Reviews

Review – Nocterra #1 (Image Comics)

Nocterra #1 (Image Comics) cover A (detail) by Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey
  • Writing - 7/10
    7/10
  • Art - 7/10
    7/10
  • Overall - 7/10
    7/10

Nocterra #1

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Colorist: Tomeu MoreyΒ 
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 3, 2021

Valentina Riggs was a little girl when the world got plunged into everlasting darkness 10 years ago; now she survives the monsters that the darkness has brought about.

Overall
7/10
7/10
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“The Night Man Cometh” Nocterra #1

Valentina “Val” Riggs and her adopted brother are living in a world of darkness in Nocterra #1. And no, not like “they have a bad home life” darkness, more that the world has been plunged into eternal darkness type dark. Something happened to the sun ten years ago and it has been dark ever since. But something worse than that has happened. The darkness has brought some type of virus with it. Something that changes plants, animals, and humans into something vile and evil. The only way to survive is to find some artificial light and stay in it.

Nocterra #1 (Image Comics) cover C by Bosslogic
Nocterra #1 (Image Comics) cover C by Bosslogic

Val is a truck driver, now known as a “ferryman”. She brings people across the lands on the dark roads. Her rig, its lights, and her brother’s ingenuity are the only things that keep her and her passengers safe from the monsters lurking in the darkness. In Nocterra #1, Val gets new customers that will change her world forever.

Writing

I was pretty excited to see Scott Snyder back at it with some creator-owned stuff in Nocterra #1. I am a big fan of American Vampire, Wytches, and The Wake. Snyder comes back to the fray in this horror/sci-fi series. Right odd Snyder’s voice and tone shine through this first issue. With his dialogue and narration, he always has the foreboding essence that pierces through his work.

Nocterra #1 does feel a little more lighthearted and more “actiony” than his other creator-owned work. It is still definitely more horror-bent, but the futuristic setting and the characters have this little almost “wacky” 80’s future/sci-fi movie bent to them, which I love. While a lot of this feels very familiar, that little bit of “camp” sets it apart from his other work.

The basic plot and story for Nocterra #1 do feel like something very familiar. It is kind of a trope we have seen a lot. I won’t spoil anything, but the basic breakdown of what happens in Nocterra #1 does not bring any surprises to the table. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing. The high concept of the series and general story has some solid points. Val seems to be an interesting character. But I cannot shake the feeling that we have seen all this before.

Art

Tony S. Daniel does some solid artwork in Nocterra #1. Daniel has the difficult/fun job of designing and bringing this post-apocalyptic dark world to life. He does fantastic character design. He has a lot of fun with different clothing designs and fashion for these characters. With the world needing artificial light, Daniel decks out these characters in a wild array of clothing and accessories to keep them safe from the monsters.

I do wish the panel setups and layouts were a bit more varied in Nocterra #1. It seems there are a lot of close-up rectangle panels throughout this issue. I wish Daniel maybe branched out a bit more in this issue to give us some different views and perspectives. It also makes everything feel closed off.

Colorist Tomeu Morey has a lot to play with in Nocterra #1. With all the artificial lights to play with, Morey “shines” bright in this issue. From the contrast of the lights and the darkness surrounding the world, Morey does a solid job of playing with shadows while still keeping everything vivid as well.

Conclusion

Nocterra #1 is a tough one to judge. If you like Scott Snyder’s work then his style bleeds through in this series and you will find something to enjoy. I like the horror/sci-fi feel of the book but also mixed with this almost campy type tone of this post-apocalyptic world and its citizens. The art is all-around solid as well. But, I feel like we have seen all this before. Nothing really jumps out in Nocterra #1. From the story to the art, there is nothing that stands out to me, to say you have to pick this series up. Hopefully that changes in the next issue.


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