Illustrated by Robyn Smith
Nubia and her friends are hanging outside the local convenience store, sharing or bemoaning how they will spend their upcoming summer vacation. Oscar shows up, someone Nubia likes, and the other two make a quick retreat. Nubia psyches herself up to talk to her crush, but the store is held up by robbers at gunpoint. When Oscar is threatened by a gunman, Nubia does the only thing she can think of to save his life: throw an ATM at the perpetrators. But this breaks one of the cardinal rules of her moms: don’t use her superpowers, and definitely don’t do it in front of people and/or cameras. Amera and Danielle, Nubia’s moms, go into damage control to see if this is another situation where they need to up and move. Instead, they stick it out with the help from someone special from Prince Securities. This kicks off a series of decisions where Nubia acts against her moms’ rules, but usually only in order to protect someone she cares about. Nubia has to come to terms with her abilities and the responsibilities they bring, all while figuring out who she wants to be.
Some of the stories in the DC Graphic Novels for Kids line have been a little light on the superpowers, but Nubia did not disappoint in that regard. There were plenty of high-powered moments while there were still plenty of moments making the character relatable. So many teens struggle with identity and figuring out their place in the world - Nubia just also has to figure out her superpowers on top of it. This was definitely one of the line of books from DC that would fit easily in a school graphic novel collection, especially for readers who are not yet ready to completely dive head-first into superhero comics.
Smith's illustrations are more in line with graphic novels geared towards young adults, but seasoned comicbook readers might find them a little unpolished. Hidden in the lack of atmospheric detail is a lot of coloring specifically chosen for situations and character moods. There is a lot of nuance in these pages for those willing to stop and smell the roses a bit with each page.
While this is a book branded for "young adults", the question of consent and a certain gentleman forcing himself upon one of Nubia's friends makes this a title more suited for high school audiences.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
ISBN: 9781401296407 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Action Adventure, Superheroes, Family, School Life, Romance, Friendship, DC Comics
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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