Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Jacinda Ardern like you have never seen her before.

New Zealand's Prime Minister has featured in comic book art as a superheroine along with other iconic women in the world, including Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Simone Biles and Meghan Markle.'s inspiring Real-Life Superwomen Project aims to reimagine, as comic book art, real-life superwomen and their empowering moments.

Ardern featured on the first page, right after "Fearless Girl", a 4ft-high bronze sculpture made by Kristen Visbal which has become a symbol of female empowerment.

Photo / Nerd Bear
Photo / Nerd Bear

The artwork captured Ardern's defining moment when she showed extraordinary grace, compassion and leadership during her handling of the terror attacks in March 2019.

In her first address after the attack, Ardern did not use "us" vs "them" rhetoric and refused to give the accused gunman a stage: "New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name."

When speaking to the families of the victims, she said: "We cannot know your grief, but we can walk with you at every stage. We can. And we will, surround you with aroha, manaakitanga and all that makes us, us. Our hearts are heavy but our spirit is strong."

Aroha and manaakitanga means kindness, compassion, and generosity in te reo.

Other famous women on page one include Serena Williams, Senator Tammy Duckworth and Sandra Oh.

Williams accused the umpire of sexism in a controversial US Open final defeat. She pointed out the double standard of being penalised a game for calling the umpire a thief when men have said far worse and gone unscathed.

Photo / Nerd Bear
Photo / Nerd Bear

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality," she remarked.

On page two is Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry. But prior to her royal nuptials, she had a successful acting career, successful lifestyle blog and many philanthropic endeavours.


Markle is a vocal feminist and advocate of gender quality and empowerment of women and now has an even bigger platform to promote change.

Other moments and women featured on the page are the Women's March, Emma González, Christine Blasey Ford and Viola Davis.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is featured on page 3 in the comic book artwork along with Nadia Murad, the #MeToo movement, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Harriet Tubman.

Photo / Nerd Bear
Photo / Nerd Bear

Amy Sherald was commissioned to paint Michelle Obama's portrait along with Kehinde Wiley, who painted President Barack Obama's.

They are the first African-American artists to be commissioned to paint the official presidential portraits.

The painting resides in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

US gymnast Simone Biles is seen on the last page of the artwork, along with Beyoncé, the #Time'sUp movement, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and Emelia Holden.

Biles became the first woman to win five national all-around titles and the first female US gymnast to win four Olympic gold medals at a single games, which she did in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

With 25 World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated gymnast (male or female) of all time. Biles wears a teal uniform in solidarity with sexual abuse survivors.

Photo / Nerd Bear
Photo / Nerd Bear

Founder of Nerd Bear, Amar Hussain, said: "We wanted to celebrate some defining moments over the last couple of years and the incredible women behind them.

"For this we thought it would be fitting to turn these superwomen into comic book strips and the Real-Life Superwomen Project was born."

A superhero is defined by their righteous actions, their ability to lead and inspire others, their heroism and nobility in the face of obstacles, and their fortitude and moral compass in fighting injustice.

This can all be said for the inspirational, powerful, kind, and brave women feature in our comic book art, Nerd Bear said.

There's still more to do

While this wave of feminism has become a tsunami of change, the work is far from over.

Here are some sobering facts that illustrate how far we still need to go:

• More than 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men.
• Only 5 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
• The global proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by women stood at 23.8 per cent in June 2018.
• 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence.
• On average, 137 women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day.