Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Synopsis taken from Goodreads:
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
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: 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 realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Starting with the art style: so cute. I love the art, the colors, everything about this! The use of each square is fantastic. My only complaint is that everything stays in the squares. Yes, they come in different sizes occasionally, but everything is confined. Actually, now that I’ve thought about it, that actually makes sense for most of the story. But during the climax at the end, it might have made some sense for certain characters to be unrestrained by the lines. Still, I loved the style and felt it fit the story and characters.
Moving onto the characters: man were they great. Nimona was just adorable, and I loved watching Blackheart try to deal with her and then come to care for her. Their relationship was beautiful. And Goldenloin’s development was fantastic, complete to his [redacted for spoilers] realization. The secondary characters were just as good, they all felt fully developed. Yes, all right, maybe the director felt a bit one-note, but s/he felt one-note in a believable way. Full marks for a unique blend of personalities.
The story was fantastic, too. It felt like it moved organically without any forced developments, and I liked watching how the different characters’ attempts to change things just made certain outcomes certain. For instance, Blackheart’s attempts to protect Nimona made her care for him more and ensured she would come to his aid.
Overall, it’s so easy to see precisely why people are raving about this. My score: 4.5 stars. It’s not getting a full 5 because while I loved it, I don’t feel the need to go buy it now and reread immediately. Someday, maybe. But not right now.