Nubia: Real One

by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith
Support your local independent bookstore: Buy it there!
Content: There is some violence and an instance of sexual assault. It’s in the graphic novel section of the bookstore.

I’ll be upfront about this: I haven’t loved a superhero comic this much since Ms. Marvel. I love Nubia and everything about her, from her moms, to her desire to do the right thing, to her friends, and pretty much everything.

Nubia knows she’s different, stronger, faster, but she’s always had to hide it her entire life. But now that she’s 17, she is tired of being shut in all the tme. She’s conflicted though: kids who look like her are usually portrayed as perpetrators, not the heroes. But, when her best friend is assaulted, Nubia makes a tough decision to step towards her destiny and embrace who she knows she is.

I loved this one, effortlessly blending the injustices towards Black kids by the police, white anger (and white privilege), and a story about a girl trying to find her way together. The art was sometimes rough, but the story made up for it. I am so happy I finally read this, and I can’t wait for more!

More Lumberjanes

lumberjanes2Lumberjanes, Vol 2: Friendship to the Max
Lumberjanes, Vol 3: A Terrible Plan
by Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
Support your local independent bookstore: buy vol 2 here, and buy vol 3 here!
Content: There’s some violence, a bit of kissing, but mostly, it’s okay for ages 10 and up. It’s in the teen graphic novel section of the bookstore.
Others in the series: Beware the Kitten Holy

A, K, and I all fell head over heels for the Lumberjanes, so we ran out and go volumes 2 and 3 in quick succession. Both are individual story arcs in their own right, so it’s┬áreally not something you need to read in order (though I suppose it helps). In Friendship, our illustrious Lumberjanes find out that there’s a Greek God in their midst, one whose set upon causing mischief, and they have to figure out how to stop them. It’s definitely my favorite of the three; there’s a ton of humor and action, and Jen (their illustrious cabin leader) even gets to play a pivotal role.

However, none of us really got into a Terrible Plan all that much. Mal and Molly are off on a picnic and end up following the Bear Lady down a portal into another dimension. They’re off trying to figure out their relationship (and how to get back) while the others are trying to earn badges. That, actually, was my favorite part: April, Jo, and Ripley trying to decorate cakes, make beds, dance, and just do Anything that doesn’t involve the Supernatural. Pretty funny stuff. But the art changed, and it while doesn’t seem like that should really make a difference, it did. It was more difficult to get into the story line, and to connect with the characters when they didn’t look like they were supposed to.

Maybe that’s nitpicking, and I’ll probably check out the next Lumberjanes (assuming there is one). But, the first two volumes are definitely the best.