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Review: Nocterra #4

Nocterra #4

Over four issues, we’ve slowly seen the world of Nocterra built out. Nocterra #4 delivers more of that bouncing between the past and present and in doing so giving us a better idea about its characters. The issue has Val and her crew still on the run and delivers an air of desperation and in some ways depression.

Writer Scott Snyder does a solid job of taking us on an emotional ride with the issue giving us highs and lows. After the attack by Bill we learn the truck is draining power with just enough to get to the destination and no more after that. It’s a key moment for the series. Snyder presents us with an option. Go back to the town they came from with nothing in hand and a lot lost or keep moving forward with a chance that they might find what they’re looking for. That a literal light is at the end of the tunnel. And Synder, as he does so well, makes it seem not so good. There’s a lot of directions each scene could go and things could always get worse. Snyder brilliantly leaves the readers guessing how low things can go and if there’s any hope at the end.

Where the series excels is folding in the past. Nocterra #4 opens on Val and her brother as they attempt to figure out what to do as kids. There’s promise that the government will come to help. There’s the reality that it isn’t coming. They also have to deal with their parents who have turned and attempting to break through the basement door. We see the bond between Val and her brother as she ponders her decision-making and leadership. Snyder does an excellent job on tying that memory into the current situation.

The art continues to be solid. Tony S. Daniel delivers a dark and twisted world using the shadows well. Tomeu Morey‘s colors really makes the series with a mix of the blackness and neon/day-glow coloring to emphasize the light. The tension that Snyder brings is emphasized by the art which uses the shadows and darkness so well. You have no idea what might pop up from where keeping readers on their toes. It also really delivers the action when things get rolling. The entire issue is full of a frantic pace and the art really nails that down. Then there’s that last panel which is so solid and just nailed perfectly.

Nocterra #4 is another solid issue. It builds upon the world while giving us lots of action. It’s a nice emotional ride that you have no idea what will happen next. It’s an exciting comic that is able to balance world-building with the action in front of you.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Tony S. Daniel
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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