Don’t you just love it when something great just comes together? Take Nosferatu Wars, for instance. Originally published in four parts in Dark Horse Presents #26-#29, this comic is a perfect example of a classic vampire story. And what makes it even better is the way the creators twist this tale to bring us something completely out of this world.
Centered around two vampires, Tarquin and Moira, we are given a story of unfettered bloodlust and carnage mingled with a love affair that has stretched for ages. The setting is the old world and the time is that of the Black Death. Using this horrible plague as a cover for their nightly exploits, the two undead lovers travel towards the estate of a nobleman with deadly purpose.
Upon arrival there, they are faced with seemingly overwhelming odds that quickly turn in their favor thanks to their strength and ruthlessness. Slaying much of the household, they present the lord of the manor with a proposition, one he quickly accepts. But as with all things, the devil is in the details as he soon finds out.
But fate is a cruel mistress to all, it seems, when the two fiends find themselves opposing their own kind. Having committed crimes considered foul even for vampires, they are held accountable for having brought trouble to their brethren. Choosing flight over fight, Tarquin and Moira attempt to escape but the joke is on them as Moira is captured…but not by the vampiric brood chasing them. There is a strange ending to this wondrous tale, one that leaves the story ready for a sequel. A sequel that I am damned ready to read, might I add.
Breathing life into this story of the undead is Steve Niles. A wordsmith of unparalleled ability, he manages to use expertly rendered turns of phrase to draw in and captivate his audience. If you are unfamiliar with the man then you must not read horror comics, as he is one of today’s leaders in the industry. He somehow conveys immense amounts of knowledge with a minimal amount of discourse, all the while retaining the eloquence for which he is known.
Backing Niles up on the visual side is menton3, also known as Menton J. Matthews III. His masterful use of a dark palette and heavy shadow play is reminiscent of the horror films of yesteryear. Leaning heavily on the reader’s imagination, he gives the impression of far more violence and death than he shows. Sometimes what we think might have happened is far worse than what actually occurred.
So much darkness and death coupled with love on the grandest scale; that’s what I took away from this comic. And while they are monsters, their love transcends their actions leaving the reader with only a hollow feeling of what it must be like to love and be loved for centuries. This is an epic tale that any horror or gothic literature fan will appreciate, an excellent blending of story and art. Buy this one, my friends. It’s beautiful and horrifying all at once.