not be treated the way a superhero should be treated if she was revealed. When Nubia accidentally exposes herself once again, she has to make a choice--hide her true identity and leave her life here, or become the superhero she was always meant to be! Meanwhile, her best friend is organizing a peaceful protest against the murder of a young Black person by police, and Nubia has to make a big choice... This book was amazing from start to finish. It immediately gripped me with the fast-paced storyline, funny and real dialogue, and gorgeous illustrations. The messages throughout this book are completely necessary to today's world (and yesterday's) and it teaches a lot of important things. I'm so glad this book was made. Please be careful before picking up this book, and read the content warnings, as it deals with very heavy and traumatic topics. Content Warnings Graphic: Bullying, Death, Gun violence, Hate crime, Violence, Racism, Racial slurs, Police brutality, Physical abuse, Sexual assault, Homophobia, and Sexism school shootings, protesting, robbery

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    RTC Thank you to DC for providing me with a copy for review. #inpartnershipwithdc #dccomics

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    This book was so wonderful, poignant, and very funny!! And shout to my friend Robyn Smith for her amazing art, it captivated me from beginning to end. I recommend this book to any and everyone!

  23. 5 out of 5

    astri ☆

    this was amazing, I read it in one setting!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angélica ✸

    tw: racial injustice, sexual harassment, police brutality, active school shooter, homophobic slurs, and gun violence.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    How is this the first book I've finished in 2021? 😅 This was so good! And the art was amazing (shout out to my girl Robyn for killing the art)! How is this the first book I've finished in 2021? 😅 This was so good! And the art was amazing (shout out to my girl Robyn for killing the art)!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Good retelling of Nubia’s origin and her connection to Wonder Woman. Grounded in a high school setting that illustrates many issues young black women face these days, this ogn shows Nubia gaining confidence and making the choice to stand up for what’s right even if it reveals her secret and puts her in danger.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dead Sirius

    Content warning: racism, police brutality/discrimination, attempted sexual assault, school shooting I absolutely loved Nubia as a character. She was strong in more ways than just her superpowers. I think her fight to become a good citizen/friend/person is something that could resonate with a lot of readers. With so many of the topics described in this comic book the are on the news these days, this story could be a good starting point on how young (and older) readers can stand up and fight for ca Content warning: racism, police brutality/discrimination, attempted sexual assault, school shooting I absolutely loved Nubia as a character. She was strong in more ways than just her superpowers. I think her fight to become a good citizen/friend/person is something that could resonate with a lot of readers. With so many of the topics described in this comic book the are on the news these days, this story could be a good starting point on how young (and older) readers can stand up and fight for causes black Americans have been fighting for so long. In addition to Nubia, I also adored her moms. You could feel their love for Nubia just power through the words and art. They gave great advice to Nubia that a lot of people can use in their own lives, not just secret superheroes. Nubia's friends and love interest were also a joy. I loved the use of pink and purple palettes throughout the book. It showed LL McKiney and Robyn Smith weren't afraid of having a female superhero as their protagonist. I also enjoyed seeing how much diversity there was in the comic book. There wasn't just racial diversity, but also lots of different types of body types and skin tones. I felt like both KcKiney and Smith wanted to showcase all the ways that people can be different but also be part of the comic book genre. I also enjoyed the small details that truly tied this story together like the matching PJs of the moms and the incredible outfits everyone wore (shout out to Quisha and Oscar;s outfits).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dead Sirius

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Content warning: racism, police brutality/discrimination, attempted sexual assault, school shooting I absolutely loved Nubia as a character. She was strong in more ways than just her superpowers. I think her fight to become a good citizen/friend/person is something that could resonate with a lot of readers. With so many of the topics described in this comic book the are on the news these days, this story could be a go I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Content warning: racism, police brutality/discrimination, attempted sexual assault, school shooting I absolutely loved Nubia as a character. She was strong in more ways than just her superpowers. I think her fight to become a good citizen/friend/person is something that could resonate with a lot of readers. With so many of the topics described in this comic book the are on the news these days, this story could be a good starting point on how young (and older) readers can stand up and fight for causes black Americans have been fighting for so long. In addition to Nubia, I also adored her moms. You could feel their love for Nubia just power through the words and art. They gave great advice to Nubia that a lot of people can use in their own lives, not just secret superheroes. Nubia's friends and love interest were also a joy. I loved the use of pink and purple palettes throughout the book. It showed LL McKiney and Robyn Smith weren't afraid of having a female superhero as their protagonist. I also enjoyed seeing how much diversity there was in the comic book. There wasn't just racial diversity, but also lots of different types of body types and skin tones. I felt like both KcKiney and Smith wanted to showcase all the ways that people can be different but also be part of the comic book genre. I also enjoyed the small details that truly tied this story together like the matching PJs of the moms and the incredible outfits everyone wore (shout out to Quisha and Oscar;s outfits).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “Bet that lady wouldn’t call the cops on Superman.” — Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith First things first, I have to say that I adore the team up of L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith. This is my official campaign to get more of Nubia in a long running series because seriously it is visually stunning and written wonderfully. From the moment I saw the cover of Nubia: Real One, I was in awe and knew I had to read it. She is one of DC’s first Black female superheroes and it was so ridicul “Bet that lady wouldn’t call the cops on Superman.” — Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith First things first, I have to say that I adore the team up of L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith. This is my official campaign to get more of Nubia in a long running series because seriously it is visually stunning and written wonderfully. From the moment I saw the cover of Nubia: Real One, I was in awe and knew I had to read it. She is one of DC’s first Black female superheroes and it was so ridiculous to me that I hadn’t even heard of Nubia until last year. However, from the moment I saw her rendered by Smith, I had such a yearning to know her story and to understand why I hadn’t read about her before. Her character has been done dirty in the past, and I am so happy this duo is rectifying her legacy. Prior to the book’s release, I was blessed to win a signed copy from L.L. McKinney herself, and I treasure it so much! Nubia L’Shae Johnson is one of my new favorite superheroes and now one of my all-time favorite characters. In this graphic novel, she is a high school teen who’s struggled for years because she has been forced to hide a part of herself—a very powerful part of herself—while people belittle and try to out her. In a world where Wonder Woman is adored, her equal, Nubia, is seen as a threat. Nubia wields Amazonian strength within her, but also the generational power of the Black women who came before her. In times when people are vulnerable, Nubia chooses to stand up to various forces that already work against her as a Black teen girl. From cops to privileged white boys, Nubia is supported by her loved ones, including her Moms; her friends Jason and Quisha; and her crush Oscar. I absolutely adore graphic novels and superhero tales, so this book spoke to my heart and frankly gave me so much more than any other superhero story I’ve read before. The thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever been privy to a superhero that cares about racial injustice. Certainly none of the white heroes we all know have time to defend the lives of Black and Brown people since they’re too busy building robots and fighting aliens, I guess? Nubia just felt so immediate because, although I love the idea of a caped superhero, writers don’t usually portray them confronting the very real problems we deal with today. Sometimes I just want to see my heroes fighting people that have corrupted our world. Villains don’t always gotta be some maniacal force; sometimes it’s a white boy who’s been handed the world. There has been a lot of pushback on this graphic novel because people can’t believe that a ‘regular white person’ can be an antagonist in this way, especially toward a superhero. Nubia is just a teen girl trying to live her life. Simply going out with her friends gives her anxiety, which shouldn’t be the case. I love how real her struggles are, and at the same time, it pains me to read the microaggressions and straight-up racism spewed at her and her friend, Quisha. Nubia is so huge, and I’m happy some people are uncomfortable reading it…because they should be. No one should sit there and be okay with Wayland. He’s a bigot, he’s violent, and he’s racist. I can’t even convey how much I truly appreciate the way that this story was handled. It’s so powerful and close-knit and warm, but still definitely scary. I was so frightened for the teens in this book ‘cause we all know what happens to Brown and Black kids; just us existing is a “threat.” I’m not sure I can remember a time when I saw a school lock-down brought to the page, but Robyn Smith’s art so beautifully and clearly conveys the shifting tones and emotions of each of the characters, making them just jump off the page. It was like an alarm in my chest, and I zoomed through certain scenes just to see what would happen, and to see their persistence amidst so much chaos. So, I really love the characters in Nubia: Real One. They were all so dynamically designed and overall Robyn Smith has a stunning art style (please support her other work!). Nubia is fully-realized as being awkward and unsure, but also passionate and bold. Most importantly, she is so much of her own being and NOT a “Black version” of Wonder Woman, which means so much to me. I’m tired of having my favorite BIPOC character be diminished to being the [BLANK] version of some oversaturated white character. When it comes to other characters, Nubia’s moms are so loving. I enjoy reading stories where the parents are very involved in their children’s lives and where the love between them as partners is shown. It’s so sweet and I want more of both of them. Then there’s Jason and Quisha who are so fun. Quisha is especially so great because of the way she represents so many teen activists who are changing our world as we know it. But, why are teens saving the world? Nubia is a fictional character, but take away her Amazonian powers and she still is a super brave Black girl taking on the brunt of so much because no one else will simply stand up. We owe Black women the world, but they shouldn’t have to be doing all the work for change. Black women and girls should see themselves as heroes because for years they have been exactly that; but they shouldn’t have to be the loudest voices in the room. We should all work to actively protect them because they deserve so much more. From the dialogue to the color palette and tone, this graphic novel serves as the true Nubia story we always needed. To DC fans and my fellow nerds, please stop romanticizing and idealizing characters like The Joker when we should all be praising Nubia as well as the writers and artists who made room for a character like her to be seen! Give Nubia the love she deserves because we deserve more of her! Content Warnings for Nubia: Real One: Police violence, gun violence, misogynoir, racism, sexual assault, sexism Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, author interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    'Can you be a hero...if society doesn't see you as a person?' A bold, brilliant and hugely relevant DC comic by L.L. McKinney, the author of the 'A Blade So Black' YA series. What can I say? What hasn't already been said by dozens of other reviewers on why 'Nubia: Real One' is so good? Read it, be entertained, and learn something. Let western society and culture learn something through its thick, stubborn and toxic skull already. This super comic about a black teenage girl, Nubia L'Shae Johnson, li 'Can you be a hero...if society doesn't see you as a person?' A bold, brilliant and hugely relevant DC comic by L.L. McKinney, the author of the 'A Blade So Black' YA series. What can I say? What hasn't already been said by dozens of other reviewers on why 'Nubia: Real One' is so good? Read it, be entertained, and learn something. Let western society and culture learn something through its thick, stubborn and toxic skull already. This super comic about a black teenage girl, Nubia L'Shae Johnson, living in America, who happens to have superpowers - which she must hide from the public eye for reasons that don't apply to white superheroes - is about fighting the system. The system of racism, misogyny and misogynoir. It really hammers home the truth of how black people are viewed as a threat no matter what they do. Hell, even when they literally do nothing. No matter how scared those in the black community are, no matter how hard they try to adhere to the "rules" of living safely, they will still be called "uncooperative", and so deserve to die, according to the police. For Nubia, being a tall black girl in the land of "truth, justice, and the American way" is intimidating to white people (who won't see her as what she truly is - just a kid); but being one with super strength will make her appear as even less than human to the white patriarchal society. Even if the good, noble-hearted girl wants to be a hero, to be like Wonder Woman, they would not let her. Never mind whether she saves lives, they would not want her. They would sooner see her dead. With nothing outside of her circle of parents and close friends to show that she is welcomed and loved, Nubia is forced to hate herself. The white supremacist patriarchy makes her think she is broken for existing ("I'm sorry I'm like this. I wish I wasn't! I wish I wasn't broken. [...] I can't turn it off...I'm sorry you're stuck with me." - one of the most heartbreaking lines). When she could be a great hero. So it's seriously fucked up, racism and misogynoir, isn't it? Thank you so much, 'Nubia: Real One', for tackling issues such as police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, protesting against racist law enforcement, gun violence, school shootings, white male privilege, male entitlement, toxic masculinity, sexual assault, and threats and violence towards women that is kept hidden and quiet by the patriarchy. Thank you for giving rich white male arsehole characters the accountability and punishment they deserve, as well. Those who are obsessive, violent, insane and deadly in their bigotry do heartbreakingly exist. They are the monsters in society, those sociopaths and psychopaths who hold absolute power and sway in their communities. We will not stand for this bullshit any longer. And I'm glad DC seems to agree. Everything is political. Nothing happens in a vacuum, nor in a narrowminded, ignorant bubble. To be "woke" is simply to know and do better. To educate. To upgrade. To progress, for the sake of everyone. I'd never heard of Nubia before. I never knew that she was a pre-existing character in the DC universe before picking up her new solo comic. I knew nothing about her origin, which I won't dare spoil in this review. For me the surprise revelation of her true identity was a thing of tearful beauty. But what I love most is that Nubia is not defined by her origins. At best it is a footnote in her story. She will not be compared to any white superhero. She is her own magnificent and real person. She is a hero in her own right. Other examples of representation include: Nubia's two mums, who mean well in their overprotection of their daughter, and are clearly very much in love with each other; and Oscar, Nubia's love interest, who is Hispanic, and has a feminine appearance to him. The thing is, though, in the comic's Black Lives Matter protest march scene, Oscar wears a shirt that says Stop Killing Black Trans Women. Another protester wears a shirt that says Black Trans Lives Matter. There is no other reference to the trans community in the whole comic. Oscar isn't hinted to be trans. Maybe he isn't? I'm not sure. I only wish for more overt rep for that violently marginalised group as well. It would have made 'Nubia: Real One' all the more perfect. A few more of the best lines in the comic, in an exchange between mother and daughter: "People like Wayland are dangerous. They're used to getting their way, no matter who gets hurt. A lot of the time, they do the hurting." "Nubia. I know I say you should be careful because of how the world perceives you...But that perception is their problem, not yours." "Baby...none of this is fair. Not Wayland. Not the cops. Not having to hide who you are, or deal with people who would likely set themselves on fire if it meant watching you burn. More importantly, none of it is your fault." "[...] And don't you let anyone make you feel you need to throw pieces of yourself away to be part of this world. You be you. All of you, all the time. Everyone else will deal with it." "I don't feel very heroic." "True heroes seldom do." 'Nubia: Real One' is the graphic novel equivalent of Angie Thomas's 'The Hate U Give'. And like 'THUG', it's also incredibly sweet, touching and relatable, to go alongside its heavy subject matters. Nubia is the realest heroine DC has right now. She is beautiful and amazing, and deserves praise and exposure and recognition of the highest order in mainstream pop culture. She is who we need. Final Score: 4.5/5

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