Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Steve Niles
Release Date: 12th March 2014
As writer of the massively successful 30 Days Of Night series, Steve Niles showed us the more feral side of vampires, a sharp contrast from the romantic ideal that had been so well-worn over the years.
Nosferatu Wars, his new creator-owned title from Dark Horse goes the opposite way, being essentially a love story between two ancient vampires set across the backdrop of the Black Death.
That dark period in history proves to be a utopia for bloodsuckers, one where death is all around and they can prey on the already-beleaguered population with impunity.
Tarquin, a former Roman soldier and his partner Moria have been together for centuries and their love for each other is well-realised early on.
The story is told in flashback with the pair finding themselves on opposing sides of an as-yet unidentified war, big it’s the mechanism of how the couple are initially separated that is the most intriguing.
Occurring right at the climax of the issue, it’s a real game changer and comes so far out of left-field that you’re left desperate to see more. I won’t spoil it here, but it marks Niles’ tale out as far from the usual historical vampire epic as you’ll get.
Dripping with atmosphere and menace, Nosferatu Wars real standout is the art though. Menton3’s dark, experimental style brings so much to the script, enhancing the atmosphere and sense of menace with every beautifully rendered panel. Coming over like a cross between Bill Sienkiewicz and Ben Templesmith, Menton3 is on spectacular form here.
My only criticism is that, after ending on such a cliffhanger, I’m desperate to see what happens next, but by the sounds of it, we could be in for a wait. Hopefully it won’t be too long, as this is another potential classic in the making.
The writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle