Nocterra #11 ADVANCE REVIEW: A shocking stand-off at Base Luna in an emotional, arc-ending issue

Written by: Scott Snyder, Art by: Tony S Daniel, Colours by: Marcelo Maiolo, Letters by: Andworld Design.

RECAP (skip this paragraph to avoid SPOILERS): There’s a stand-off at base Luna between Sam and William, who have Bill at gunpoint and Val and the convoy. Piper not wanting them to die, snuck over with Adam to try and save them. To help tip the odds she turned off the giant light that stops the shades from going near Base Luna: a base that’s floating in the sea around shark shades called Megas. Now there’s only a few mins before the Megas come crashing in, and everyone left inside dies. They have the coordinates to Eos, so they just need to finish Sam and his shade team off and the journey will be easier. But in such dire circumstances, is it possible to trust Bill, and will everyone even make it out alive?

The second arc ends with a bang, or rather a crash, of the Luna base. I don’t know how the team do it. They keep delivering some of the best dialogue and story of a comic series. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this to be the last issue of the arc. I know we have had 5 issues, plus the Bill Special, but I didn’t see this coming, which made what happened even more shocking. Snyder uses his classic issue set up of having a quote at the beginning and then beautifully tying up the end with the same quote, but it having a slightly different context. This is part of the reason why he’s one of the best writers in comics at the moment (if you’re a fan you could also follow along with my New 52 Batman Retrospectives).

The closing of this arc leaves questions, but in the best possible way. Are the team ready for the road ahead? Can they get to Eos before anyone or anything else? I’m even wondering from a narrative perspective, as we had Val's perspective from the first volume, and then Piper's from the second, will we get someone else's for the third?

I still find it hard to believe how much has happened over the course of 12 issues, spanning 1 year and 3 months. Not only has the writing been strong, but the art has for the most part been really good, consistent and without delays. So I’m blown away by the team's hard-working ethic, especially when many books are delayed and do suffer because of it. Here we have a series that hasn’t had any delays, and I think its success could be helped by that, as well as the magnificent writing and masterful artwork.

With that said, I do have a slight problem with the art in this issue. The first 5 pages, the artwork isn’t up to the usual standard. I’m not sure why, maybe it was a poor copy on my part, or maybe there was so much going on over those pages, that Tony S Daniel didn’t have time to clear up the smaller details. However, there was a difference between those pages and the rest of the book. Where those initial pages seemed grainy, which probably wouldn’t be noticed, but then the page after the title page is of a very clear face. . . one that Daniels has clearly dedicated time to detail. Which I have to admit are his strongest point. For me they have been strong since the first issue. I have included 2 pictures, the second is a panel from the first pages, and the first is from the rest of the book.

Despite that very small problem, this was still a triumphant send-off for the second arc. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough and suggest people pick up the first and second trade (which is out in July).

Might be harsh from me, but I would have rated this issue 5 POPs out of 5, but it lost out only due to the first few pages taking me out of the book.

Nocterra issue 11 will be released by Image Comics on 22nd June from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology


Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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