Review: The Nice House on the Lake #7
Fans of heavyweight boxing know that 12-round fights carry moments of measured action, of throwing just enough punches to win a round without spending all energy reserves in case it goes all the way. James Tynion and Álvaro Martínez Bueno are in round seven of their terrifyingly cryptic mini-series The Nice House on the Lake and they’re looking for a successful entry that sets up the intensity for the remainder of the story.
Last we saw the people of the Nice House, new discoveries were making their way to the fore with some disconcerting revelations changing the entire dynamic of the group and the place they’ve been stuck riding out the apocalypse at. The person or thing responsible for bringing everyone together, Walter, appeared and gave a vague explanation of what’s really happening, but nothing too definitive that it solves the mystery of the house.
Well, Walter’s back in a strange way and it’s making things even more difficult to piece together this late in the game.
Tynion’s script doesn’t seem interested in taking its foot off the gas just yet with the secrets surrounding the situation. It continues adding layers to the mystery and complicating the relationships between those in the group. Issue #7 is a special one in this regard.
As has been the case with every issue, the story gets to focus on one character out of the bunch at a time to look at how they relate to Walter, how he’s affected them. This entry’s focus character is one of its most fascinating: Norah, a trans character with a desperate need to vent, and rightly so. The way Tynion and Martínez Bueno approach Norah, though, makes for one of the most emotionally charged entries in the series yet. A lot of it is due to how her place in the group is portrayed as on a visual standpoint.
Tynion and Martínez Bueno present Norah as one of the most isolated people in the group, a person who’s not just struggling with the end of the world but her role in it as well. She’s feeling betrayed, especially by Walter, and the way this is presented is in a series of almost full-black spreads featuring a subtle outline of Norah with her inner monologue hanging over her. It creates a very raw sense of anger and indignation pertaining to how some people assume to know her and her struggles based on her self-identity process. It’s another highlight in a series full of memorable moments that take readers outside their comfort zones.
The Nice House on the Lake #7 is further confirmation we’re seeing the makings of a classic horror comic as it develops. What’s surprising is how much of the story is still in the process of revealing itself. Less meticulous creators would’ve probably given most or the entire mystery away by now. Tynion and Martínez Bueno are still in the secret keeping business and it’s making the looming finale feel like a massive event ready to change the very definition of horror.
Story: James Tynion IV Art: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Andworld Design
Recommendation: Reread issue #6 first and then dive into issue #7 headfirst.
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review