Review: Nocterra #1 (Image Comics)

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Colourist: Tomeu Moery
Letterer: Deron Bennett
On Sale: 3/3/2021

Legendary creators Scott Snyder (Dark Knights: Death Metal, WYTCHES) and Tony S. Daniel (Batman, Deathstroke) unveils horrors beyond any shade in this extra-sized first issue.

PLOT AND STORY 

Ten years after the world is plunged into an everlasting night that turns all living creatures into monstrous shades, the only way to survive is to stay close to artificial light. Enter Valentina “Val” Riggs, a skilled ferryman who transports people and goods along deadly unlit roads with her heavily illuminated eighteen wheeler.

It always amazes me how creators continue to come up with original ideas when it feels like almost everything has been made now but Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel maange to do it again. Monster stories and post apocalyptic settings are not new but I really enjoyed the way this story is told from a new and original perspective. With Pitch Black and even Resident Evil vibes this is a story that it explores the terrors which lurk in the darkness. 

What I love about creator owned comics is how personal the stories are and the fact that all the imagination comes from the creators. Scott Snyder is one of my favourite Batman writers and as much as I enjoy his Dark Knight work you know he is operating within the constraints of DC Comics and taking the story where they need it to go not necessarily where he wants it to go. Nocterra is his creation with Tony S. Daniel and it’s their story to go where they want it to and I love the possibilities we can get with such a talented creative team. A note on the final pages from Snyder details his personal fear of the dark as a child and his own child’s fear of the dark which sparked the idea for this book and that level of personal touch is what has me super excited for the journey we are about to take.

ARTWORK

The combination of Tony S. Daniel art and Tomeu Morey colours on the opening issue appears to be a dream partnership. Big, bold art with interesting designs and vibrant colours which contrast expertly against the dark, harrowing silhouette figures which haunt the night. 

What stands out for me the most in this issue is how every page is cram packed full of detail without looking crowded. Every panel has detailed, intricate backgrounds which fully immerse you in the story and gives the comic a genuine grand scale feel. I can’t think of a single panel which has a plain background which shows the love and care that has gone into making this book.

Complimenting everything in this book are the clean, perfectly placed letters by Deron Bennett. When you have a book as packed and detailed as this, the sharp, clean and somewhat simplistic text bubbles are precisely what the pages need.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I said it in a tweet and I will say it again, this is one of the best opening issues of a comic book series I have read in a long time. It’s fresh, bold storytelling on a big scale with superb artwork and introduces us to a world of crazy opportunities and possibilities.

I read this via an advance preview copy issued by Image Comics and received no incentive to review this comic.

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