Monday 26 October 2015
#CBR7 Book 113: "Nimona" by Noelle Stevenson
Rating: 4.5 stars
Because I have a lot of reviews to catch up on, thanks to my clumsiness which caused my brain to get rattled and shook up, I'm once again resorting to plot summary via Goodreads:
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: to prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realises that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he's willing to admit.
Unlike a lot of other talented reviewers who have already written about this comic, I haven't read this as a web comic, or read Lumberjanes, the other comic that Noelle Stevenson co-writes and illustrates. My only real association with her was the lovely cover illustration and fan art she did for Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. So many people raved enthusiastically about this comic, though, and I finally decided to treat myself to it during the October 2015 Read-a-thon, when I was mostly forced to resort to audiobooks due to my concussion. I was able to read graphic novels in small doses at a time, though.
Nimona is set in a fantasy kingdom where both Lord Ballister Blackheart and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin grew up at the Institute. After Lord Blackheart lost his arm in a joust against Sir Goldenloin, he pretty naturally fell into the role of scientific-minded arch-villain and nemesis to his former friend. He's really not looking for a sidekick, but the persistent Nimona won't really take no for an answer, and it's hard to deny that her shapeshifting abilities come in handy in his attempts to uncover the Institute's unethical practices. That she easily loses control of a situation and frequently acts without thinking, causing much more damage than planned is a complication, though.
Nimona's origins and background are unknown and she doesn't take kindly to any attempts to dig into her backstory. It's clear that there are reasons for her impulse control issues and why she has a hard time trusting or forming lasting connections with people.
Both the art and the story is delightful, and I blazed through the whole volume in less than an hour. The only thing keeping me from giving it a full five stars is that I wanted a bit more closure towards the end, which I felt was unsatifyingly open-ended. I can highly recommend it, though, and will look for other things written by Ms. Stevenson in the future.
Crossposted on Cannonball Read.