Creative: Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, Marcelo Miaolo and Andworld Design
Welcome to an all new edition of Parlay points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast!
For this entry, readers have come to the end of the road (for now?) for one of Image Comics’ most exciting series. Since its’ debut issue, the story of Valentina “Val” Riggs aka Sundog and the battle against eternal darkness has won fans over with fast paced action and high drama.
Now with its’ latest arc ready to close, the creative team throws caution against the wind with an unforgettable conclusion to what has been a highly entertaining story arc.
NOCTERRA #16 by Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, Marcelo Miaolo and Andworld Design brings a definitive finale to the “No Brakes” storyline. Let’s not wait and deep dive into where Val and the Sundog Convey head now, shall we?
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING *** NEMESIS REVIEW
With the world in eternal darkness, there is very little hope to be had. However, for the members of the SunDog Convoy, that is all they have. After picking up Augustus McCray (Gus) and his grand-daughter Bailey, also known as Piper on a ferryman run, Val (along with her adopted brother Emory) embark on a journey to find a save haven through the endless night.
Their journey has taken many twists and turns. It has also brought them into the path of Blacktop Bill, a dangerous follower of NOX. With the remaining members of the group arriving at Eos, a place of sunlight, plans do not go as planned. Blacktop Bill shows up and brings a fight with him. Emory decides to make a tough call and tries drawing out NOX in a trap.
One of the components is to mentally connect with Bill. Once Emery does this, he quickly finds out that he is vastly outmatched. Bill sees thru Emory’s plan and NOX is now poised to enter the fight.
The story shifts to Thirteen years prior with Emory going to school. Emory addresses the audience about theories. It also is used as the backdrop to his complicated relationship with his birth mother. This quickly becomes a prequel for an event fans of this series has been waiting for. This is the moment the Sun “was killed”.
Fast forwarding to present time, Val and Emory are surrounded by Bill’s forces. When inside Emory’s mind, Bill figured out what the plan was and struck first. With the dark forces surrounding them, all hope looks lost. That is until an unlikely save is made.
Who has entered the standoff against Bill? What of Eos and the fate of the light? With Nox fast approaching, can the convoy make it to another day? Readers brace for impact as the battle is taken up another notch with Humanity’s fate hanging in the balance. There is no stopping to catch a breath.
Once the final act hits, readers are gifted a stunning resolution to what had happened. Letting the final moments sink in with stunning final images caps off a strong farewell for now, not forever.
Snyder leaves little behind as the final showdown between the Convoy and Nox lives up to the hype. Using Emory’s painful memories as a backdrop, the story reflects the hopelessness of the world they live in. With every advance Val and company make, readers sense it’s only temporary. Snyder never lets that stop the convoy members from trying to win.
Blacktop Bill steals this issue with his unrelenting attacks. The showdown with Emory is a satisfying conclusion to a build constructed heavily over the past few issues (and “Nemesis” special). The conclusion sets a fitting tone for where things will lead next time the convoy rolls on.
Daniel and Miaolo deliver on spectacular visuals throughout the issue. Opening with Emory’s past reflections, the emotional details laid out are an easy connect with readers. This carries to the current timeframe of the story. A smashing two-page full panel image of Val’s “back-up” sets the pace for the rest of the issue.
The menacing nature of Blacktop Bill shines through these pages as well. The evil grin never lets up as he takes on all challengers of the Convoy. The showdown with Emory will leave its’ mark with readers. Its’ resolution brings the fast-moving action to a screeching halt. The terror of Nox is split between two page half panels, making for quite the impression. The closing visuals bring a superb close to an action ride that shows no sign of slowing down, even after the last full page panel.
FINAL POINT: 9 OUT OF 10
The Convoy’s last stand versus Blacktop Bill and Nox finishes with an epic conclusion that shouldn’t be missed. Snyder’s flawless writing matched with the amazing visuals of Daniel concludes the hopeless fight against darkness for now, until it’s time to hit the road again on New Comic Book Day!
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