A review by sauvageloup
Nimona by ND Stevenson

adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful lighthearted mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


a really fun rollercoaster of a graphic novel, v different from the film but with it's own up sides 

- interesting exploration of good and evil, morality and immorality. we see the same look at what makes a hero or villain as in the movie, but nimona is a lot more dubious morality, as is the director and ambrosius. ballister holds his position of no murder wherever he can, but does have no compulsions of robbing a bank and is a more established and badass villain.
- ballisters character was very interesting, he praises and accepts nimona more, encourages her as his sidekick, and has much less doubt than movie bal. the theme of nonbinary-ness is less emphasised and instead we look at morality more. he has far more of a reason to be a villain with ambrosius deliberately chopping his arm off, and then the institute being ableist. 
- ambrosius was much darker, and refused to admit he did wrong till late in the book. they were never rly affectionate on page before the final page, and no kisses. much more of an arch nemesis than a breakup vibe.
- nimona was still likeable despite her gung ho attitude to murdering guards. she sees very black and white while ballister is aware of nuance. whilst childish, she isnt a child much in the comic until
shes actually captured, which made her character feel different.
I felt there was also a different focus on trauma, isolation and the impact of it, nimona in the movie seemed affected in her depression and suicide attempt with the sword and her upset over the little girl's reaction, whereas comic nimona reacts with pure rage most of the time and doesnt forgive ballister, who cant get through to her through talking and has to use a weapon against her. it showed that sometimes support comes too little, too late and she was experiencing a trauma response. 
- I did overall appreciate the more adult feel of the comic
with ambrosius's darker personality, the director's torture of nimona, nimona's constant violence, the gory art, the physical altercation between bal and ambrosius in the pub, etc.

- I liked the art style a lot and would like to reread to appreciate it more. the dialogue is fab too, there was no weak bit.
- the plot spread over a wide time line with a few flashbacks too, and was woven together very well. everything from the
planting the virus in the apples, the different institution perspectives, nimona's fake background, bal and ambrosius's relationship and fighting
flowed together really well and added interesting complexity.
- the side character of dr blitzmeyer was interesting too, a fellow scientist like ballister. he sees her indifference to his reputation as friendship, whereas she is surprised by his trust and openness. she was a bit of a plot device but added comedy and i liked her. 
- there are really funny bits too, amidst the dark aspects, with funny dialogue. some came off better in movie, but the textual jokes were great too.
- I liked the twist too of nimona
being able to separate herself into two selves and control the other one. she becomes her anger and her vulnerable side, separated. the monster and the inner child. when separated they lose the balance that let them trust and work with bal. cool and interesting application of nimona's abilities.

- nimona is harder to like with her unsympathetic disregard for people's lives and as much as its understandable, you get to love her more through ballister than because of herself at least at first. I felt movie nimona had her sad backstory played up more, and her violence played down. 
- compared to the movie, I missed the transgender focus and the theme of acceptance and moving past prejudice. perhaps a result of the authors developing gender identity. the added on screen gayness of bal and ambrosius was great too.
- did think the other scientist was a bit of a plot device and we didnt see much of her.
- liked the flashbacks to gloreth and nimona's friendship in the movie, not present in the comic.

overall, very enjoyable and different from the movie in a lot of ways, but with parallels too. 

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