Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I was first introduced to Nimona at YallFest, when my group of BookTube friends and I put together a Hunger Games challenge, where we pitted different book characters against one another and discussed who would win. Nimona made it to the Quarter Quell, and almost won. After having finally read the graphic novel, I’m confident in saying I think she’d win the entire thing.
Nimona is a shapeshifting young girl who teams up with the resident supervillain, Lord Ballister Blackheart, because she wants to kick some ass. She’s impulsive, brash, and quick to kill, but she’s also brave and smart and becomes what he needs to take down the group who claims to be the kingdom’s protectors, including his former best friend-turned nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin.
I love Nimona. She’s funny, richly developed, and has an interesting yet vague backstory. She’s wild, has a devil-may-care attitude, and can shapeshift! Blackheart and Goldenloin challenge the typical ideas of heroes vs villains in the same way Gru and Megamind do, and I love the flipped stereotype.
Nimona began as a web comic, with the story and art both done by Noelle Stevenson, and it’s both a well crafted story and comic, and the art style definitely suits the story.
Dragons! Villains! Shapeshifting! Badass characters! Nimona is perfectly wonderful.