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Review: The Nice House on The Lake #8

The Nice House on The Lake #8

The Nice House on The Lake’s eight chapter asks a question we love to bring up at parties: who would you spend the end of the world with? It’s a fun question, a great conversation starter. But take it as a real, serious question for a moment. Who’d be on your list? What would make someone worthy enough to be on that list? James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno explore this in their latest issue, and the answers seem to lie in more questions. Then again, there are signs of things finally getting some light shed on them.

Nice House #8 sees the group playing around with the idea of acceptance, perhaps even complacency. Plans are starting to pop up concerning new areas to either build up or section off to better settle into their new reality. As this happens, the issue’s focus character considers loneliness and what it means to be surrounded by people who already know each other. There’s a lot of inequality to consider in that situation and Tynion and Martínez Bueno do a phenomenal job of isolating some of their characters to explore that even as they’re physically surrounded by the entire group.

Martínez Bueno goes for uncomfortably intimate paneling in his pages, each shot captured as if by a hidden camera that’s peeking in just beyond the point of visibility. As a reader, you get the feel you’re eavesdropping, listening in on private conversations meant only for the ears of those present in the panels. Characters bear their souls in these talks and we get a front row seat to this intensely sheltered experience that’ not meant for the group. It’s one of the comic’s strengths and not a single beat is missed.

The Nice House on The Lake #8

Tynion’s script, once again, successfully teases answers to longstanding mysteries without letting his foot off the break entirely. Whatever lies in the shape of things still requires a bit more patience on the reader’s part, but this issue does put into motion certain events that will undoubtedly bring the story past a point of no return.

When it comes to the role Walter is playing, the being of (as of yet) unknown origin or identity that’s behind everything, Tynion and Martínez Bueno opt for an even deeper sense of secrecy about his intentions. That said, this character feels ready to burst from all the things he’s hiding within him. These next few issues should prove utterly terrifying once it all comes spilling out, especially given his seemingly desperate need to be recognized as someone doing good by those around him.

This observation makes me wonder whether Walter is more of a lost god or magical being that can bend reality when it comes down to his purpose. His behavior does not necessarily signal scientific curiosity (which means he doesn’t come off as an alien manipulating with test subjects). Walter is driven by emotion, up to a point, and it signals a more complex kind of reasoning behind the selection process for the people who were allowed to stay at the Nice House. Could this all be a selfish plan by a lonely god that wants to be accompanied or worshipped by a select few he can count as friends? Is he a demon or a supernatural being from the future that wants to change some aspect of the past to counteract his need for attention in his time? We shall see.

It’s incredible to think that Nice House can still add more questions to the central plot this late in the game. And yet, that’s exactly what it does. There’s a hint things will come crashing down hard soon, but it looks like there’s still time to deepen the mysteries Tynion and Martínez Bueno have left unclear thus far. Opening the mystery box, though, will be quite the event when we finally get the chance to.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy and go over your list of people to bring to the apocalypse with

Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE review copy by the publisher

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW