The character of Nimona in Noelle Stevenson’s web comic turned published graphic novel is an incredible character in an amazing challenging story. Nimona tells the story of the troubled Lord Ballister Blackheart who is a supervillain who is set in his ways. Cue the shapeshifting Nimona sidekick who demands a job with him and shakes up the quiet routine Blackheart had found himself in. Blackheart’s arch enemy is Goldenloin. Goldenloin was once his closest friend and was training to become a good guy/knight with him until one day in a fit of jealously Blackheart has his arm blown off by Goldenloin.
Nimona is a character who rails against the tropes of villains alongside Blackheart. Where Blackheart would poison the public to send a message to Goldenloin and his side before giving them the antidote to assure no causalities Nimona views such attempts at avoiding the true price of evil as absurd. As the story goes on we realise that Nimona herself has a dark past, but she keeps her agency and choice in her actions despite what she has went through.
Stevenson’s work is extremely meta and a work of steam-monk fiction which challenges tropes in fantasy and breathes new life into the genre. Villains can be better than the presupposed good guys and villains can become heroes.
Nimona,which started out as a webcomic, is now a best seller in physical form and will be getting made into an animated film.Although the book is marketed with teens in mind it’s a dark and complex work which anyone could enjoy.Characters like Nimona are extremely body positive while those like Ballister and Goldenloin who are in love provide queer representation for youths and adults reading. With incredible humour and faultless writing Nimona is an amazing first work and makes it clear that Noelle Stevenson will continue to expand and push the constraints and expectations of graphic novels and comics today. Pick up Nimona and find yourself engrossed in her world.