Will Nubia ever be a Leading Lady? Nubia: Wonder Woman’s very Underrated Sibling

Will Nubia ever be a Leading Lady? Nubia: Wonder Woman’s very Underrated Sibling

Super Friends Issue #25 (1979).    Artist: Ramona Fradon

Super Friends Issue #25 (1979).  Artist: Ramona Fradon

What if I told you that Wonder Woman had a sister? Would you be in shock? Now what if I told you she was brown skinned, brown eyed, black haired, 6 foot, 155 lbs and every bit as strong as Wonder Woman? You would probably fall off the edge of your seat. Well brace yourself because she is and like the Wonder Woman we all know and love, Nubia is every bit of a badass black woman.

Creation and Early Training

Nubia and Princess Diana aka Wonder Woman were brought to life by The Amazon Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira. The difference from them was that Nubia was made from black clay while her sister, Wonder woman, was made from white clay. Although, both were made from Queen Hippolyta, Nubia was stolen by Ares, the God of War. This altered her powers and therefore she wasn't given the same powers as her sister from the gods Aphrodite, Hercules, Mercury and Athena.

Under Ares guidance however, Nubia had a similar upbringing to Wonder Woman. Still raised to be a warrior, Ares trained her as Queen Hippolyta trained Wonder Woman and to insure Nubia’s complete loyalty to him, Ares gave her a special ring to keep her mind clouded.

  Wonder Woman Vol 1: #204 (January 1973)

  Wonder Woman Vol 1: #204 (January 1973)

When Nubia's training was over, she proclaimed the title of Wonder Woman for herself. Nubia would later become the ruler of a nation of all men on a floating island known as Slaughter Island. In Wonder Women #205, on her mist-concealed floating island, two men claimed the right to fight for her, citing the "law of the Floating Island.” Declaring "No man will ever own Nubia!" she fights one of the men herself and ends up defeating him. When she had the opportunity to kill her opponent she refused stating “A women does not destroy life she cherishes it”, showing Nubia’s cultural ties with her amazonian roots.

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It wouldn't be until years later, that Diana and Nubia would meet. With both of them claiming the title of Wonder Woman and after several battles with each other, Wonder Woman was able to release Nubia from Ares control by using the heat of the sun to reflect off Nubia's bracelets causing the ring to expand and fall off. Nubia, defying Ares, optioned to lead her warriors to the ways of peace. It was then that Queen Hippolyte revealed the truth: Nubia was Diana's sister!

It’s easy to see that Wonder Woman and Nubia are indeed sisters right down to their choice of costumes. Nubia wears a gold disc with a red feather in the top center. A blue, strapless, legless bodysuit with yellow ovals over the breasts. A pair of white gauntlets, over which are a pair of Amazon bracelets and finally tall yellow boots with the top edges folded down.

In addition to her costume Nubia is a weapon master, trained in the way of swordsmanship and marksmanship. Also, don't think Nubia can’t hold her own in a fight of unarmed combat, she's also a master with those hands as well. Along with her superhuman strength, durability, reflexes, speed, agility, super hearing, advanced healing, increased stamina, telepathy, ability to fly, immortality and hundreds of years of demon killing, why we didn't we hear about her sooner? The only known weakness Nubia has is a vulnerability to projectile weapons.

Can Nubia be even more badass?, check this out... she also possesses a magical sword created by Ares which is the only weapon on Earth that could counteract Wonder Woman’s magical lasso.

Why is Nubia getting little press and why is it that some of us are just finding out about her now? When Nubia was first featured into the comic book world, In the early 1970’s (known as the Bronze Age of Comic Books) there was a substantial rise in black superheroes. Prior to the 70's,  Black Panther and Falcon were the only notable non-white superheroes at the time. Fast forward to the early 1970’s, we're introduced to Marvel’s Luke Cage, Storm, Blade and Monica Rambeau while DC gave us Green Lantern's John Stewart, The Bronze Tiger, Black Lightning, Vixen and Cyborg. Nubia had a lot more competition than just Wonder Woman, especially when some of the characters mentioned became more popular and important as time progressed. By the mid 80’s John Stewart, Storm and Cyborg became the new faces of black comic books leaving Nubia unable to leave her own mark in the comic book industry.

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Nubia is now getting a lot of attention because her sister, Diana, is now getting the spotlight. When “Wonder Woman” released in June 2017, fans came out demanding that Nubia be featured in future Wonder Woman projects or have her own movie. 

Why we need Nubia

Nubia is good for the comic book industry, especially for African Americans because it shows that woman, especially woman of color, could be just as powerful and God-like as Wonder Woman. Additionally, the comic book industry caters to a particular demographic when you take into consideration that the majority of faces in lead roles aren't of color. Instead of Superman or Batman, fans would be delighted to see a different hero fighting for truth and justice. The “Wonder Woman” movie was proof of that as comic book fans from all corners rejoiced seeing a female character, different from the typical male superheroes at DC, fight the good fight.

Additionally, minority heroes are in high demand. A notable example is Miles Morales aka Spider-Man of Earth 1610. Following Peter Parker’s death at the hands of the Green Goblin, An Afro-Hispanic teenage name Miles Morales became the second Spider Man shortly after he was also bitten by a genetically engineered spider and given similar powers to those of Peter Parker. Even before the character’s official debut in Ultimate Fallout #4, the character gained a lot of media attention with many people feeling a person of color as Spider Man would set a positive example for minority readers, particularly children. Should we also discuss the Black Panther coming out in February 2018?

Furthermore, Nubia would be great to feature in movies because she is literally a black warrior-queen full of awesomeness. Let's examine the list: 

  • Nubia is both physically beautiful and mentally sharp otherwise she wouldn't have an entire nation of men fighting over her or the brains to lead them.
  • She does not need a man to define her. She actually bested her sister Wonder Woman in combat which is a feat few people have done.
  • In an alternate DC Universe, she protects the entrance of the river Styx and Tartarus gate for hundreds of years and does so effectively.
  • In DC Universe Earth 23, she is one of the world’s leaders.

Put all that together and people who are not even comic book fans would be interested in seeing a minority woman in a lead superhero role kicking ass and taking names.

In conclusion, if your looking for a kick ass empowering minority woman in comics to get excited about, Nubia is that character. This is in no way to discredit Wonder Woman and her amazing feats, but characters like Nubia demonstrate that there’s room in the DC Universe for more than one hardcore lead superhero. Although Nubia is not getting the same attention from mainstream media like Wonder Woman, with a large number of supporters growing on social media, she will soon rise through the ranks of the DC Universe to be one of the best characters in their lineup. 

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