Graphic Novel Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


The Saturday Issue focuses on the more visual books read here at In Libris Veritas; ranging from graphic novels to manga to game companion guides.


Source: Library  
Publisher: Harper Collins
Series: –
 Paperback, 272 Pages
 Science-Fiction/Fantasy Comic
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”

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.

Nimona is a rather odd graphic novel. It focuses on the villains of a story instead of the heroes and in doing so makes you sympathetic to their stories and their goals. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this comic, but I’m very happy with what was delivered.

The first thing to note about Nimona, is that she is a bad guy…she loves to reek havoc and destruction and she’s quite good at turning a normal situation into one of chaos. She’s killed people and set fire to innocent people’s homes, but there is still something in her that makes her completely likable. She’s chaotic and goofy but she’s also dark and brooding. Getting to know her is equal parts hilarity and heartbreaking. Lord Blackheart is the nemesis of Sir Goldenloin, and he is particular in the way he opposes Goldenloin and the Institution. He has a code of ethics, but Nimona is the wrench in his plans. She helps me grow but also shows him when it’s too much. I love the odd balance between these two. They build a friendship that is heartfelt and connected but also teeters on the verge of shattering. Blackheart’s story is really pushed forward by her. I have to say I loved the fact that this book doesn’t focus just on a battle of good vs evil, but also goes into the gray areas where good can be evil and vice versa. We get to see villains painted in a good light and heroes in a bad, we get to see them fight against not only each other but themselves.

The art is pretty similar to Lumberjanes and even in its simplicity, it has a lot of emotion to it. I love the character designs for everyone and the weird wonderful mash-up of fantasy and science fiction!

I’m definitely a Noelle Stevenson fan now! Between this and Lumberjanes I have to say she’s particularly good at creating simple stories with tons of little heartfelt layers.

4 stars

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3 Responses to Graphic Novel Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

  1. Greg Hill says:

    I have Lumberjanes in the wings thanks to ComiXology so I was curious to see what you thought of this. I love gray areas and the villain’s POV, so this looks pretty good. And it does look very similar to Lumberjanes art wise…

  2. This is such a fun read! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  3. I still need to read this. I had all these plans of borrowing graphic novels and manga from the library, but they started this new thing where you can’t use someone else’s card any longer and you have to show ID. I have been using my son’s card since my ex left because he never took back the library books that were left in his car, and I have $87 worth of replacement fees on my card. Ugh. :/

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