I had forgotten how much fun it could be to read graphic novels. Growing up I read a variety of comic books, upgrading to graphic novels when they became more popular. But once I graduated high school I began reading less and less until I stopped altogether. I didn’t dislike them, I had just moved on to other genres and I didn’t think about graphic novels much. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is a book that my wife discovered one day while we were browsing Barnes and Noble. One thing led to another and I bought it for her as a gift some time later. Now that I’ve finished it I must say I greatly miss how fun and easy graphic novels are to read.
In a world of both magic and science a mysterious girl approaches Lord Blackheart, the most notorious villain in the land, and, rather forcibly, requests to be his sidekick. But the tables of good and evil begin to turn as Lord Blackheart and his now-sidekick, Nimona, discover The Institution, which everyone believes to be a benevolent governing body, is not what it appears be. What begins as a quest for revenge becomes a battle for justice as Lord Blackheart and Nimona prepare to expose the most powerful organization and in the process will have to come to terms with parts of themselves that they would rather keep buried.
I’m not sure where to begin with this book. In the beginning it taunts you to take it seriously while introducing a variety of silly and loveable characters that are anything but serious, then it introduces the plot. The mixture creates a story that makes you laugh and cry, and seriously makes you consider wanting to be a super villain.
For a graphic novel, I’ve never read one that builds its plot so well. One weakness about graphic novels is that the author can sometimes neglect literary aspects that would strengthen the story or they forget who their audience is and create a rift between the intended audience and the content. Noelle Stevenson remains true to her audience throughout, appealing to their sense of humor and interests, as well as causing them to “feel all the feels”. In short, this is a book for everyone who has ever dreamed of taking over the world, but hasn’t felt quite evil enough to follow through with it.