This is a graphic novel about a shapeshifting girl who forces an Evil villain to let her be his sidekick/apprentice. He is a moody, one-armed villain; a villain who has moral codes and one who has a tragic backstory, and she, as straightforward and impulsive she is, slowly melts his heart and makes him somewhat happy again.
Noelle Stevenson has created a wonderful set of characters. I loved Nimona so much, and she is unique and amazing. She isn’t perfect, I mean she is more a villain than her boss – Ballister!
I’m not a kid. I’m a SHARK
There’s so much humour in this graphic novel. It made me giggle and laugh out loud several times. However, there are darker and more emotional contents in this piece of art; such as Nimona’s story, and the reason why Ballister became a villain. I cannot fault the author/artist in her delivery of her story because they are very fleshed out and these characters are as real as they can be.
The relationships between characters are wholesome and none of them are half-hearted. Nimona may seem like a selfish teenager, but if you really look at her as an individual, she cares a lot about her mentor. What she is as a villain does not define who she is as a person, her actions may be irrational and very much spontaneous and disastrous – but her feelings towards her mentor is as real as how a student looks up to their teacher.
Ballister Blackheart is a bit more complicated with his relationships with the different characters involved in the story. He is a villain with a moral code, he will not endanger the lives of innocents if he can help it, and he will not injure or kill his nemesis (Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin). His relationship with Nimona is the most notable aspect of this graphic novel. Although he was initially against the idea of having a sidekick, he relented to Nimona’s ever persuasive (if not aggressive) ways. Their Maste-Sidekick relationship however, is nothing like your Batman-Robin trope (but villain style). In fact, the dynamic is all off, and sometimes it feels like Blackheart is the sidekick and Nimona is the main antagonist. But, their relationship does develop a lot throughout the story – where they come to care for each other and built up a friendship that will surely last.
Of course, there’s also Blackheart’s relationship with his suppsed nemesis, Sir Goldenloin (by the way, his name makes me laugh). It’s quite complicated in the sense that it’s very much a sort of a love-hate relationship. There isn’t really anything malicious going on, and you get to understand how and why Blackheart became the man he has become, and it involves Goldenloin. It’s quite frustrating actually, the relationship between these two characters. Throughout the whole thing I really did think that one is in-love with the other, or maybe I am just reading too much into it, and it’s really just a simple brotherly love.
I think I have rambled enough about characters and relationships. Let’s talk about the art style!
I loved Stevenson’s art style, it reminds me very much of Adventure Time – but, that isn’t exactly relevant at this point. The art style I loved because it’s simple and simple is very nice. I don’t really know what else to say, apart from how lovely the art is.
Overall, I think that this is an absolute gem of a book, and would highly recommend this to individuals who are just starting to read graphic novels. It has a great story and character development, and the art is absolutely stunning. It’s easy to read, and although it may seem light, it does get pretty dark in some parts.