Amandla Stenberg cleared our tear ducts as Rue in “The Hunger Games,” and she’s won our hearts by using her platform from the multi-billion dollar franchise — including nearly 500,000 Instagram followers — to tackle cultural appropriation and sexism. Now the “Sleepy Hollow” actress is channeling a new part of her creative side and delving into the world of comics. Stenberg co-wrote a new series for Stranger Comics about a hybrid elf-human warrior, “Niobe: She Is Life.” The first issue was released November 4.
“I think it’s the first comic book that has a black female writer and a black female illustrator and a black female lead, so it’s really exciting,” the teen told People.
Stenberg was approached to do the comic by Sebastian A. Jones, the CEO of Stranger Comics and author of “The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer.” Jones asked Stenberg to write a novel with Niobe, who was introduced in “The Untamed,” as the lead, but she didn’t want to undertake a project of that scale, so the the two settled on a comic.
Stenberg explained, “Sebastian asked me if I wanted to develop the story further. He felt like he really wanted the perspective of a black girl to tell the story of a black girl.” Imagine that — a CEO who recognizes the value of lived experience and inclusive storytelling.
With Niobe, Stenberg saw the chance to “have a powerful black female character but also have a black female character that’s complicated and has problems, and has things to overcome and things to face. That is really strong, but also emotional at the same time.”
Stenberg, who just released a short based on the classic short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” has plans to write and direct. She hopes to study film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.