The Immortal Nadia Greene by Jamal Winner Award for Diversity
Hello and Happy Martin Luther King Junior Day from all of us at DINK!
Nadia Greene is a story about overcoming adversity that turns mainstream comics on its ear in many ways. For a long time I held the belief that there was really nothing left to do with mainstream comics. By “mainstream” I mean superheroes, mythological gods, fantasy realms and youngsters who just want to lead a normal life but bear the burden of extraordinary powers alongside extraordinary problems. This comic has all of these things but manages to root the story firmly in the real world. It takes the best part of what Stan Lee did with Peter Parker but goes a few steps further. Nadia Greene is not just a strong, African-American woman; she’s also battling a terminal illness. She manages to stay alive through strength of will and the refusal to go quietly. So far it sounds pretty far from a fantasy story, right? Stay with me. Nadia has special powers. She should have died at the age of 5 when succumbing to her sickness. In a coma, she is transported to limbo where, the goddess Hel has come to escort her to the afterlife. But Nadia doesn’t go quietly. In limbo she summons up a magic baseball bat and battles Hel for her life; and wins. She even manages to win Hel’s respect and friendship. But her victory over death has not gone unnoticed; and the gods are not happy. She is regularly thrown back into limbo between moments on earth to do battle with the other gods. Her struggle is far from over. What I like particularly is how on earth, Nadia remains without super powers. Just a super amount of determination. This allows the reader to relate to her more closely than if she were able to, for instance, climb up walls or shoot lasers from her eyes. It also makes her struggle that much more heroic. I would personally like to blow up mainstream comics and have them all replaced with stories like this.
If I’ve piqued your curiosity (I’m sure I have) I would like to invite you to read The Immortal Nadia Greene for yourself. It’s free online. The drawing is fantastic, the color work sublime. I see great things happening for Mister Jamal Campbell. He’s a talent to watch out for. You can see it all at http://immortalnadia.tumblr.com/post/128114169495/chapter-1-cover