First, this graphic novel gets bonus points for using sexual innuendos as character names. I have the mental maturity of a twelve-year-old, so that kind of humor is very much appreciated.
Nimona is a bloodthirsty shapeshifting creature with the goal of becoming a supervillain. She teams up with the most evil man in the kingdom, Lord Ballister Blackheart, and they set out to prove that the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics is corrupt. But, when Nimona gets angry, even Lord Blackheart has to admit that his sidekick may be too evil to handle.
Nimona takes well-known fantasy tropes and flips them on their heads. What is “Good” and what is “Evil”? Who decides these things? Can a person be both good and evil at the same time? Can a sidekick be a hero? How does love and friendship fit into all of this?
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be “Quirky.” The characters have a lot of personality. Nimona is spunky and overenthusiastic about committing crimes. Lord Blackheart has a tragic backstory (of course) and a deadpan sense of humor. They make a brilliant team.
The humor in this story is pretty juvenile, but I’m an adult, and I laughed. If I had read this book as a kid, it would have become an instant favorite.
Admittedly, I’m pretty new to graphic novels (which is why this review is short), but I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style in this one. It didn’t always convey enough emotion for me. Some of it is great, but I often found myself glancing at the art and focusing on the dialogue only. I wish the characters had more detailed facial expressions.
I also wanted more from the end. I wasn’t ready for it to be over. What happens next? If there is ever a sequel, I will happily read it.
I’d highly recommend this book to reluctant child readers who need a quick, colorful story. This graphic novel is full of humor but also gives the reader something to think about.