Nocterra #9 ADVANCE REVIEW: a near-perfect mix of action, thrills, & consistently cinematic art

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

Bill is now traveling with the convoy to the next base, called Luna, but can he be trusted? He explains that he’s not the only one like him; others like him are being made at Luna. Although there are also people there who can turn the light equation that Bailey's (Piper) grandad was working on, to end the great PM and bring back the sun, with a new threat chasing them and Bill in their ranks, maybe they need to be extra vigilant.

We are now 3 issues into this arc and I finally have a criticism, albeit a small one. Each of the issues so far in this arc has had a fraction at the beginning. Issue 7 had 1/1, and to me that suggested it was a filler issue, like a one-shot setting up the next arc. The next issue had ½ and now this one has 1/3. So this has left me rather confused by what it actually means. Is this an American comics thing that I’m unaware of? I’ve been reading them for so long that I thought I knew all the numbering eccentricities. So far this is the only critique I have of the book, which just shows how well this is going. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe there is or ever will be a perfect book, but Nocterra is coming very close.

This arc so far has been told from the perspective of Piper (the young girl from the first issue), but this was the first time that we didn’t get much from Val at all. This arc is focusing on how Piper feels about her legacy and how she thinks things will change after the big PM. She’s hopeful that her grandfather's equation will work to reverse whatever is causing all this, and that life will be better afterwards. This is incredibly well worked, as she’s been considering her part in the future, but now that Bill has had a chance to speak to her, it potentially corrupts the pure thought that after the PM reversal it will all be perfect. With only a few words, Snyder (through Bill) manages to make the audience really think about society, and how they act in times of crisis. People are generally bad, but will they will help each other in turbulent times through self preservation? Many different mediums have pondered this question while depicting different worldly events, the biggest and latest name would be The Walking Dead. In a similar way, here we have the event being the big PM, and Val only really seeing the world after it due to being blind and Piper being born after. So could we get a similar social reflection?

Tony Daniel's art is fantastic as always. I love how he plays with the panel layouts: every now and then, a panel would spill out into others. This just makes all motions even more cinematic. Each of the characters are perfectly detailed, to portray so much emotion. It’s clear that not only is Daniel a master of his craft at the detail, but also the consistency to not let even a single panel slip in quality, over the course of the entire series so far.

Overall, Nocterra remains one of the best books on the stands currently, and I can’t praise it enough.

Nocterra #9 will be released from Image Comics on 13 April 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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