Nocterra 3: Language of Light and Love or Language of Evil?

Art by Tony S. Daniel (image Comics)

From the very beginning, Nocterra has been nothing but action. It’s been a series where if you (or Val) stop to catch a breath, you’ll find yourself facing Blacktop Bill and eventually death. Part of what’s been so enjoyable about this series is is the creative team of Scott Snyder, Tony S. Daniel, and Tomeu Morey not pulling their punches. This isn’t a Batman story like they’ve worked on in the past, where a hero rises above. This is about survival. The sun isn’t coming back and neither is a sigh of relief.

The story opens as we find out why the world went dark, we also witness Val and Em decide whether or not to trust their turned parents beg them to let them inside. Throughout the issue, there is a constant debate about the concept of love, and if it even exists anymore. Maybe it does, but it doesn’t seem that way. Rather, it seems the world is so full of evil and cruelty that the only language left is one of evil.

The levels of evil and cruelty in this world are further built upon in this issue. Part of what makes this more compelling is when we realize some characters haven’t seen the sun. It’s an unexpected concept that I hadn’t thought of. The world has been dark for so long that people have been born and died without seeing the light. This also adds a layer of depth to the story, as we realize just how long the world has gone dark.

While we’re having these existential thoughts, Val and her passengers are driving for their life. Blacktop Bill is right on their tail, and he’s relentless. It doesn’t take long to realize that sacrifices have to be made if our titular character is going to get out of this alive. But will these sacrifices matter? Maybe, or maybe there’s another tragedy around the corner.

Part of what makes this series so enjoyable is because Scott Snyder isn’t holding back. The writing here is like nothing before, it’s him not holding back. This is a series where he doesn’t have to pull his punches. This is seen throughout the series as Snyder continues to keep the story fast-paced. Although there is proper world-building and depth added to the characters, there isn’t time to slow down and talk over a meal. Everything is done on the move.

Similar to Snyder, the artistic duo of Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey is doing an amazing job engulfing the world in darkness. Part of what makes the story so captivating is how Daniel can draw a world covered in darkness. Because of this, Nocterra continues to be as exciting as a story since its premise. Along with Daniel, Morey can make the pencils of a dark post-apocalyptic world as vibrant as one filled with life.

Overall, Nocterra’s third issue continues to be just as exciting as the prior two. It’s a testament to how compelling storytellers Snyder, Daniel, and Morey are. As fast, paced as this story has been, it’s paid off. Nothing good is coming Val Rigg’s way, and certainly not light or love.

Writing review: 4/5

Art review: 4/5

Overall Review: 8/10

Published by Michael G

Michael is from Illinois and the founder of Comics Cave Reviews. When he isn't reading or writing comics, he's probably watching hockey or playing guitar.

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