Written by Vita Ayala and Stephanie Williams, Art by Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, and Emilio Lopez, Lettering by Becca Carey
In the Prelude to Trial of the Amazons, Stephanie Williams and Vita Ayala create a new chapter for Nubia that expands her canonical story even further. Gone are the days when she was only considered to be the “Black Wonder Woman” – Nubia now has the chance to stand in her own glory and story. The series has a stacked and diverse crew behind it – all are Black and/or Latinx, a standard that is still relatively new in the comics world. To ensure that this story is crafted by the people with lived experiences and identities that mirror the character, Nubia is given the chance at an authentic perspective in her world. Because let’s face it – even Themyscira has its sociological issues.
The first book titled Paradise Lost begins at the Well of Souls. The story of Nubia’s arrival in Themyscira from the Well awakens the Queen from her sleep. There is a notion that something awful is about to happen. The Well, which reincarnates women’s souls into Themyscira is the portal for all of the Amazons who were killed by men in Man’s World. Not too long after she is awakened, Nubia is informed that the seal of the Well is opening. New Amazons are due in the Kingdom, and Nubia is adamant about welcoming them. The majority of the newcomers are Black women and women of color, and their backstory seems to connect them with Nubia. One of the incredibly amazing features of this new story is Bia, a Black trans woman who is a newcomer to Themyscira. The fact that a Black trans woman is native to Themyscira is of huge importance, as trans people are fighting for their basic human rights in the real world. The message is clear, trans women are very much welcome in this fictional world.
Book #2, Pride of A Lion jump-starts the drama on the island, the Door to Doomsday is finally opening. It is finally understood that the opening of the Well is sealed, and the arrival of Nubia is connected to this ill fate. After asking the Goddesses for assistance, it is clear that Nubia is responsible for figuring out the first challenge of the reign of her own accord. A young Amazon named Clio is on the hunt for Nubia, being possessed by a Medusa-like figure. It can only be assumed that this possession will lead to a huge confrontation but since the series is only on issue #3 (recently released), much is left to be discovered.
The series (since its premiere) has been lauded as a stepping stone towards diverse storytelling and authentic representation of much-loved characters. While Nubia’s story has evolved over the years, the surge of life given to her by Williams and Ayala has proven that the need for Black and trans voices has been long overdue. Ayala, who is nonbinary and Afro-Latinx, has been making strides in the comic industry for some time and the combining of forces with Williams is nonetheless revolutionary.
As we head into 2022, it is important to remember that the stories we are witnessing today have been in the works for decades. Black and POC writers are finding more opportunities to create narratives that are familiar to our own respective experiences. While the pace is slow-moving, Nubia and the Amazons is blazing a trail for more doors to open for others who are craving to craft their worlds and characters.
Nubia and The Amazons #1, #2, and #3 are available now.