Review: The Nice House on the Lake #3
James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno try to tame the urgencies of the end of the world in The Nice House on the Lake #3 to look at a specific character and how everything affects just one person in a group that’s stuck together. While the tension’s still running on high, this character-centric issue is one that nonetheless helps deepen the mystery behind the apocalypse and the role Walter, the person responsible for the house on the lake, plays as one of its agents.
Issue #3 centers on Sam, a queer character that reveals Walter was the first person he came out to and how he felt a kind of unstable duty to please this friend that only appeared at certain moments throughout his life. As the group tries to create some kind of routine or distraction to deal with the situation at the house, Sam decides it’s too early to settle and accept the new normal. Instead, he goes out to explore the limits of the land surrounding the house.
This part of the story finds great success in holding the idea of post-apocalyptic life over the group’s collective thought. While some might be more inclined to try and find comfort in distraction, others will find there’s no hope of acceptance when so many questions are yet to be answered. Tynion and Martínez Bueno latch on to this dynamic to great effect to set up what will eventually lead to rifts within the group.
Martínez Bueno finally has the opportunity to let loose with the overall weirdness found on the land surrounding the house, especially with the strange geometry of the sculptures lying around. As Sam explores further, we get to see strange things hiding beyond the house and they do a great job of turning an already terrifying situation into a more disturbing one. I can’t wait to see what other hidden horrors await in the coming issues, and how Martínez Bueno will bring them to life.
Tynion’s focus on Sam shows that each character in Nice House has a continent’s worth of story in them. Not only should we expect more of these single-character studies in the future, but they might also become the some of the best parts of the whole series. It’s getting harder and harder to wait for the next installment of The Nice House on the Lake and it’s looking like it has no intention of letting up on that.
Story: James Tynion IV, Art: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy and remember to bring your own snacks to the end of the world