Indie comics are gaining more popularity by the day. With Comixology’s easy to use digital publishing service, many under-the-radar writers and artists are taking advantage of this wonderful system and making their dream comics a reality. This is a review of Noctua #2, a series written by Andrew M. Henderson. Does this comic deserve to sit on your digital comic shelf alongside books published by other well-known companies? Is it good?
Noctua #2 (Alterna Comics)
I would highly recommend going back and reading the first issue because while it isn’t impossible to understand from just this comic, the first issue both is a fun read and provides a great opening.
Everything about this issue screams “badass.” From the very first page, there is a constant flow of heavy action and intense energy. The first scene of this issue portrays an abusive pimp get his ass handed to him by a transhuman (basically a vampire.) I like this on so many levels. First, it sends the right message: “this is not a book where we are uncomfortable killing off bad people.” Right now at DC, villains are ruling the world and at Marvel, there are all sorts of MAX comics and triumph of bad people. And I’m not saying that this book is a bright and hopeful tale of peace and happiness. This book has very dark themes but still, terrible injustice is not tolerated. I like the set of moral principles not only by the characters, but by the author.
This is a dark and gritty book where death is omnipresent and is a constant companion to many of the characters. With that said, death is not treated lightly. While many characters are used to and good at killing, the killing isn’t gratuitous, it’s used to tell a story. And I appreciate that as well.
I was blown away by the quality of the actual writing mechanics. For a newer author, Andrew Henderson writes some surprisingly real sounding and entertaining dialogue. Although there are a few cliched lines the overall storytelling is well done.
And I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the artwork. A much more sophisticated style than the first issue with nice colors and tones as well as solid and detailed penciling. Although it’s going to take a couple issues or so to get the art and the writing really in sync, I think that this creative team has lots of potential.
Noctua is one grumpy superhero.
What I love most about this book, however, is its social commentary. No matter how tolerant we fancy ourselves, the truth is human instinct is to be afraid of what we don’t know. The transhumans are kind, law-abiding citizens for the most part but still, people will leave restaurants where these transhumans are allowed to dine. The prejudice is very real, yet the writing can still make us empathize with those who think that the transhumans are horrible bloodsuckers. It shows a good writer to be able to make the reader empathize with all characters.
- Great commentary on society and present moral values
- Moves the story along nicely with an origin story as well
- Some of the dialogue is a touch cliche
The last thing that I’d like to talk about is the origin story/flashback sequence in this issue. What we got to see was sort of an origin within an origin. We get a better look at what caused the transhuman virus and how it affected humanity. This is being told while we get a better look at the life of our hero (more like antihero) before the virus. This gives us a lot of insight and is just fun to read.
Is It Good?
Oh, yes. This is definitely a comic worth picking up. So many interesting themes, very deep and thoughtful ideas and some great writing.
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