"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.
Amongst the growing canon of Scott Snyder works, Nocterra stands very much apart from his other stories. Horror, science fiction, action, drama– these are all realms we’ve seen him play in before but somehow Nocterra simply feels different. While the usual high-end concepts we’ve come to expect from Snyder’s decompressed narrative style remain intact, they feel exceptionally well-balanced with the sharp character development we see in Val and Em, the sister/brother main characters (at least thus far). I hesitate to even call them protagonists this early in the narrative because this book reads very much like one that could upset whatever expectations you try to place on it, already creating a sense of moral controversy from the start.
The pairing with Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey is an incredibly interesting one. In a story set in a world gone black, these two light up the sky with vivid visuals and dynamic pacing. Set in a dominantly wide-screen layout, the book reads like an action film with a borderline superhero feel. The things that go bump in the night are nightmare fuel but in a very different feel than, say, Jock’s work his and Snyder’s Wytches. Here the fear is in the uncanny, the uncertainty, the knowing how little you know about what goes on in the dark.
Given the timing of this book, along with interviews with Snyder himself, it is hard to miss some of the coded messaging about the world in which Nocterra was created. Borne out of the madness and isolation of 2020, at its heart, Nocterra seems to be about the things in this world that tear us apart, figuratively, and the lengths we must go to maintain connection with our fellow humans. As the United States fights through political upheaval, a global pandemic, racial unrest and battles for equal rights on multiple fronts, it sometimes feels like there is a darkness hanging over this nation. There is fear of what happens inside of that darkness. Will our isolation breed monsters where we cannot see them? Nocterra takes all of these thematic elements are fires up the engines of hope in the form of an 18-wheeler driven by a person who knows the dark all to well.
Nocterra #1 (@Ssnyder1835 @TonyDanielx2 @tomeu_morey @andworlddesign @ImageComics) tells a dark tale of a dark world, where the only hope may very well be the headlights of an eighteen-wheeler!
Nocterra #1: It Goes Bump in the Night, Over
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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