REVIEW: ‘Nocterra,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Nocterra #4
Nocterra is a horror book through and through, and in every horror story, there is a glimmer of hope for the protagonist. Sometimes that glimmer leads them toward a way to defeat the evil stalking them, while other times it’s cruelly yanked away. Thankfully this issue leans in the former direction, with Snyder’s script honing in on the burdening relationship between Val and Bailey. Despite losing her grandfather in the last issue, Bailey still believes in his journey-which sharply contrasts with Val’s more cynical outlook on life. Yet Val herself has a sliver of hope that she can save Emory from the darkness infecting him. Snyder also delivers a story that serves as a flashback to Val and Emory’s past and defies audience expectations by setting the story to go one way and then ending another.
Daniel and Morey continue to deliver horrifying imagery that seems ripped from the deepest shadows of mankind’s collected nightmares. It’s been said that all Shades come in different forms and some of those forms stand revealed for the first time. Multiple Shades appear to take the appearance of dogs, albeit with jagged horns and a skeletal build to their body. Emory is shown to be in-between the stages of a human and a Shade, with his fingertips elongating into claws and his eyes taking on a reddish hue. And when a human Shade is introduced, it’s shown to be suffering a fate worse than death courtesy of Blacktop Bill.
Colorwise, Morey has the chance to break up the perpetual shadows that are a part of the book. Blasts of golden light shine from a high-powered wand that Val uses to keep Emory’s changes in check. When Val is forced to face the Shades, she whips out a gun that blasts rays of fiery red energy – which matches the eclipse insignia on her helmet. And the last page features a stunning image that once again hearkens to that ray of hope that has kept Val and Bailey-and even Emory-going throughout the dark times. To say more would spoil the surprise and this is a book that should definitely be on comic fans’ reading list.
Nocterra #4 brings a ray of hope to the shadow-strewn world of the series, as its heroine reaches the end of her journey. This book is a reminder that even in the face of unstoppable darkness, it pays to have a little hope. Given where the issue leaves off, there’s a new wrinkle to be explored and I’m genuinely interested to see where the creative team takes things.
Nocterra #4 is available wherever comics are sold.
Nocterra #4
4.5

TL;DR

Nocterra #4 brings a ray of hope to the shadow-strewn world of the series, as its heroine reaches the end of her journey. This book is a reminder that even in the face of unstoppable darkness, it pays to have a little hope. Given where the issue leaves off, there’s a new wrinkle to be explored and I’m genuinely interested to see where the creative team takes things.