"InferNoct #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scout Comics
Written by Mina Elwell
Illustrated by Eli Powell
Colored by Tristan Elwell
2017, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 25th, 2017
Sam is down on her luck and takes the only job she can find as a homecare nurse. Her patient is a strange old man who never speaks and never sleeps. He also never turns out the lights, even though there are dozens of lamps surrounding him. This kind of activity would be odd on its own, however Sam is about to find out that this old man is not alone. There’s someone…or something else lurking in the house…and it’s hungry.
InferNoct opens with an intriguing scene of an exterminator of sorts walking into a parking garage enwrapped in tentacles. Artist Eli Powell’s design for this character is very striking. He’s covered from head to toe, so we don’t get a hint of his identity. A wide brimmed hat sits atop his head, just above a gas mask. A variety of tools hang from a harness wrapped around his torso, over a pair of coveralls. He’s like a supernatural janitor.
|Click image to enlarge|
After these gripping pages, we jump to Sam’s hum-drum life in a hum-drum town. You sympathize with her right out of the gate, as we’ve all had some form of dead-end job at one point in our lives. In her case, she’s forced into homecare, which means cleaning up after an old guy in a creepy house on the other side of town.
Powell shows just how lonely this experience is in a number of compelling panels. Although there’s another person in the house, Sam is really by herself. The old man doesn’t say anything and he’s one step above catatonic, so there’s not much in the way of interaction. She explores the house and finds it in disarray, seemingly left to rot in the middle of use. Garbage and debris are thrown everywhere. It’s a mess.
|Click image to enlarge|
Tristan Elwell’s colors work hand-in-hand with these scenes, especially the use of shadow. You get the feeling that many rooms in this house haven’t seen the light of day in ages. The glow from the lamps on the floor creates a comforting halo around the old man, like this is a safe space.
As the issue goes on, there are some connections made to different aspects of the story as everything starts to come into focus. InferNoct really hits its stride in the latter half as these pieces begin to come together. Writer Mina Elwell slowly ratchets up the tension with each page turn, as Sam gets deeper and deeper into this mystery, leading up to a startling reveal that’s the equivalent of a jump scare in comics.
InferNoct is a bit of a slow burn that only gets better the deeper you go. The climax of the issue sets up a pretty awesome premise that I can’t wait to see explored further. Sam is about to get a whole new kind of job that’s a considerable step up from taking care of an old man.