REVIEW: Nocterra # 1 is a high-octane debut for Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel

Scott Snyder launches the creator-owned Best Jackett Press label featuring Tony Daniel in Nocterra, a thrilling and boastful journey into darkness.

The world can be a dark place, and Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel’s new Image Comics series Nocterra take that feeling to its literal extreme. As the first release from Best Jackett Press, owned by the Snyder creator, the long-awaited release plunges the world into eternal darkness, like a mysteriously corrosive force that turns people into monsters. The new comic follows a young woman who acts as a vital supply runner through a world barely clinging to her own humanity. And Snyder and Daniel kick off with a thrilling debut number that stands as one of Image’s safest openings in recent memory, mixing horror with high-octane action of post-apocalyptic proportions.

Valentina “Val” Riggs was a child when the world, mysteriously and suddenly, was consumed by an eternal night. Ten years later, the survivors are saved from the encroaching darkness by artificial light alone, while Val has become a hardened driver, transporting passengers and cargo to other communities across untamed, unlit highway strips filled with monsters. in his big truck. And as Val takes on an especially personal mission and returns to driving late into the night, she discovers that she and her cargo have been attacked by especially sinister forces who will stop at nothing to interrupt her journey … permanently.

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Much of Snyder’s best work really comes from his inspirations stemming from his self-evident concerns. Wytches deal with the fears and dark desires that come with being a parent. After death he reflects on his own life in a world where conventional mortality no longer makes sense. Unknown country it focuses on an isolated America that has become dangerously unrecognizable while isolated from the rest of the world. What if Unknown country It was a society breaking ties Nocterra It is about civilization rising from the ashes and different individuals and communities struggling to rebuild together, while the separated ones become literally poisoned monsters. It’s a similar theme to Snyder’s recently concluded. Dark Nights: Death Metal, but it is much more intimate here as its narrative begins to work.

That sense of urgency carries directly into the artwork with Daniel, working with longtime colorist and collaborator Tomeu Morey. The art team keeps things moving, with kinetic sensitivity even for dialogue sequences like the world of Nocterra is unveiled. And even though this is a world shrouded in perpetual darkness, Daniel and Morey keep their panels clean and clean; this is a gorgeous book to follow and provides an immersive, post-apocalyptic setting that feels like a twilight twist on Mad max in a perpetual sunset. There is a visible and tangible arrogance to this debut, and this creative team is working to match its powers, telling a story that confidently falls into its wheelhouse.

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While NocterraThe relevance and inspirations of the real world are evident, this is not a story that hangs on subtext and allusion; Snyder and Daniel know they are crafting an entertaining comic first and foremost, and they deliver it with this opening number on all fronts. While it is geared more towards action than horror, Nocterra is a story that leverages years of acclaimed superhero storytelling by its creative team to make something that feels more personal but never loses sight of how much fun comics can be in a free debut.

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