Comics Review #4: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


Title: Nimona
Written and Illustrasted by: Noelle Stevenson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2015

You want a graphic novel with a female protagonist, people of color and LGBTQ representation? You want humor, action, fantasy and science-fiction?

Look no further. I have just the book for you!

Nimona is a graphic novel about the adventures of hero-turned-villain, Ballister Blackheart, and his self-elected sidekick Nimona, who reveals herself to be a very sassy shapeshifter.

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Nimona, ever so ready to attack.

After being kicked out of the hero business, the result of the betrayal his friend, Ambrosius Goldenloin (don’t you just love the names?), Blackheart intends to wreck havoc on the kingdom that failed him. Nimona, being a fan of Blackheart, who she considers “the biggest name in supervillainy,” has her own ideas about how to improve her boss’ plans. Spoiler, it involves a lot of spilled blood. Nimona has some anger-management issues… and they are absolutely hilarious.

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She really, really does.

Noelle Stevenson’s art and story-telling are simply amazing. She cleverly combines a modern, science-fictiony world with a fantasy realm full of magic and monsters. Nimona is full of humour that ranges from witty puns to some really dark stuff. It will make you laugh out loud while simultaneously wrapping that fluffly blanket you hold so dear around you just a little closer.

Totally married.

Nimona won over my heart. Not only do we have an amazing female protagonist that defies gender norms and expectations, we also have a queer male protagonist who does the same. And the best thing: Stevenson is not in-your-face while doing it. While Nimona is hot-blooded and violent, Blackheart is caring and thoughtful. These characters are not one-sided but deep and ever-evolving. As readers, we get a variety of characters, viallains and heroes alike, to care for, to cheer for, and to identify with. Stevenson created a world full of fantastic characters, and these characters happen to be  anything but  the white, male and heterosexual types we are used to. Not merely once was my mind blown by the story’s development and Stevenson’s dialogues. This book makes you question what is considered good and bad, proper and wrong. I loved every single page of it.

I bought Nimona right after it’s release but sadly didn’t have time to read it until now. I did not know what I was missing out on. Don’t make the same mistake! Grab a copy of Nimona and start reading. Do it now! You won’t be disappointed.

You can see how much Noelle Stevenson’s art has developed since the launch of Nimona as a webcomic (source: gingerhaze.com)

My rating: 5/5

Read the first three chapters of Nimona (the early webcomic version) for free on Noelle Stevenson’s homepage gingerhaze.com.

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