Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Colors: Tomeu More
Publisher: IMAGE COMICS
Release Date: March 3, 2021
Comic industry professional Scott Snyder is partnering with Tony S. Daniel to make a new comic book with Image Comics. What would you do if the world was covered in darkness? Would you run, would you hide, would you fight? How do you survive? These questions and more are presented in the new story of Nocterra #1.
If you’re interested in this comic or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
The comic opens with a soft introduction to the main character, Val Riggs, and the main premise of the comic: what happens when the world falls under darkness? It presents a more wholesome introduction of the character and regular life right before everything changes, giving a good glimpse of what Briggs’ life was like before transitioning to the present day. From there, the comic wastes no time and shows off what the book is about.
The comic shows Val, now an adult and going by the code name Sundog, escorting a group of people in a truck. Nothing too crazy, except the people are all covered in different light sources, all colorful with some more weirder than others. As expected, it’s not smooth sailing for Val’s convoy which comes under attack by a flock of avian creatures. Val gears up as Sundog to fight and the chaos ensues.
After a close call, Val’s convoy finally reaches its destination where Val tells more about the world. It’s nothing too crazy except for several key details which the comic definitely runs with. Her narration provides more info on the setting, explaining that anything exposed to the darkness will transform into terrible monstrous creatures. Insects, birds, cats, dogs, even humans. Even how they transformation in humans begins is pretty weird. Overall, everything that happens comes back to the main phenomenon called the Big PM that caused this darkness. And no one knows exactly what it is.
By the middle we’re given more of Val’s character as more of a traditional tough-as-nails character just trying to provide for her and her brother. More problems pile up for Val as she tries to find new work, but an unexpected opportunity presents itself. While Val sets off for her next job, the comic introduces a new threat to Val and her cargo, a mysterious man of darkness who has some other ideas for Val’s cargo.
The writing by Scott Snyder is pretty good, though nothing too spectacular. He follows a traditional post-apocalyptic formula but puts his own spin on it all to create a fictional world with its own twist to it. On top of that, he writes Val as an introspective character who very much has her feet to the ground to keep herself alive. He manages to give each of the main characters a distinguished personality while providing this jaded element to them, like they’re always expecting bad things to happen. He certainly shows his stuff with the introduction of the new villain.
Throughout the book, Tony S. Daniel’s art and Tomeu Morey’s coloring are impeccable and really show off the world of Nocterra. They nail down the darkness and keeps this genuine form of mystery and menace in the world. Highlighting the contrast of light and dark in this comic is the lights and different costumes, suits, and weird getups people wear. Everything from the facials, suits, creatures, and locations is drawn and colored very well.
Nocterra #1 Spoilers:
I’ll say this: I can’t wait to see more of Blacktop Bill. This character is an example of Scott Snyder’s world and the artists really melding together. Blacktop Bill is literally a man drawn in pitch black with absolutely no discernible features except for his mouth. He’s a walking silhouette with a sci-fi technology that gives him a literal burning touch. His introduction is pretty succinct, for this reviewer at least. He’s seemingly polite but has a sadistic and crass personality underneath and who knows what else. Plus, Snyder presents his goal right away and establishes instant intrigue for the character but that’s all I’ll reveal.
Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel definitely deliver with this introduction to a new comic book world. This comic provides a new world enveloped in darkness but shows the fights not gone from humanity yet. It’s a great first step into a new comic book series.