– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy
Release date: May 12th, 2015
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Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
This is such a heartwarming graphic novel. It’s full of humor, lovely art, and amazing characters. I especially enjoyed how it plays with predictable plots and tropes and turns them into something else. If you don’t read graphic novels, you can definitely start with this one if you are looking for a little fantasy, humor, great relationships, and cool plot.
I loved the characters so much. First we have Ballister Blackheart, a villain that turns out to be much more than that, and her new sidekick Nimona. His character is very well-rounded and the one we get to understand the most, I really liked him and how he handled the people and situations around him. Nimona, on the other hand, was nothing like I was expecting her to be! She was completely unpredictable (and that’s not only because she is a shapeshifter) and with a moral compass pointing at a different direction than Blackheart’s, which is what made their relationship so captivating. She was fantastic! I loved her liveliness, how dangerous she could be, and how she learned from Blackheart to control herself a little bit more. Their friendship was the sweetest thing to read about and the funniest too.
Then we have Ambrosius Goldenloin, who is Blackheart’s nemesis for their complicated past, but the town’s hero. I enjoyed that he was the polar opposite of Nimona and Blackheart but that I could still like him because he acted the way he believed was right. Goldenloin and Blackheart’s relationship was very well done and I loved the flashbacks to their past, it brought more complexity to the story and the characters. Other characters include the Director and Dr. Meredith Blitzmeyer, both of which I wanted to know more about. Now I sort of want a series on Dr. Blitzmeyer alone because it seems like she has some good stories to tell, I mean, she is an adventurer/scientist in a very cool fantasy world, there has to be something to tell there!
Disclaimer: This is Noelle Stevenson’s beautiful art, which can be found originally in her website.
The plot was fantastic, it was fast paced and filled with action, but also with plenty of emotional moments that gave room to the exploration of the characters. The art was very cute and with a lot of personality. We can see right off the bat that Nimona is different because she has rounded features and no straight lines, like the rest of the main characters. Also, the representation of diversity was amazing! One of my favorite things was the setting-the mix between knights, science and magic. Things like technology and dragons don’t seem to fit together until you read/see Nimona, trust me.
The world Noelle Stevenson build was very rich and it left me wanting for more. I was so sad when it ended. The characters, the setting, the plot, and the art worked perfectly together and it delivered a funny and emotional story about relationships, trust and betrayal, and the never-ending debate of good vs. evil.
Have you read it? What’s your favorite graphic novel?