11 Black comics writers to read, from DC to Marvel and beyond

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Amandla Stenberg

Yes, that Amandla Stenberg. It’s true that many people know of Stenberg from their acting work, including roles as Starr Carter in The Hate U Give and Rue in The Hunger Games. They’ve also recorded music (in summer 2015, as part of folk act Honeywater) and made waves as an outspoken intersectional feminist and activist. Oh, and they’re just 20, by the way.

Amongst all that work, Stenberg has also started work in the comics field. With Sebastian Jones, they co-wrote the Niobe trilogy, based on Jones’ graphic novel, The Untamed. Niobe Ayutami, the title character, is an orphaned wild elf. She’s just trying to make her way through the high fantasy world of Asunda, which also happens to be constantly on the edge of one crisis or another.

That’s rough enough, but Niobe could very well be the savior of this world. Pretty heavy stuff for anyone, made especially tougher by the fact that the actual devil is chasing after her. Along the way, she encounters fellow elves, dwarves, and orcs in an attempt to bring order and peace to her world.

Stenberg was brought on by Jones specifically because Niobe is a young, Black woman. It makes sense, then, that a character like Niobe should also be written by a young, Black person like Stenberg (who actually identifies as non-binary and uses both “they” and “she” pronouns). The three-issue series is also drawn by Ashley A. Woods, a Black comic artist from Chicago who has also worked on the Tomb Raider and Ladycastle series.