Story: Scott Snyder
Art: Tony S. Daniel
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Andworld Design
What if the night came early, and it never left? This simple fear of the dark, one of the most common in the world, stands as the main theme and conceit of Nocterra.
The world of Nocterra lies just a few years from our current world. Darkness blocked out the sun one day, and there was no more light. Any organic life left in the dark for 10 hours would mutate into a shade. Plants, bugs, animals, and people turn into murderous monsters. Only a few outposts remain, towns and neighborhoods that are able to supply their own electricity after the main infrastructure fell.
“Ferrymen” handle transportation between the outposts of humanity. Semis, armed to the teeth in Led lights, drive down the abandoned roads, moving people and supplies. Val Riggs, aka Sun Dog, works as one of the best. Her step brother, Emory, serves as her Q, creating light based gadgets to annihilate the shades.
After getting back from a transport gig, Sun Dog learns of a new gig for just two people. They offer a lot of money to be taken to a secret settlement. The man shows sunburns on his arm as proof that the light shines up there. The issue ends with a band of outlaws searching for Sun Dog’s clients.
Snyder excels at writing dark fantasies and horror. His works with vampires and witches and Batman reman some of the most defining in comics. He quickly creates a world, grounded as ours, and easily believable. While the characters hold no surprises or humor yet, they satisfy as likeable and interesting characters. I particularly like Emory, and I can’t wait to see him get more time on the page.
Downside of the story: its another Image apocalypse comic. While Image moved away from their main genre being Post-Apocalyptic in the last couple of years, it remains a persevering force in their company. And in the year 2021, already surviving pandemics and insurrections, I see little reason for more end-of-days doom and gloom.
The art by Daniel leaves more to be desired, though. While Daniel certainly possesses the technical skills, he dresses the women in absurdly tight or revealing clothes. (Who wears a bikini in an endless night populated by monsters?) On the plus side, the shades look amazing, and the faces are detailed and expressive. The colors by Morey manage to be vibrant, yet suited for the end of the world.
Verdict: Buy! While this comic is not without its flaws, the story captivates, leading the reader into a world of lies, darkness, and family.