Lord Blackheart is not your average villain and he certainly does not want a sidekick. Especially not some kid, following him around all day. Except, Nimona is not just a kid, she’s a shapeshifter who can take the form of any living thing, and she has great plans for Lord Blackheart’s villainy.
Sure the great Lord Ballister Blackheart may have been kicked out of the academy, betrayed in training by his best friend Sir Goldenloin (this is not a typo, I repeat this is not a typo!), but there are rules to villainy. Rules that Nimona does her best to break. What happens next should be read. It is equal parts hilarious, suspenseful, heartwarming and completely heartbreaking.
Welcome to the universe of Nimona, originally a webcomic turned book written and drawn by the fabulous Noelle Stevenson.
Nimona seems like a simply webcomic. On the surface it is a cute playground for mixing tropes and challenging the concept of a villain. It is easy to get lost in the mixed genre world; part medieval fantasy, part dystopian sci-fi that come together in a believable weird little world where both dragons and tv exist. Nimona herself is a charming character; you cannot help but love the shapeshifting little red-headed liar, who could look anyway she wanted to and chose a little red-headed kid with round cheeks.
But then Blackheart’s rule start boring Nimona and this is where the comic goes from cute to dark, to darker to WOAH I CAN’T SEE A THING IN HERE IT’S PITCH F**KING BLACK.
Spoilers be awaitin’ past this sentence.
Nimona is actually an ageless monster, driven by something we never get to understand, and her lust for blood is bigger than Blackheart can handle. Things go terribly awry. Think of it like if the doctor had lived and traveled the earth, but instead of his reassuring human form he was instead a shapeshifting terrible monster.
We never learn Nimonas real story, and perhaps it doesn’t matter. She roams the Earth needing people yet never being able to get real close. Much like the doctor. She needs humanity, but once a person sees to much of her, he can no longer give her what she needs. On the final pages, after she has left Lord Blackheart I kept searching fora happy ending, for her, For Nimona to still be there, the little red mouse tucked away in a corner, or a maroon bird over the roof watching Blackheart and Goldenloin’s happily ever after. But she is not a guardian angel. She’s a shark, and dem shark’s gotta be movin’.
Crossposted on my tiny lady-blog.