Review – ‘Nimona’ by Noelle Stevenson

In the summer, when she was our social media intern, Caitlin Mitchell, reviewed Persepolis. In her new role as our Digital Marketing volunteer Caitlin will be reviewing some more comics for us. Here is the first, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson:

As a relatively new entrant to the world of comics, I had no idea where to start and what to read, but Nimona was suggested to me by Damon (having not yet read it himself, this was quite a risky move) [although I’d only heard good things about it – Damon]. However it paid off as I was gifted with a humorous yet touching tale of adventure and conspiracy. The book follows Lord Ballister Blackheart, renowned ‘supervillain’ – I use inverted commas as we learn that the roles of good and evil in this story are not as they first appear – and his sidekick Nimona, a young, impulsive shapeshifter, as they attempt to expose the shady antics of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics.

nimona-robbing-bank
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Led by Blackheart’s nemesis Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, the Institution are after the pair, and their plotting leads to much havoc and many near misses before a final battle in the climax of the book. There are many factors that make Nimona a great read; I love the art style, which starts off simple but becomes more detailed and assured as the book goes on. I grew attached to the characters – to Blackheart, who, almost comically due to his supervillain reputation, seems to be the only character who cares about saving human lives, and who turns out to have a much deeper relationship with Goldenloin than we first realise. To Nimona, who is incredibly impulsive and fiercely loyal to her partner in crime, and whose shapeshifting power lends an air of magic to the story.

nimona-fake-beard
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

The book takes a darker turn in the latter few chapters as the true depth of Nimona’s power is revealed, yet Stevenson still manages to create laughter and uses dry humour very well throughout, making it an easy read! I think that the book also puts an almost apocalyptic twist on many aspects of today’s society; the need for a common enemy to unite people, even if the designated enemy is not to blame; the gap between different social classes, symbolised by the Institution’s disregard for civilian life; and the ongoing battle between science and faith, explored through scientist Blackheart’s need for an explanation of Nimona’s shapeshifting abilities. Nimona is a tale of loyalty, adventure, magic, science and deadpan humour, and I would definitely recommend that you give it a go!

– Caitlin

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