A Plague On Earth, A Conqueror In The Heavens – Nosferatu Wars Review

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NWCoverToday sees the release of one of the strangest vampire tales I’ve ever read, in Steve Niles’ Nosferatu Wars one shot, collecting the Dark Horse Presents stories in one volume. There are major spoilers ahead, and in my interview with Steve, but if you’ve already read it, grab a cross and some garlic, and read on!

Steve Niles has done it again, as one of the few writers who can cause me to give a damn about vampires, and he’s crafted a smart tale with equal parts love and hate, action and intimacy. Taking place during the plague years, the story follows vampires Moria and Tarquin as they venture to a castle housing the only clean blood not touched by the plague. As usual with his work, he has written two strong characters that feel very real.

These are the most human vampires I’ve read about since Niles’ Eben Olemaun in the original 30 Days of Night, with flaws of course, but also a conscience. They save a human from being beaten one moment, then watch as a father is killed by his own children the next. The dialogue is sharp, with no wasted exposition, each word balloon propelling the story ever forward.

His pacing is perfect, and the story never feels that it was once four chapters published months apart. The story ventures forward swiftly, just as our protagonists do likewise. And then, boom! The ending comes out of nowhere. Just as our leads are being attacked by another group of vampires, Moria is abducted by aliens, whom she conquers, and then takes their ship.

ABDUCTED. BY. ALIENS. I’ll let that soak in for a moment. We good?

So yeah, for someone who grew up with Twilight Zone it is very hard to get me with a twist ending, and most fail miserably. This? I never saw it coming. Even after reading it I couldn’t believe it. Not only did Niles get me reading a vampire book, but he got me with a twist, a twist with aliens no less. And it worked. And he left it open for more in the future. Please let there be more in the future!

Menton3 provides the story with his usual uniquely gorgeous and creepy style, a style that fits Niles’ script perfectly. Fully painted in an emotionally moving, and highly disturbing at times, style that is simply dripping with the essence of Gothic horror. At once beautiful and ghastly, Menton is at the top of his game here, painting with the elegance of the masters.

These are two masters of horror, who together have created a story that I never wanted to end, and once it did it left me with a head full of “what ifs”. With incredibly well written strong leads, an eerily perfect setting, and an unbelievably awesome ending, Nosferatu Wars is one hell of a book.

The Nosferatu Wars one-shot is available today from Dark Horse Comics.

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