Advanced Review: Nocterra #1 By Scott Snyder And Tony Daniel Is Not To Be Missed

Nocterra #1 is on sale March 3, 2021.

There’s something exhilarating about reading the first issue of a brand new series from some of your favorite creators. Upon hearing about an upcoming book, the anticipation builds. Of course there is that little nagging question of whether or not you should pick it up right away since there are so many great titles on sale each week. When the new comic in question is by Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, and Tomeu Morey there really is no doubt.

Nocterra #1 is an action-packed story that takes place in a treacherous world where the remaining population has to fight and survive against the darkness and the creatures that dwell within.

Nocterra #1 cover art by Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey.

As seen on the cover, the main character is Valentina “Val” Riggs. It’s pretty clear she’s a tough as nails, ass-kicking character who we will soon all be rooting for. Ass-kicking characters are often a dime a dozen, and said ass-kicking can only carry a character so far. This isn’t problem here for Snyder.

Snyder splits the story into two narratives. As we’re introduced to Val, it’s imperative that readers care about a main character and the plight they are subjected to. That makes them want to come back for the next issue. Scott perfectly balances the tough and soft sides of Val by revealing a vulnerable time from her childhood without bogging down the story and making it a run of the mill, typical “origin” story. We also immediately get to see just how formidable Val is. She’s willing to jump right into a deadly situation without giving it a second thought.

What makes it especially nice is the action doesn’t feel like it’s being forced upon us. This is simply who Val is rather than just giving readers scenes just to show how “cool” the hero is.

Along with introducing us to Val, Snyder has some major world building to do as well. He basically kills two birds with one stone. Through Val’s story, we get a hint of what happened ten years ago. We can assume we’ll get more glimpses in what happened during that decade to shape Val into who she is as well as how she and the world evolved and adapted in order to survive.

Snyder gets a big hand in the world building thanks to Daniel and Morey. The combination of their art and color is always such a joy to see. As intrigued as I was by the story and the events that set up the current direction, I couldn’t help but stop and take in all the detail. I can’t wait to see more of what this world is made up of. All of the various people and things around makes me want to see even more. Daniel always delivers with his character designs and environments. Morey makes everything pop and come to life.

The more I think about the story, art, and color as I write this, the more excited I’m finding myself becoming.

And there is plenty here to get readers excited for the next issue. Obviously I won’t get into spoilers or specifics. If you’ve looked at the preview images above or read the synopsis, you know there are some terrifying creatures. These monsters thrive in the world since something happened and caused “everlasting night” to occur. This along with some other plot threads introduced will easily make you come back for issue #2.

Nocterra is a book you really need to read. We get an interesting main character who is tough as heck but also has some compassion. This is a story about survival, but there is more to it than that bubbling under the surface. Not only do we get action and suspense, there is also a mystery that needs to be unraveled. Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, and Tomeu Morey have outdone themselves with the first issue. This definitely needs to be added to your pull list.

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