Nocterra gets an oversized finale to its first story arc this week, and it packs a lot of punch. Tony S. Daniel, Scott Snyder, and Tomeu Morey have been on quite a journey, unveiling their horror action-adventure which started as far back as August 2020. Now reaching its finale, Snyder and Daniel close the door on how Valentina “Val” Riggs escaped with her life 10 years prior when the world went dark and whether she’ll live now that she’s cornered in the present.
Snyder is very good at honing your senses, which is evident on the very first page of Nocterra #6. You get to hear the sound that is made when a body is cut in two. By its description, I was reminded of this scene from Terminator 2, though in Nocterra this attack is far more brutal. As Riggs explains what she hears, Daniel shows us via bodies literally flying through the air. Daniel captures the chaos of the moment well — a frightening sight that likely scarred Riggs forever.
Or maybe not, as we get to see her as calm and steadfast as can be in the very next scene. Many of the scenes taking place in the current timeline involve Tiberius as he speaks to Riggs. He’s not a very nice fellow, and we learn he’s quite cold-blooded even with family. It’s a wordy scene, but it gets key information across. Our heroes are captured and need to make an escape, and between their actions and those of Bill, the vantablack villain that’s been hunting our heroes for the entire series, it’s an exciting and informative issue.
A key takeaway of this issue is many of the characters including Riggs are resourceful and can think on their feet. When there are giant human-killing monsters out there, every edge is important. The issue culminates into a thrilling final few moments blended well with Riggs’ memories of how she found herself as a big-rig driver. The message is rather clear where Riggs and her family are at by the end while also establishing the new threat they face going forward. For that reason, this is a solid finale that leaves the narrative in an exciting place.
Daniel’s art continues to shine with great use of embers on the final splash page thanks to Morey’s colors. Daniel’s lines shine in a few different areas, like the creepy texture on the monsters, an impressive display of shattered glass in a double-page layout, and a full-page splash that you won’t see coming. Daniel is very good at cutting people in half and making them look weightless.
Lettering has an elevated feel by Andworld Design thanks to the scratched-out garbled speech of the monsters and the sharp word balloons. Lettering puts good emphasis on speech too, never overdoing it.
Nocterra #6 is a suspenseful finale to the first story arc that answers key questions well setting up a hell of a second arc. Pick up Nocterra #6 for a satisfying conclusion that’ll scare you in whole new ways.
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