Review: The Nice House on the Lake #9

The Nice House on the Lake #9

It shouldn’t come as a surprise by now that James Tynion and Álvaro Martínez Bueno’s The Nice House on The Lake reveals parts of its jigsaw puzzle-like plot one tiny piece at a time. Issue #9 is no different. We’re still getting glimpses of possible answers, but we’re still very much at the mercy of ambiguous tidbits of information. Some big moments do set certain things in motion, but patience is the ideal virtue when it comes to this horror comic. Something wicked is certainly on the horizon, though, and this issue might just be the calm before the storm we’ve been at the heels of.

The latest chapter of Nice House sticks closer to the character of Arturo, who’s knowledgeable in the ways of acupuncture (something that carries more importance than I initially thought). The people at the house are trying to take on big projects to both explore the space they’re allowed to exist in and perhaps uncover more about the outside world. Unfortunately for them, things take an intense turn when certain realities about their physical conditions and of Walter’s role in the group come to the fore.

While character work is still the driving force behind the story, this issue does put plot progression ahead of strict character development (at least more than in previous issues). Tynion’s script lets his characters converge on a singular mission and keep them focused on it, all of which signals the coming of the end. While we’ve reached supposed ‘points of no return’ before, this time it feels like a crucial line is about to be crossed from which there truly is no turning back.

The Nice House on the Lake #9

Martínez Bueno continues to impress with character expressions and ominous environmental designs. Every new structure the group builds and shows off looks like an architectural marvel and it helps build the world around them in unprecedented ways. Aspiring artists have a lot to learn from Martínez Bueno in terms of visual worldbuilding from this series.

Jordie Bellaire’s colors make the story even more distinctive, with a fairly varied color palette that makes the Nice House and its surroundings feel like a cruel paradise. Keeping in mind that each character is basically a totem of stress and anxiety, the colors become an affront to their emotional states. It’s as if it were wrong to not surrender to the situation and enjoy the beauty Walter has created for everyone at the Nice House.

We’re closing in on the end, which means the comic’s central mystery is running out of places to hide. Very soon, things will have to come out into the light. Fortunately for us readers, the process has been nothing short of spectacular, even though it’s getting harder and harder to wait for the remaining issues to drop.

Story: James Tynion Art: Álvaro Martínez Bueno Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Read and then take inventory of your Doomsday stash

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW