NOCTERRA #5 review – Light at the End of the Tunnel?

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Thanks to Image Comics for the review copy!

Nocterra is a post-apocalyptic story in which the planet has gone dark, causing people to change into monsters. The few remaining survivors cling to settlements protected by artificial light. The plot has centered around Val’s quest to find a rumored light source to heal her infected brother Emory before it is too late. Since every story needs a bad guy (in addition to the monsters), she has been pursued by a shadowy stranger.

A quest can only go on and a character can only be gravely ill for so long without feeling drawn out. This series makes the wise decision to bring some resolution to both plotlines. Issue five pays off on the series-long teases while dropping a major bombshell cliffhanger at the end.

This issue lacks the action sequences of the prior four, relying instead on flashbacks, dialogue, and narration. The most surprisingly effective part of the issue is Val’s slow reveal about what happened to her and her brother in the past, a subject of frequent flashbacks in the series. The slow drip of information adds to the tension without having to visually depict it on the page. Dialing back the action also allows the main characters to develop more depth.

Between the movement on the major plot and the information filled in about the past, issue five promises to provide the answers many readers have been asking about the world of Nocterra. Perhaps more importantly, with the quest largely resolved, it sets up an exciting new problem to solve. As a culmination of the story so far, I highly recommend reading the first four issues before this one.


Nocterra#5 is now available.

Check back soon for my review of the 6th issue of the series.


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

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