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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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NOCTERRA #2 review – Pitch Blacktop (Snyder, Daniel, Morey, AndWorld Design) Image Comics

Thanks to Image Comics for the review copy!

Taking its cues from our natural fear of the dark, the first issue of NOCTERRA established a post-apocalyptic world in which the world is covered in darkness and people turn into nasty monsters. What remains of civilization hangs on by using lights to keep the monsters away. Our hero is Val, a trucker who runs delivery trips to earn money to save her brother, who is infected with the monster-conversion stuff. When she accepts a job transporting two people who claim they can bring the sun back, she draws the attention of a mysterious bad guy.

In this issue, we see more of the baddie. Somehow, while he remains shrouded in shadows, NOCTERRA gives him charisma that befits a big bad. Even his speech bubbles are black. Thus far, he’s also an almost complete mystery. Is he just a really bad dude, or does he have some sort of superpowers? What is his overall goal? How does he keep his teeth so white? I’m wondering which approach the writers will take – give him a backstory, or keep him mysterious.

Unlike the mindless monsters, he is able to cajole, threaten, and bargain. We also get some more glimpses of how society works in this dark new world. Perhaps most central to the plot, we learn more about Val’s passengers. Val is tough as nails and makes a great heroine, but right now I’m much more interested in what they are up to.

NOCTERRA continues to make great use of lighting effects to highlight the darkness shrouding the earth. Fire, neon lights, and headlights pop off of the page. Even in scenes without much lighting, the use of different shades of gray allow us to see what is going on in the darkness (unlike a certain GAME OF THRONES episode).

With a tough as nails heroine and a premise that echoes the horror of PITCH BLACK, NOCTERRA is off to a great start.

NOCTERRA #2 is now available.

Check back in a few weeks for my review of the 3rd issue of the series.

Check out the interview that An Englishman in San Diego did with Scott Snyder below.

Are you going to pick up the issue? Have you already? Let me know in the comments!

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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