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Reading Comics: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Ana’s adventures in Reading Comics continue with Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Title: Nimona

Author: Noelle Stevenson

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comics

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: May 2015
Hardcover: 275 pages


The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”

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.

Stand alone or series: Stand alone, collecting the webcomics

How did I get this book: Bought

Format (e- or p-): eBook



It starts and it’s super cute.

A young girl named Nimona shows up at Lord Ballister Blackheart’s Supervillain HQ to inform him that she is his new sidekick. At first he is taken aback, because he doesn’t want a kid following him around but then Nimona is all like “I am not a kid, I am a SHARK”, shapeshifting in front of his eyes and all of a sudden… the possibilities are endless.

They sit down to plan their first stint together and Blackheart – the greatest supervillain of all time – is all “we are going to do this and kidnap the King for ransom and it’s all going to be fine” and Nimona goes “I want to paint this town red, let me add some murder and mayhem to your defective plan” which horrifies Blackheart – THE GREATEST SUPERVILLAIN OF ALL TIME – who then says:

“There is no profit in assassination or pointless violence. There are rules, Nimona.”
Like I said, super cute, right?

This set-up right there is everything you need to know about the characters, the story and the subversion that is going on: nothing is what it seems, and this is especially true when it comes to Nimona herself.

Because just then at the end of their first adventure together, Nimona shapeshifts into a small adorable girl and stabs someone in their back.

That’s when I realised I was reading something AWESOME. Something that shows that comedy, cuteness and charm do not mean superficial, thoughtless or graceless. Because Nimona is not what I expected. Because the story does not go the way I thought. And THEN when I least expected something happens that at first is easy brush off like it’s nothing but it’s actually one of those arrows that pierces your heart and LEAVES YOU BLEEDING INSIDE.

Blackheart might be following the rules but he is probably the only one doing it. The subversion continues with good guys of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics being shady as hell; its greatest hero, Goldenloin is kinda of a pathetic idiot recklessly following their orders. There is a backstory and super sour grapes between Goldenloin and Blackheart and it might be a lot more to it than simply a competition between heroes.

Originally a webcomic and now collected in a Graphic Novel, Nimona is Noelle Stevenson’s (one of Lumberjanes’ co-creators) fantastic epic story of Nimona, The Supervillain. It’s an origin story (but not how you expect it), it’s coming of age (but probably not of the youngest character), it’s reluctant villains AND heroes, it’s friendships and love. And it’s a look at how trauma can shape the way we look at ourselves and how we interact with others.

It has humour. It has amazing art. It’s nerdy. It has subversion. It has Science Fiction and Fantasy. It has a character called GOLDENLOIN. A Faux medieval setting that might also be the future. It has a LGBT romance. It has heart. It has flair. It has Nimona. Who has my heart bleeding at her feet and this 10-rated review.

Favourite Panels / Parts:


Rating: 10 – Perfect

Buy the Book:

(click on the links to purchase)


Ebook available for kindle US, kindle UK and itunes


  • Maureen E
    May 20, 2015 at 1:40 pm


    I read the webcomic and at a certain point, while I felt like I was being stabbed in the heart, I remembered the beginning & how cute it was and marveled at Stevenson’s ability to move from one story to another without losing the substance of either.

    Ugh, I love it so much. I love Nimona herself so much.

  • Meghan
    May 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I already wanted this, I think I have to have it now. 🙂

  • tanita
    May 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Ooh, I have SO gotten into webcomics – MUST read this one now! Thanks!

  • E.Maree
    June 16, 2015 at 6:54 am

    The webcomic destroooyyyed me with it’s amazingness. Really need to read the collection!

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