Review: Black Top Bill Looms Large In ‘Nocterra’ #8

by Olly MacNamee


‘Nocterra’ #8 brings with it one heck of a surprise ending. But, before that the reader will witness Black Top Bill causing violent mayhem as well as discover a very inconvenient truth that turns his world upside down.


The second story-arc of Nocterra continue to be narrated by .. and as such Val seems to take more of a backseat. Which is an appropriate position for her to be in given the additional cast members we have been introduced to last issue. We get to see more of the people who inhabit this grim, dark future. A future that makes of some strange bedfellows too, as writer Scott Snyder and writer/artist Tony S. Daniel bring us what I’ll refer to as its very own “Negan moment”. And I’ll kinda leave it at that so as not to spoil this issue’s ending. But, needless to say, it’s rather out of the blue. And bound to cause problems going forward.

Nocterra #8 fixates on Black Top Bill as well as other members of the Nocturne in an issue that offers up a good few scenes of horror and intrigue too. And a moment in which Black Top Bill is shown the whole truth and nothing but the truth which is, suffice to say, world changing for him and every one else on Earth. But, mostly for him. A scene that practically bursts out of the comic and the double page spread it is presented upon. Daniel’s certainly leaves an indelible impression on the reader as to the sheer scale of danger heading their way with the particular two-pager. Snyder has put a lot of effort into establishing Black Top Bill within this dark universe and it seems he’s being moved into play as a big part player in the unfolding saga.

What may have been positioned initially as Val’s story has grown beyond just her as Snyder and Daniel’s dark future world is established and expanded upon. It’s a far more expansive story than I had initially thought it was going to be too. Not just in giving other characters a voice but in the story the two co-creators want to tell. An impressively large and far-reaching sci-fi epic with a smattering of HP Lovecraft beginning to rear it’s ugly head.

Nocterra #8 is out now from Image Comics

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