‘Nocterra #3:’ Comic Book Review

Nocterra has been a high-energy story right from the start, and that doesn’t change at all in Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel’s newest issue of their creator-owned work. We begin issue #3 right where we left off, with Val and company on the run from Black Bill.

But where the world-building and tension were the driving forces behind the first two issues, action, new information, and a new (and unwelcome) predicament drive the tempo in this chapter.  Val and her passengers have been consistently put through the wringer ever since the story began; the argument can be made that they’ve been suffering long before. The difference between what Val has gone through and what she is about to go through is that it’s happening with barely a chance to rest, and this time, she isn’t alone.

What can be said about the story that hasn’t already been said? Snyder is doing a fantastic job keeping us entertained and informed without rushing either. Each new issue expands the dark and scary world.  Blacktop Bill was already a fascinating character since his introduction. Still, Val’s narration of who he is and who he was before the Big PM provides a look into this antagonist. Although he may be a particular type of villain that readers may have already seen before (sadistic, intelligent, and enjoys the thrill of the chase), it’s fun to learn more about him and his character.  That’s kind of the point with all the characters, though: The more we learn, the more we want to get to know them. We knew how much Val cared for her brother, but it’s heartwarming and heartbreaking to understand just how much he cares for her, too.

The artwork is on point, as well. The colors, lines, and the lettering are crisp and clean which does a considerable service to the consumption of the story itself. This is a fast-paced story, and if there were one thing that didn’t work visually—from the colors to the lettering—it would slow down the story and disrupt the pace. But everything from the dialogue to the shading works together to provide a comprehensive storytelling experience that offers something new in each chapter. In issue #1, we were introduced to a frightening new world. Issue #2 found us in a high-octane adventure, and issue #3 leaves us with a startling and life-changing cliffhanger for our crewmates and for the rest of us readers.

If there’s one thing we don’t have to ponder, it’s that whatever Snyder and company have cooked up for us, it’s going to be a treat.


Creative Team: Scott Snyder (writer); Tony S. Daniel (art); Tomeu Morey (colors); Andworld Design (letters); Will Dennis (editor); Tyler Jennes (assistant editor); Emma Price (graphic design)
Publisher: Image Comics
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