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The chase is on, in near perfect Nocterra #3: ADVANCE REVIEW

Written by: Scott Snyder, Art by: Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey.

With Blacktop Bill hot on their tails, Val has to steer the rig quickly and smoothly to get away from him and his gang. All while Bailey and her grandfather are in the back, praying to get away from him. In a desperate act of heroism, Bailey's grand-dad sacrifices himself to slow down the ever-gaining terrorists. However, not before confessing some blunt truths to her, and giving her his book with “all the answers” inside. He tells her to take it to his brother Tiberius. Will his sacrifice be enough to slow down or stop Bill from coming after her, or are they just delaying the inevitable?

We are now 3 issues in and I’m finding it difficult to pick out any negatives. I’ve spoken before about how there’s very few or even no examples of perfect books. If you believe something is perfect then you have nothing to strive towards. This however might be as close to a perfect series as you can get. Three issues in and I’ve yet to see even a slight pencil or colour off. I’ve explained in my previous reviews that these creators are at the top of their game and the height of their popularity. (I would argue that, anyway) Scott Snyder could possibly ride the coattails of his Batman run forever and still never be anything but the guy who single handedly recreated the character like Frank Miller did in the '80s. Tony S. Daniel for exactly the same reasons, but with Detective Comics. Tomeu Morey has been colouring some of the biggest hits of the last few years, like Dark Knights Metal (2017-18) and Heroes In Crisis (2018-19). With this in mind, I’m being as critical as I can with this series, due to the fact that they all deliver such high quality work on a consistent basis. Yet I still fail to see even a single frame out, or speech that doesn’t seem necessary.

The writing for this issue manages to parallel the story, in that it steps up a gear. Val has to drive hard and fast and it’s mimicked within the script. It’s well structured and planned. Snyder still continues to feed us information about the past so we get fully rounded characters, yet he’s able to do this slowly through each issue, giving us enough to get a better picture of them without being taken away from the main timeline of events for too long. He has even ramped up the action and intrigue here, which I didn’t see coming, as I thought we were going on a certain direction and by the end of this issue, it’s clear he’s thrown us a curveball. Outstanding writing here by someone who I can only admire, and say that it feels like Snyder’s not only enjoying himself, but he’s delivering the best books I’ve seen from him.

They say "a picture paints a thousand words." In the case here, I can only disagree. Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey craft such beautiful panels that they could do an entire series without dialogue and it would still make sense and be well crafted. I picked out this particular page in the book because as soon as I got to this page, I stopped. I couldn’t help but stop and just stare at this wonderful artwork. And not just at the fantastic pencils. Light is such a key aspect of this book, that you really pay attention to both light and dark. Here was no exception, I was automatically drawn to the fluorescent blue torch and the reflection off the wall. This makes the hand prints flare up, and it has such a wonderful contrast with the warmth of the glow behind them as Val and Em talk in the background.

Overall this is a wonderful book and a thrilling series so far. I cannot wait to see where we go from here and I cannot recommend this book enough.

Nocterra issue 3 from Image Comics will be released on 5th May from your local comic shop as well as comixology

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