Webcomic: Nimona

Shapeshifters and fancy knights.

NIMONA is a webcomic by Noelle Stevenson, about a shapeshifter girl, Nimona, who joins a supervillain knight, Lord Ballister Blackheart, as his sidekick. Cue Ballister's surprisingly orderly villainy; he seems to just have more of a rivalry with the "hero" of the series and his antagonist: Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, who's actually much more of a jerk than Ballister.

Only the first three chapters of the comic is currently available on the website due to the comic being licensed to become a graphic novel.


  • 24-Hour Armor:
    • Ballister, big time.
    • Nimona too, assuming it's really armor and she doesn't just shapeshift it into being.
    • Goldenloin is a likely contender.
  • Alliterative Name: Ballister Blackheart
  • Anachronism Stew: The series' main character is a knight with a robotic arm. In several other instances, medieval and technological themes combine, so smoothly that readers have confessed to not even registering that anything was off for several chapters.
  • Annoying Arrows: Discussed and subverted. When an arrow hits Nimona in the leg, Ballister treats it as a serious injury. Nimona thinks he's over-reacting, and wants to get back to fighting right away.
    Nimona: Will you chill out? No-one ever got killed with one little arrow!
    Ballister: Actually, they have. That is kind of the purpose of arrows.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Ballister stands over a fallen Goldenloin during a fight:
    Ballister: What if I cut off your arm right now? Then you'd see how fast the Institution would cast you aside. Just like they did me.
    Goldenloin: You wouldn't.
    Ballister: No, I wouldn't. And I'm the villain. What do you suppose that says about you?
  • Artificial Limbs: Ballister's right arm. Goldenloin shot it off after losing a joust. Though later on, it's revealed that The Institution forced Goldenloin to shoot Ballister.
  • Badass Cape: Considering they're both knights, Goldenloin and Ballister both have one.
  • Bank Robbery: Among Ballister and Nimona's schemes. It's probably one of the most evil things Ballister has really done.
  • Bar Brawl: A short one starting page 9 of chapter 7.
  • Beard of Evil: Ballister sports a goatee, while Goldenloin is clean-shaven. Although later in, Ballister don't trim it any more and it gets closer and closer to a full beard.
  • Berserk Button: Nimona reacts very badly to the suggestion that she could be examined to find how her power works, even For Science!. She's nobody's Guinea pig.
  • Big Bad: The Director.
  • Big "NO!": Ballister, when Nimona's head is cut off.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ballister and Goldenloin are reconciled and redeemed, the Institution is dismantled, and Blitzmeyer gets a fancy new lab with Ballister. However, Nimona's vengeful rampage killed many innocent people, and there's only a slight possibility that she and Ballister will ever reunite.
  • Black Knight: Ballister's portrayed as one. Kinda.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: One of Goldenloin's soldiers is Dual Wielding such blade and quite skilled with them, beheading Nimona's monster form.
  • Blood Knight: Nimona loves killing. Ballister, being the Noble Demon he is, has to tone this down at times.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: It went from a goofy fantasy comic to a dark character study with jokes that are few and far between.
  • Chest Blaster: One of Goldenloin's soldiers has such a weapon integrated in his armor.
  • Christmas Episode:
  • Code Name: Played for Laughs, during the bank robbing scene.
    Nimona: (over radio) Red Fox to Tin Man. Come in, Tin Man, do you copy!
    Ballister: I can hear you, Nimona.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Goldenloin wears majestic gold and white while Blackheart dons black and red.
  • Creator Cameo: Noelle is visible in the background of one page.
  • Destination Defenestration: As part of the Bar Brawl above.
  • Doomed Hometown: Nimona's town was destroyed by raiders from the west. It's part of her backstory on how she became a shapeshifter. Though, with the most recent updates, it looks like she was lying about that.
  • Dramatic Unmask: The Director throwing away her hood reveals Pointy Ears and a bald head, showing she's probably not human.
  • Emerald Power: Dr. Meredith Blitzmeyer's Anomalous Energy Enhancer, which harvests the same infinite omnipotent energy source used by the sorcerers of the mountains... and does nothing at the moment except glow green.
  • Fiery Redhead: Nimona herself. Though it might be dye.
  • Filk Song: A surprising number in the comments.
  • First Law of Tragicomedies: The series started off with a silly sense of humor paired with occasional pathos, then gradually got more serious and character-driven.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Blackheart and Goldenloin, in spades.
  • From a Single Cell: Every time Nimona transforms, all of her cells are destroyed and reformed. It's how she can resurrect and split into two bodies.
  • Fruit Cart: While locked in cat form, Nimona runs into one.
  • Funny Background Event: In the background of one page, the extras include Hawkeye and Black Widow; Gandalf and Bilbo; Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo; Katniss; Pacha; Heisenberg; Noelle herself; and someone in a shock blanket.
  • Gender Bender: During the bank-robbing scene, Nimona shifts into a burly-looking man carrying a chest, and later takes the form of a young boy named Gregor during the Science Expo with Ballister.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Nimona is, which Ballister points out make no sense considering her powers.
  • Government Conspiracy: One of the main plot points.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Goldenloin to Ballister, as part of the Bar Brawl above.
  • Healing Factor: Nimona's arrow wound healed rather quickly. It's a shapeshifter thing. turns out she could have healed much more quickly, but was misleading Ballister as to the extent of her powers.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Ballister, again. At one point we see that the Academy from which he was expelled (and consequently turned "villain" because of this) is stocking big amounts of a highly poisonous plant, making him worried about possible poisoning of the kingdom's food.
  • Holographic Terminal: Surprisingly commonplace.
  • In the Hood: Along with a fake beard, Ballister wears a hooded cloak as a disguise at the Science Expo.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons:
    • Ballister's evil plans commonly involve genetically enhanced dragons.
    • Nimona's first shapeshift was of a dragon, too.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Nimona.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The Director's demise.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Director
  • Loony Fan: Nimona joined Ballister because she was a fan of his work. She's much more competent than the usual version of this trope.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: While in her dragon form, Nimona takes an arrow to the leg during the Bank Robbery scene, and doesn't notice (even after she shifts back to human) until Ballister points it out to her. Even then, her reaction is a simple "Oh." Played with: when the arrow is extracted, she reacts with considerably more pain — but it turns out she was faking in order to mislead Ballister as to the strength of her powers.
  • Meaningful Name: Goldenloin, along with his golden armor, wears a golden codpiece.
  • Minimalist Cast: The cast page shows all the characters with both a name and a recurring part. That list is exactly five people long.
  • Morality Pet: At first, Nimona seems to be an inversion of this for Ballister, since she's constantly nagging him about his self-imposed ethics and code of honor; as the story advances, however, it starts looking more and more like Ballister has been Nimona's Morality Pet all along.
  • Morphic Resonance: Nimona is a redhead, and thus her alternate forms (unless human) have red or pink tones. Unlike many examples of this trope, she actually plays with it once by using a rat painted pink as a diversion.
  • Noble Demon: Ballister does what he does just to "prove a point" instead of being actually evil.
  • No Name Given: The Director.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Briefly mentioned as the reason Ballister won't let Nimona kill Goldenloin.
  • Only One Name: If Nimona received a last name from her parents, she certainly hasn't told anyone. This is a tad unlikely, since the entire story was a lie.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • When Ballister informs Nimona (over radio) that Goldenloin has ambushed him.
    • When the sample of Nimona's blood, extracted from inside the force field she's being detained in to the main lab, begins transforming into her monstrous form.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Rather than listen to Ballister's Techno Babble, Nimona's strategy of getting through high-security doors is just to ram through them as a rhinoceros. Ballister's less than amused.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Ballister's facial expression is usually serious. The only time it isn't is usually when he's shocked.
  • Plasma Cannon: Ballister's weapon of choice during the bank robbery.
  • Plucky Girl: Nimona. That is, if by "plucky" you mean "knife-happy punk-ass Blood Knight".
  • Poisonous Friend: Nimona may be this for Ballister; she's considerably more bloodthirsty and willing to kill than orderly Ballister.
  • Powered Armor: Goldenloin is outfitted with an enhanced (and still golden) suit with which to subdue Ballister and Nimona, complete with built-in Static Stun Gun gauntlets.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: The Middle Ages with computers, TV screens, pop corn, finger gloves, earpieces and ray guns.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In-universe; Word of God has stated that knights choose their own names, and suggests that Goldenloin intended himself to be Goldenlion.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Ballister and Nimona are a villainous version.
  • Schizo Tech: See Anachronism Stew. There's bows and arrows and Death Rays; a knight's armor has built-in radio.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: After being exposed to Dr. Meredith Blitzmeyer's Anomalous Energy Enhancer at the Science Expo, Nimona gets locked in the form of a cat.
  • Shout-Out: See the above Funny Background Event entry.
  • Sore Loser: Goldenloin. He shot off Ballister's arm after losing to him in a joust, causing Ballister to be expelled from the Institution. Cue Ballister's Face Heel Turn. Subverted when Goldenloin reveals that he was forced by The Institution to shoot Ballister.
  • Talk to the Fist: After Blackheart decides he's heard enough of Goldenloin.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: If the Academy wants a villain so much, Ballister is happy to give them one — on his own terms, at least.
  • Those Two Guys: The two women who frequently appear in crowd scenes and share a speaking role on chapter 9, page 7. Referred to by fans as the Cute Lesbians.
  • Tomboyish Sidetails: Nimona has sidetails and bangs, while the rest of her head is shaved.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Nimona.
  • Villain Protagonist: Well, hello.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Goldenloin and the Academy.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Nimona's superpower. She can transform at will into any living creature, though they're often still red. Word of God says she can change her colors completely, but that takes more concentration.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Ballister and Goldenloin were the two best knights in the Institution, until Goldenloin shot Ballister's arm off after losing a joust to him. Until it's revealed that Goldenloin was forced to shoot Ballister.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Nimona's head gets chopped off by a guard. She gets better. Sort of. She turns into a giant fire-monster and incinerates all of them.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: Goldenloin refuses an order from the Institution to kill Nimona. Then again, he could be easily replaced... Subverted when he agrees to kill Nimona in exchange for not having to kill Blackheart.