Review: Nocterra #4

Nocterra” – Book Four
Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Color Artist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: AndWorld Design’s Deron Bennett
Review by Steve J. Ray

The world is in darkness, and with every endless night that passes, Emory’s condition worsens. To make matters worse, Blacktop Bill is hot on the trail of Val and her surviving passenger, Bailey. Welcome to Nocterra #4.

I have to say that I’m now fully immersed in the world that Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, Tomeu Morey, and Deron Bennett have created. The pacing of every issue, with the horror of Val and Emory’s pasts only slowly being revealed, works brilliantly with the blistering action of the present day. Val Riggs doesn’t have superpowers, but she’s a hero through and through, and never has that been more evident than in this issue.

Snyder brilliantly shows the slow transformation of Emory into a night-shade, making it even more emotionally charged as we get to see more of the animal and human shades that lurk wherever there’s an absence of light. Is what happened to them going to be Emory’s eventual final fate, or will Dr. Augustus’ brother have the cure the Riggs family are so desperately seeking?

No Shades of Grey In This Story

Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey surprise and delight, month after month. I love the art in this book! Monsters, action, or just a couple of truckers talking on the radio… it all works, it looks great, and it all forwards the plot. There’s no wasted line of dialogue, no redundant line, shadow or shaft of light in any of these pages. Nocterra is a great comic book, it’s as simple as that.

Deron Bennett really goes to town too, this month: rustling undergrowth, the rumble of a herd of shades, and their screeches in the endless night of this future world; AndWorld Design’s master craftsman places them all beautifully on the page.

Conclusion

Man, this issue kicks butt. Nocterra #4 is a ray of sunshine every month, which is extremely ironic considering the subject matter. The end of the issue blew me away, and Blacktop Bill terrifies me more every time we see him. We meet a new character at the end of the book and, unless Bill has his way, things may be looking bright for Val, Emory, and Bailey after all… I hope.

Can’t wait for issue #5. 

Artwork courtesy of Image Comics

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