Nubia (comics)

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Nubia / Nu'Bia

Nu'Bia from Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #154.
Art by John McCrea.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Nubia:
Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #204, (January 1973)
Nu'Bia:
Wonder Woman (vol. 2) Annual #8, (1999)
Created by Nubia:
Robert Kanigher (writer)
Don Heck (artist)
Nu'Bia:
Doselle Young (writer)
Brian Denham (artist)
In-story information
Species Amazon
Place of origin Themyscira
Notable aliases Wonder Woman
Abilities All the powers of Wonder Woman. Nu'Bia also possesses the ability to open dimensional portals and a paralyzing "Cold Sight".

Nubia is a fictional character, a comic book superheroine published by DC Comics. The original Nubia was created by Robert Kanigher and Don Heck, she debuted in Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #204, (January 1973). The modern character named Nu'Bia was created by Doselle Young and Brian Denham, she debuted in Wonder Woman Annual (vol. 2) #8 (1999).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Nubia[edit]

Formed from clay as a twin to Diana (Wonder Woman), the dark skinned Nubia was kidnapped by Mars, who raised her, controlling her mind so that she would help him bring down the Amazons.[1]

After a session in the Amazon Memory banks, Diana is confronted by an armored female warrior who challenges her to single combat. The two initially wrestle, then face each other with swords. Diana and the intruder seem evenly matched until the intruder knocks the sword from Diana's hands, and then hesitates to kill her, giving Diana the chance to wrestle her to a draw.[1]

The stranger declares "I am Nubia!", then she and Diana embrace. Queen Hippolyta wonders if this was the same Nubia who was to be raised as Diana's sister.

Nubia greets Diana,
art by Ramona Fradon.

Nubia leaves the Amazons and returns to her mist concealed Floating Island (named Slaughter Island by Mars). She tells Diana that they will meet again and one of them will be proven the true Wonder Woman. She eventually does return, and reiterates her claim to the title of Wonder Woman. Hippolyta tells her, "Aye, Nubia, that is the law. Anyone may challenge my daughter's right to that title. Until then may I wish that you find favor in wise Hera's eyes as you already have in mine?" Later on she puts down a challenge to her rule by one of the male warriors of Slaughter Island, she defeats the man but lets him live, stating that "A woman doesn't destroy life, she cherishes it!".[1]

The next appearance of Nubia came in Supergirl (vol. 1 #9) December (1973) written by Robert Kanigher. In the story Supergirl is made an honorary Amazon. Later when it is discovered that Nubia is suffering from a mutated shark poisoning, Hippolyta sends Kara to retrieve a rare root needed to cure her.[1]

In Super Friends #25 October (1979), Wonder Woman, who is temporarily under the control of the evil Overlord, is seen attempting to liberate the oppressed women of the African continent. She tells them that men still treat women as if they were possessions and it's time for women to stand up to men, with Wonder Woman as leader. But Diana is interrupted by Nubia. Nubia tells her to back off and they fight, eventually the Overlord is defeated and they part as friends.[1]

Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

In 1985 DC Comics introduced the storyline Crisis on Infinite Earths. By this story's end the entire DC Universe was erased and restarted with a clean slate. As such the pre-Crisis version of Nubia ceased to exist.

Nu'Bia[edit]

Sometime after Crisis a new version of Nubia, now called Nu'Bia, was introduced. When Nu'Bia first meets Diana, she mistakenly calls Diana by the name of her former queen "Antiope". Nu'Bia is only slightly surprised to discover that Diana is Antiope's niece. The woman identifies herself to Diana as Nu'Bia and says that she was a Themyscirian Amazon who won the "Tournament of Grace and Wonder" just as Diana previously had, and become the Amazons' first champion. Her assigned mission was to guard "Doom's Doorway", which is an entrance to the river Styx and the Tartarus Gate on Themyscira. Entering Doom's Doorway she was to guard the entryway from the inside, stopping anyone from entering or any creature from escaping. As Diana was never told of Nu'Bia it is assumed that the Themyscirian Amazons assumed she perished during her mission long before Diana's birth. Sometime during her time in Hell, Nu'bia explains she met the Zoroastrian god of light, Ahura Mazda, and became his lover.[1] She also explains that on another adventure where she aided Gorgons, she was given the ability called Cold Sight which allows her to transform any living being into stone as a gift of gratitude from the Gorgons. After aiding Wonder Woman with her mission Nu'Bia then returns to the underworld to see Ahura Mazda.

The next time Nu'Bia is shown, an elevator in a Las Vegas hotel suddenly manifests a golden metal lion insignia. When Diana investigates this strange occurrence, Nu'Bia steps out of the elevator. She says, "Many leagues from the kingdom of light have I traveled. Through the province of Nox and the territory of shades have I hunted the demon-king Ahriman. Finally, to track him here, to Patriarch's World... to my ancient faraway home. How passing strange it is then, Princess, that I should find you here, as well."[1]

The demon Ahriman murdered Ahura Mazda, and carved his heart from his body. Nu'Bia has come back to earth in search of Ahriman, hoping that she can retrieve the heart and revive her lover. The last we see of Nu'Bia, she has Ahriman in her possession and rides an elevator back to Hades to revive her beloved.[1]

Other versions[edit]

Earth-23[edit]

Renee Montoya ventures forth with Earth-5's Captain Marvel in an attempt to recruit each universe's equivalent of Superman to join Nix Uotan's Army of Heaven on Earth-Zero (the primary DC Earth). The beginning of the issue illustrates their visit to a universe where a black Superman is apparently the President of the United States. This Superman confers with a black Wonder Woman, whom he refers to as Nubia. This Nubia is apparently one of the "Wonder Women of Amazonia", and she uses a relic called the Wonder Horn to summon Renee and the others into her world.[2]

This version of Nubia later reappears as a member of her Earth's Justice League, with her Earth officially revealed as Earth-23 in the new Multiverse.[3]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Nubia possessed a magic sword created by Mars which was the only weapon on Earth that could counteract Diana's magic lasso.[citation needed] She could also glide on air currents like Wonder Woman and possessed super-strength as well as all other Amazon abilities.[citation needed]

Post-Crisis[edit]

Nu'Bia wears special magical armor with a raised embossed lion's head on its breastplate. Nu'Bia has been shown traveling back and forth to Hades at will, and from there to other mythological realms. Typically when she is about to appear at a new location the lion's head on her armor appears as part of the doorway, suggesting that the armor may be the source of this ability. In honor of an ancient pact, the Gorgons of the underworld blessed Nu'Bia with the Cold Sight, which allows her to turn anyone to stone. She carries an unspecified magic sword.[4]

Nu'Bia has 3,000 years of combat experience providing her expertise in both hand to hand combat as well as with hand held weapons. As a Themyscirian Amazon she also possesses immortality that allows her to live indefinitely in a youthful form, but does leave her open to potential injury and death depending on her actions.[5] She also possesses enhanced strength and intelligence. As shown by fellow members of her tribe, she has the capability to break apart steel and concrete with her bare hands,[6] jump over 12 feet from a standing position,[7] has a high durability factor,[8] enhanced healing,[9] and the ability to absorb and process a vast amount of knowledge in a short period of time.[10]

Nu'Bia, in addition to the other Themyscirian Amazons, possesses the ability to relieve her body of physical injury and toxins by becoming one with the Earth's soil and then reforming her body whole again.[9] The first time Diana does this she prays to her god Gaea saying: "Gaea, I pray to you. Grant me your strength. You are the Earth who suckled me, who nurtured and bred me. Through you all life is renewed. The circle which never ends. I pray you, mother Gaea, take me into your bosom. Please, let me be worthy." During writer John Byrne's time on the comic it was stated that this is a very sacred ritual to the Themyscirians, only to be used in the most dire of circumstances.[11]

In other media[edit]

1977 Nubia doll. Property of the Mego Corporation.
  • In 1975, actress Teresa Graves of ABC's (by-then cancelled) Get Christie Love! was favored by executives of ABC's then very successful Wonder Woman television series to play the superheroine's black sister,[citation needed] but the series moved to CBS in 1977, before the character ever appeared on the show. That same year, the Mego Corporation produced a Nubia doll to tie-in with the show, advertised as "Wonder Woman's super-foe." Wearing a gladiator-styled costume modeled on one that Graves would have worn in the series, and resembling a uniform Nubia wore in the comic book, the doll was also given a white streak of hair as a dramatic touch to her otherwise black hair.[citation needed]
  • In the Season Two episode, "Knockout", after the show's move to CBS, actress Jayne Kennedy played a black female adventurer, with no apparent connection to Nubia or her Amazon island.
  • Although Nubia never appeared in the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series, a character with a similar background did appear shortly before in the 1974 Wonder Woman television movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby. In the film, written and produced by John D. F. Black and following more of a spy-adventure continuity than the comic-book one, a fellow Amazon named Ahnjayla left Paradise Island and became a nemesis of Wonder Woman. Ahnjayla was played by actress Anitra Ford, who was one of the original Barker's Beauties on The Price Is Right.
  • Nubia makes a cameo appearance in the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game during Wonder Woman's story mode chapter.

Bibliography[edit]

Nubia[edit]

Nu'Bia[edit]

  • Wonder Woman Annual (vol. 2) #8
  • Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #154-155
  • Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #188 (cameo)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h The Illustrated Nubia Index
  2. ^ Final Crisis #7
  3. ^ Action Comics (vol. 2) #9
  4. ^ Wonder Woman Annual (vol. 2) #8 (September 1999)
  5. ^ Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #1
  6. ^ Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #59
  7. ^ Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #57
  8. ^ Wonder Woman: Our Worlds at War #1
  9. ^ a b Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #30
  10. ^ Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #3
  11. ^ Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #120
  12. ^ Wonder Woman index

External links[edit]