Nimona’s not your average spunky teen, and this graphic novel, set in an anachronistic medieval society with both old-world magic and high-tech gadgets, is anything but typical. Originally introduced in Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic, Nimona hopes to become the sidekick to Ballister Blackheart, “the biggest name in supervillainy.”
Once a hero in training at the Institution, Blackheart now dons a mechanical arm after losing a joust with Goldenloin. While the fair-haired winner rose to glory and worked his way up the ranks at the Institution, Blackheart assumed the role he felt befitting: evil scientist and supervillain. Unable to resist Nimona’s charm (and neither will readers), he reluctantly lets the teen into his lair, especially when she reveals her shapeshifting abilities.
Together they become an unusual team with impulsive Nimona eager to maim, kill and destroy and methodical Blackheart always following the rules of villainy. As they take on the hypocrisy and corruption of the Institution, this unlikely duo begins to prove what it really means to be a hero. Stevenson’s expressive, action-packed artwork not only highlights their evolving, father-daughter-like relationship, but their dark secrets as well.
These secrets become the real demons to defeat. Stevenson balances this darkness with humor and tenderness that would melt even the coldest supervillain heart. Nimona is a force to be reckoned with, on the pages of this unforgettable graphic novel and in the minds of readers—both of which could use more kick-ass heroines. Luckily an open ending leaves room for more of Nimona’s plucky determination.