Eos does not have the answer and Bailey’s equation will not work as expected. Worse yet, Bill has made his way into Eos! How will Sundog Convoy work around this obstacle? Find out in Nocterra #15 from Image Comics!
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 7, 2023
Previously in Nocterra: Sundog Convoy finds Eos! It has a population of glowing humanoids, and thrives with plant and animal life. It seems like a utopia. But Emory and Val are angry. Here is a safe haven, and the people who live here have locked the doors to everyone else. Bailey insists that Gus wanted to spread Lux across the world. She is surprised to learn that their A.I. takes on the form of Gus. They run through simulations of the equation, and every time they do, all the lights go out and Nox arrives. It is impossible to spread it to the world. The best they can do is keep a small portion of Earth protected by Lux to prevent Nox from taking over the entire planet.
AS THE DARKNESS TAKES OVER
Emory thinks back to when he found his mother as Nocterra #15 opens. He found her only to have her leave him again. All she left for him was a note he has never read. After this experience, he became more dispassionate, walling off his emotions so he had the ability to face the questions in life and analyze what he thought the answers might be. He recalls that sense of loss in the face of the present, of learning that Eos and Lux may not be able to save the world.
Piper is still incredulous, but she does not have time to process her feelings. Sundog Convoy must choose whether to stay walled within Eos or return to the outside. There are no other options. Emory accuses the people of Eos of locking themselves in too soon. Perhaps the answer is still out there or would have been out there.
They all hear a fearsome screech, like that of a Shade. Looking out over the land, they realize few creatures are visible.
Blacktop Bill is here, and even as they watch, he ropes in another creature, transforming it. Sundog Convoy gets to work killing Shades as quickly as they can, but they cannot keep up with Bill’s speed. At this rate, the people of Eos realize, he will turn the entire place dark.
And Emory gets an idea. Perhaps what they need to do is run the equation and let the darkness in. If the base and every prism on Earth goes dark, Nox will come to Eos to claim it. Emory remembers that there are beings in Eos’ core that are even more saturated with Lux than anyone they have seen yet – the Glares. If he were to go to Argos and bring back the light cannons, they could magnify the light from the Glares, maybe even enough to kill Nox.
But how can he escape from Bill? He has an answer to that, too. Nox functions as a hive mind, and Em is still connected to it. If he connects, he may be able to make Nox and all its minions think everyone is still within Eos and disguise what he is doing. Val and Em must get the cannons. Cali and Steenz need to find the Glares and get them up to the surface. And Piper must run the equation when the time is right. Emory just needs to keep Bill out of his head as long as possible.
AN UNORTHODOX PLAN
One of the interesting things I noticed about the art in Nocterra #15 is the use of parallel or mirror juxtapositions of characters. The story has progressed to a very literal conflict between the ultimate light and the ultimate darkness, and there are pairs of characters who, from their own actions, are sources of other conflict. Em and Val are one of these pairs. Em nearly became a Shade but was cured; Val has become like Bill. A subsequent pair is one of the people from Eos and Bill, one realizing with horror what has happened and the other exulting. We also see Piper and Emory – two keystones of Emory’s plan. If either one of them fails, the whole plan may.
The plot is grandiose, and the action is chaotic. This is not an issue for a neatly choreographed fight. Bill’s presence in Eos upsets what balance there is. Everyone is fighting for their lives and the battle started so quickly and escalated so fast that no one has had the time to make an organized response. Emory realizes that his plan is every bit as shaky as his vague childhood plan to somehow reunite with his mother. But with the darkness closing in, perhaps this is the time to take risks.
BOTTOM LINE: DESPERATION TIME
Nocterra #15 is tense and enthralling. The odds seem stacked against Sundog Convoy, but Emory has had some luck with desperate plans. On the other hand, Bill is more fearsome than ever.
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Perhaps the answer is not keeping the dark out, but letting it in to where it can be contained.