“There were pieces of Nubia that was already there…you had an idea of who she was and who she could be,” Williams says. “It was leaning into who she could be with those foundational pieces. She was someone that was clearly extremely confident because how do you you just roll up on Diana, Wonder Woman herself, and say, ‘Hey, you have what’s mine, and I want to challenge you for it’ and actually, seemingly beats her but has to go back.”
DC continuity being an ever-shifting multiversal river meant that Williams, co-writer Vita Ayala, and artist Alitha Martinez had the opportunity to reinvent Nubia’s story for modern readers.
“When we were tasked with changing her origin, I was nervous about that,” Williams says. “How do you make this character stand on her own, but with respect for where she comes from? She’s still Diana’s sister, but not in the same way. I wanted folks, by the time they got done with the first series [Nubia & The Amazons] to say, ‘okay, that’s new.’”
Today’s Nubia may have a different origin story, but is no less badass. Her sisterhood with Diana is less literal, but she’s still a worthy champion of the Amazons, one who must spend her time guarding a mysterious (and deadly) dimensional portal on Themyscira. In other words, her career has been just as long and accomplished as Wonder Woman’s, readers just haven’t experienced those adventures with her yet.
“I [realized] the best thing for this character is probably going to be to treat her as though she’s been here the whole time, you just haven’t seen her,” Williams says. “And with her guarding Doom’s Doorway that kind of makes sense. She’s got a basement job, she’s night shift all the time…I’m just kind of thinking of what her life was that we did not get to see and how that shaped and molded her into someone [worthy of being queen of the Amazons].”
Despite Nubia’s story (so far) stretching across multiple DC titles (Nubia & The Amazons, which is then central to and crosses over with the Trial of the Amazons event, Nubia: Coronation Special, and now Nubia: Queen of the Amazons), it’s all one continuous story that reads like an ongoing series. While the majority of these books take place in the present day of the DC Universe, they also feature flashbacks to Nubia’s early days, with an extended origin story being teased out through them. Williams feels that origin is nearly complete.