Review: Nocterra #1
When Nocterra came to Kickstarter, I happily backed it. I have the full over-sized black and white version on my shelf. I haven’t cracked it open yet because I wanted to experience the comic monthly, issue by issue and in color, like so many others. Reading it in one go is for down the road. After reading Nocterra #1, I had to crack open my Kickstarter version as I wanted to linger on and soak in the artwork even more. The comic delivers an intriguing premise that feels familiar in a world that feels foreign, strange, and fascinating.
The world has gone dark. Enveloped in a pitch black, the surviving bits of humanity must cling to the artificial light because if they don’t, they begin to turn into monsters. There’s constant danger and a rather bleak existance. Enter Valentina “Val” Riggs, a skilled ferryman who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen wheeler. Riggs is hired to ferry two mysterious individuals who promise hope.
Written by Scott Snyder, Nocterra #1 feels familiar. The darkness delivers thoughts of Pitch Black while being surrounded by monsters and the focus on a courier has a bit of I Am Legend and The Wilds, among other things. Despite that familiarity, the debut issue is engaging and sucks the reader in. The presentation of the world and build up to the final pages creates a world you become enveloped in.
Riggs being the center of the story, we’re provided a personal experience in this world and her view on it. Snyder gives Riggs some depth, taking us from her childhood to the current situation, ten years after the world has gone dark. We get Val’s perspective on it with a calm acceptance for reasons explained. And we get action, lots of action. Nocterra #1 delivers a hell of a sequence that’s full of entertainment.
That action is delivered by Tony S. Daniel. His visuals, along with Tomeu Morey on color and Andworld Design‘s lettering, get the blood pumping while the action gets going. But, the visuals help flesh out this world telling so much of the story. When Val gets to her town, we’re presented with a new world that packs in details that tell so much more than Snyder’s dialogue provides. You get a good sense of things through Daniel’s art, it’s the small details of the comic. Nocterra #1 also delivers one of the most interesting villains in a long time with a design that sucks you into the void.
Nocterra #1 is a solid start. Though it feels like an amalgam of other stories, it’s entertaining and packed with stunning visuals. We get an interesting world, solid protagonist, and the focus on details that flesh out its characters and world. It’s an amazing start and we’re all in for the ride.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Tony S. Daniel
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review