365 Reasons to Love Comics #41
There are too many prospects for a Black History Month spotlight. This can only be a good thing. Today’s featured character, however, has had only a few appearances, and isn’t really that great. So why does she appear in this list? Find out after the fold.
Nubia is the black version of Wonder Woman. See, turns out Hippolyta created two babies out of clay, and Nubia was the one made out of “dark clay.” But Mars stole her, so everyone promptly forgot she existed. She returned, though, to claim the title of Wonder Woman.
Why does she exist? Two words: Robert Kanigher.
Nubia has a silly and racist name. She hails from the era immediately after our favorite I-Ching-filled “New Wonder Woman” run. She’s only had a handful of appearances. So why is she a reason to love comics?
Well, that panel helps. Heh. “My sister the sister!”
I’m a big fan of potential– especially unrealized potential. Nubia has lots of it. She could do with a name change, though. Honestly. “Nubia?” Sigh.
A black Wonder Woman could mean something important to the right group of people, though. Besides, Nubia is infinitely more interesting than Artemis or Donna Troy (yeah, I went there).
She has abandonment issues due to the cirumstances of her birth/creation. She’s got a claim to the Wonder Woman title. She’s had her own MEGO figure! That used to mean something, didn’t it?
Post-Crisis, she’s had a couple short appearances, the first of which was during the JLApe crossover, of all things. As “Nu’Bia” (like that makes a difference) she’s a lost precursor to Wonder Woman, with ties to Zoroastrianism (she dated Ahura Mazda) and some powers from the Gorgons (she can turn you to stone if she wants). Hey, she’s more powerful than Diana, in a lot of ways.
There’s just so much potential there! Nubia could be an important member of Wonder Woman’s supporting cast. Hell, she could hold her own book. She just needs to get rid of that name. Any suggestions?
But yeah. I’d bring her back if I wrote Wonder Woman. Of course, I’d also bring back I-Ching, Egg Fu, and Dr. Domino. Your mileage may vary.
Reconcile her Pre- and Post-Crisis versions into something new. Give her a new name. Cast away her racist, written-by-old-white-guys-in-the-old-days background and make her a cool, powerful Amazon with a story worthy of telling. And then, bam, you’ve got yourself a new superheroine deserving of her own title. These things aren’t that hard.
And make her date Tyroc (okay, maybe not; but I had to fit him in somewhere. Tyroc is hilarious and awesome, but probably not a Reason to Love Comics. Maybe a Reason to Like Comics or a Reason to Get a Kick Out of Comics, but that’s some other gigantic yearlong column).