Review – Nocterra #2: Welcome to the Neon Grove

Comic Books

Nocterra #2 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Tony Daniel, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: While the second issue of Nocterra doesn’t have quite the same level of dense worldbuilding as the first issue, it makes up for it with a laser character focus and some brilliant visuals. Val Riggs and her brother Emory have been barely surviving in the eternal night, but now that Emory’s been infected by the shadows, Val is forced into a risky transport mission to get him the help he needs. An excellent opening segment set back when the sun first set forever shows the crux of their differing views on the world, set against a disturbing segment involving what the adults – including their adoptive parents – first did when the crisis began. After last issue’s cliffhanger, we know that the old man Val is transporting isn’t just a scientist – he’s the man who may have been responsible for the eternal night, and he’s been trying ever since then to restore the sun.

Of course, Val isn’t the only one concerned with him. The villain, Blacktop Bill (who has one of the most visually arresting designs I’ve seen on a character in a while, in a triumph of minimalism) is on his tail as well, and much of this issue is a series of standoffs as characters bluff their way out of danger. The first issue had a harder sci-fi bent, but this one feels a bit more like Fury Road if it was a horror movie. Tony Daniel is turning in career-best work here, bringing clever concepts like the Neon Grove to life. The creative team has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about what would suddenly become a lifesaver in this strange new world. The issue moves fast, especially towards the end in an explosive action segment that ends the first confrontation with Blacktop Bill. I have no idea what terrors the convoy is heading into next issue, but this book is doing its job of making me want to find out perfectly.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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