Nocterra #2 – Image Comics Review

Nocterra #2 – Image Comics Review

By: John C. Mayberry

 

Once again, I’ve delved deeper into a world conquered by a darkness that literally mutates all it touches, and there isn’t any place I’d rather be than there, taking it all in.  Minus what I’m sure is a violent mutation, of course.  The Image Comics series Nocterra is quickly proving to be one of the best titles I’ve ever come across, which not only succeeds in the sci-fi horror genre of comics but has an almost uncanny ability to draw in those who may not have been fans of sci-fi or horror previously, and to keep them coming back for more.

 

In continuing with issue two readers will see great examples of what story progression and character development.  You’re given more of the backstory of siblings Val, a.k.a. Sundog, and Emory, getting more of a feel of how deep their familial relationship is, seeing another flashback to just before the “big PM” hit, and altered the world for the worst.  Transporting her fare, an old man and his granddaughter of whom not much is known about yet, readers continue to follow the events with great pleasure as the creative team has once again put together something worthy of carrying the Image Comics name.

 

Nocterra is something that is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles, and with good reason.  I for one cannot wait to see what comes next, the role Sundog’s fare plays in what happened to the world, who their pursuing antagonist, Blacktop Bill, really is and what his true motivations are, and to follow this title issue by issue as long as it lasts, which hopefully for us comic book nerds, will be a very, very long time.

 

PROS:

Character development – More of the backstory of Sundog and Emory is revealed, once again displaying the closeness of their relationship to each other, their world views, and how they, as characters, changes as the struggle for curing Emory’s infection, and for survival itself, becomes increasingly more desperate.  Development is at a steady pace to really flesh out the main characters, making their stories more vivid and resonating to the audience.

Page composition – The way the contents of the pages is displayed really speaks to an incredible collaborative effort put forth by all involved.  The caption boxes, caption bubbles, their placement on the page and within pieces of excellent artwork in this issue, portray a series of events that’s clear, concise, and entertaining as hell while we’re kept in suspense of what happens next.

Story development – The story of Nocterra is gradually progressed, but not at a snail’s pace.  With brief reminders of events passed to keep readers up to speed with events so far, events are written in such a way that not too much of the overall story is revealed, but enough is given to the reader to keep them entertained and engaged to their nerdy heart’s desires.

Character design – Not enough great things can be said about the artwork of this series, but to throw another one on there the designs of recently introduced characters is really something to behold.  In keeping with the feel of this story’s hopelessly bleak setting, Blacktop Bill, even in the simplicity of his design, and his underlings is something truly sinister and intimidating.  Their appearance will definitely give you feelings of dread and may actually induce a degree of fear for the safety of the main characters.

 

OVERALL SCORE – 10 out of 10

Two issues in, and I have yet to find one thing wrong with Nocterra.  It has all the dark, hopeless, post-apocalyptic goodness that I, and many others within the comic book community, just absolutely love.  Stunning artwork to keep us visually stimulated (get your mind out of the gutter), and an engaging, entertaining, and steadily paced story is exactly why I’m going to make sure I have extra copies of these early issues.  This is going to be a great series, and one I’m going to collect to the point of mania.