This past week saw the long-awaited release from DC Comics of Nubia & The Amazons #1 from writers Stephanie Williams & Vita Ayala, artists Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, & Emilio Lopez, and letterer Becca Carey. The first issue of the miniseries, which follows the residents of Themyscira under the leadership of their new queen, Nubia, saw the Well of Souls reopen and five new Amazons emerge from it. Today on Twitter Williams clarified the subtext of the new characters’ introductions, saying that one of the new Amazons, Bia, is a transgender black woman.
The spread above features the five new Amazons picking their new Themysciran names. The new Amazons have very little memory of their lives before arriving on the island, but in the final two panels of the spread new Amazon Bia indicates that being on the island “feels like something my soul has desired” for a long time.
In a tweet today, Williams called out that panel specifically, saying “If you’ve read Nubia & the Amazons #1. The answer to your burning question is yes. There are trans Amazons. One of the newest Amazons is a Black trans woman.”
If you’ve read Nubia & the Amazons #1. The answer to your burning question is yes. There are trans Amazons. One of the newest Amazons is a Black trans woman. pic.twitter.com/FDgEUg8Vte
— ✨Steph✨ (leave a message at the beep) (@Steph_I_Will) October 21, 2021
In the thread that followed, Williams continued:
As much as it is important for The Nubia & the Amazons miniseries to reintroduce Nubia and establish her definitive role in the DCU, it is also important to make clear that Themyscira is a place for ALL women.
When @definitelyvita and I were thinking of a way that provided us with a tool to make things as clear as possible, the Wells of Souls was right there, allowing endless possibilities for the Amazons of Themyscira. It’s essential in opening this world up for future writers.
Bia will have a role on Themyscira beyond just existing – she isn’t set dressing, she isn’t a box to tick, she is a fully fledged character that is important to her community. Just as Black trans women are important to us in real life.
Quote-tweeting Williams’s initial message, Ayala confirmed that Bia is trans, and that everyone involved in the creation of the issue was aware and supportive of the decision:
This was written, drawn, colored, lettered, and published with the full support of our team.
This project is incredibly special to us, and we are grateful to be involved in it!
— ✊🏾🇵🇷Vita Ayala🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@definitelyvita) October 21, 2021
The textualization of transgender Amazons is the latest step in DC’s ongoing push for greater representation in its characters and universe, which has seen queer characters brought to the forefront more prominently than they ever have been. Still, there’s a distinct lack of notable trans characters in the DCU, so introducing one not just to the universe but to the now-globally-known Wonder Woman mythos is a huge step forward.
It’s also noteworthy how this particular Amazon arrived on the island. Earlier in the issue it’s clarified that the Well of Souls is “A place where the souls of women who died through acts of violence in Man’s World reside. Only these souls can be reincarnated into new Amazons of Themyscira.” Violence against the transgender community is on the rise in the United States, with the number of murders of transgender people in 2021 on pace to make it the worst year on record. A majority of the victims of that violence are Black and Latinx women. The introduction of Bia via the Well of Souls, then, is unfortunately topical, but it will also hopefully call some attention to the increasing amount of violence against the trans community in the United States.
Nubia & the Amazons #1 is available in stores and digitally now.