Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Tony S. Daniel
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Andworld Design
Published: March 3, 2021
Publisher’s Summary: “FULL THROTTLE DARK,” Part One
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.
This March, legendary creators SCOTT SNYDER (Dark Knights: Death Metal, WYTCHES) and TONY S. DANIEL (Batman, Deathstroke) unveil horrors beyond any shade in this extra-sized first issue.
As a longtime reader and fan of Scott Snyder’s work, I’m always eager to get my hands on a new series of his when it’s announced. I’ve been lucky, so far, in that I haven’t been disappointed and, more often than not, my expectations have been exceeded. Nocterra #1 is as close to a perfect debut issue as one can get. Interest is piqued, the stage is set, and the taste of what’s to come that’s offered is too tantalizing not to come back for more.
In Nocterra #1, Snyder’s panel-to-panel writing is as sharp and focused as ever. All information delivered, here, is done so intelligently and the story is well-paced. It’s an oversized issue, but it doesn’t feel that way – I mean this as a compliment. Val is in for one hell of a ride and I am looking forward to sticking by her side for the entirety of this dark and dangerous journey.
I’ve never written a bad word about Tony S. Daniel’s artwork, and won’t here. Issue after issue, Daniel never fails to impress me with his attention to detail and blocking. Visually, every panel flows perfectly to the next. Movements feel genuine and spaces, lived in. I can’t ask for much more than what’s delivered here. I will say though that I am looking forward to seeing what Daniel does, in future issues, when bigger baddies are introduced into the story. Surely, there are unimaginable horrors waiting idly in the darkness…I cannot wait to see Tony S. Daniel bring these things to life.
Although I probably should do so more frequently, I don’t comment on the color work done in comics all that often; Tomeu Morey’s color work in Nocterra #1 is stunning and demands attention. Prior to paging through this book, I wouldn’t have understood the importance of solid color work in a story centered in everlasting night; in my experience, these stories often feature cool, muted tones that contribute to the overall tone of the text, but nothing more. Morey, here in this first issue, focuses on the light that tears through the darkness; Morey brings hope–with colors alone–to an otherwise hopeless world. Impressive.
Nocterra very well may be my new favorite comic book series (I’ll report back in a few issues). Snyder and co. have reimagined and refocused the eternal night tale into something novel and promising. I’m excited for what’s to come; I’m eager to dive deeper into darkness.
The Bottom Line
A novel supernatural horror tale about a world suspended in eternal night, Nocterra accomplishes everything a modern comic book should, and more. Thought-provoking and exciting, Nocterra #1 is a stunning debut that should not be missed.