Image Comics’ Nocterra has revealed its own high-octane take on Immortan Joe and his sadistic crew from Mad Max: Fury Road.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Nocterra #2 by Scott Snyder, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey and Andworld Design, on sale now.
Image Comics’ Nocterra has thrown the trucker, Sundog, into a heap of trouble just two issues in. Val and her brother, Emory, are trying to get a unique xenon lamp for him so she can burn out the infection in his body before he turns into a mutated creature of the night known as a “shade.” The infection is a side-effect of their world being turned to darkness, and now, a desperate Val passengers Augustus and Bailey in order to earn a much-needed fare.
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But while she thinks they’ll be able to get money, or better yet, equipment to heal Emory, the siblings’ journey gets worse as the book reveals Blacktop Bill, its answer to Mad Max: Fury Road’s Immortan Joe.
In Fury Road, Joe was an apocalyptic despot, using an army of crazed bikers, mutants and a whole bunch of wild beings to hunt Max, Furiosa and some women he’d been keeping prisoner.
Here, the road warriors are a bit more modern, but they cut a similar aura thanks to their leader, Blacktop Bill. The villain, covered in shadow, has been tracking them since Colorado where he ended up using his heat-generating powers to torch one of the last hubs for surivors. It resulted in him getting the info to hunt the siblings down, and when he corners them at a pit-stop, Bill reveals he’s got an army of his own.
They’re less flashy, as they don’t have people with guitars or flame throwers or swinging off cranes, but with their helmets, they’re as scary as can be. They’ve got bikes, off-road trucks and jeeps with sinister smiles akin to the mask Joe wore. Bill’s got a speedy sports car to boot, making it clear he wants Augustus since he’s the doctor that let the darkness overtake the world, creating this realm of monsters.
Val’s skeptical, though, as she does want Bailey to be safe, but as she launches some flare grenades at them and escapes, rather than get mad, Bill actually embraces the challenge ahead. Like Immortan Joe, he might be annoyed, but he enjoys the hunt. And seeing as they’ve got engines and speed on their side, plus monsters that are hungry for blood, it’ll be fun chasing down Sundog’s truck, once more evoking what we saw in Fury Road as Max and Furiosa went on the lam from a despicable leader.
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