"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.
"Explosions will be involved. Science and sharks will be, too.
"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.
"Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism!
"All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson, based on her award-winning web comic."
I actually finished reading Nimona several months ago when it was still available online, completing the series on Noelle Stevenson's website, Gingerhaze; however, I couldn't wait to get a copy of Nimona in print. Sure, I've already read it (as my previous review shows), but how could I not read it again?
Truth be told, I couldn't.
I absolutely loved Nimona, so I simply couldn't resist buying my own copy. And I'm so glad I did, because I've enjoyed it so much.
Nimona, like Stevenson's Lumberjanes, is a quirky adventure story that's full of lovable characters and a story that's simply spectacular. It combines familiar tropes from fantasy and science fiction, mixing together dark magic, knights, mages, jousts and dragons with incredible technology (think touch screens, holographs, and other fantastical forms of science). It's a strange amalgamation of ancient, modern, and futuristic technologies that works well together.
Although the art style is a little quirky, I loved the gradual progression of Stevenson's art as Nimona came into its own. I liked how Nimona changed over the course of the story, how her appearance changed to reflect her emotions, her thoughts and feelings. She's a dynamic character with a lot of attitude and an almost caustic sense of humor; she has a mysterious past, but she has a heart of gold and a sense of loyalty to her friends, like Ballister.
I grew to love her.
And I loved seeing her interact with Ballister. Ambrosius and Ballister have a complicated relationship to say the least, but Ballister and Nimona's relationship seemed uncomplicated and carefree. Not quite carefree, considering Nimona's past comes back to haunt her, but close enough that I could enjoy their banter back and forth, their father-daughter relationship as they worried about one another, sticking together through thick and thin.
Overall, I loved it. I mean, what else can I say? I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the strange combination of past and present, fantasy and science fiction that created such a unique and wonderful graphic novel. I highly recommend it, especially to readers who have enjoyed Lumberjanes, Squirrel Girl, or Rat Queens.
When you're reading Nimona, you can see a discernible shift in the creator's art style. Starting out, the sketches are a little rough--as with most comics or, heck, books at the very beginning--and gradually grow into their own as the artist settles into a groove and characters blossom into the people we've come to love.
So, yes, it's a little difficult to go back to the very beginning and see how it once looked, to see unfamiliar people from the characters you've come to know, but, really, that's just the way any story will progress. Once you dive into Nimona, it's easy to fall in love. If you try to go back, it might seem a little strange at first, but, don't worry, it'll all get better as you go along.
Revenge. Doom, destruction, and death.
Nimona encounters some very deep subjects and confront some very intense themes as the story progresses. It has a deceptively simple art style, but, truthfully, Nimona is a complex and incredibly thoughtful book.
It deals with right and wrong, and how politics can sometimes get in the way of morality; it deals with interpersonal relationships, both platonic and romantic; it deals with personal trauma, growth, and what it really means to be good or evil--and what you're willing to do to save the people you love. Sometimes, it even reflects the current political arguments framed on national news networks. It doesn't shy away from the hard topics.
And it may just break your heart. (It did mine.)