Written by: Steve Niles
Art by: Menton3
The 30 Days of Night creator returns to the vampire pool for this Dark Ages tale of two star-crossed lovers from beyond the grave, but will you love this book as much as they love each other?
Tarquin and Moria are a vampire couple madly in love during the Dark Ages as the Black Plague sweeps across Europe. They walk openly in the streets, with no fear of attack thanks to humanity already terrified out of its collective mind from the sickness ravaging the land. Unfortunately, their carefree attitude begins to betray them, as the death and destruction in their wake catches up to force them apart and possibly spark the titular war.
This one-shot collects an originally four-part story told within Dark Horse Presents #26–#29. I don’t know if it’s meant to spawn off into future material or maybe even tie into writer Steve Niles’ other vampire property 30 Days of Night. It feels like a set up, especially at the ending, but the story stands on its own as a rather enjoyable short story of this couple in love who come to face a world much harsher than they dreamt of. It’s easy to get swept up in their love as they follow their whims to marry and punish those they view as wicked, and it’s disheartening when their world looks like it will collapse.
The pacing and transitions are occasionally awkward, going straight from A to C without any B as scenes happen with no clear set up or transition from what transpired just before. This happens from early in the book and up to the ending, which almost literally falls out of the sky.
Speaking of the ending, it’s both a very neat concept I’d like to see explored, and it’s also incredibly frustrating because it fails to deliver on the titular premise. Worse yet is then it ends with the words “that’s a story for another time.” No, that’s a story for this time, unless I missed the word “prequel” or “prelude” in the title. I just checked again, and I didn’t see it.
The story is satisfying enough for the most part, but the end takes some wind out of its sails as the fun twist teases out what otherwise could have been a solid finale.
This is a pretty book to look at. The character art is well detailed and strangely looks like a cross between sketch work and fully painted artwork that really suits the dark, romantic Gothic tone and era of the title.
All of the pages are black with dark coloring. Muted blacks, grays, dingy whites and dirty yellows create an almost old-paper look, even a charcoal drawing look at times.
Overall (Not an Average)
Nosferatu Wars is a captivating little short story for any vampire fan and even if you’re not. It suffers from some pacing and poor ending cliffhanger choices, but it’s otherwise a quality issue that isn’t much of an investment as a single issue.