I must admit that I have never thought about it, but the Black Plague may not have been such a bad time. I mean, as a human, yeah. It was a brutal period. But as something like a vampire, now I bet that it was good times all around.With all the death and decay, a vampire would have been able to frolic quite easily during that time. Of course though, all you can eat would probably get a little bit boring over time. The desire to hunt would come into play eventually, at least one would pondering that to be the case. Well ponder no more, as Dark Horse Comics addresses those issues with its release of Noserfratu Wars One Shot. Written by Steven Niles with the art provided through Mention 3. This story was originally released in four parts covered in four issues of Dark Horse Presents. Now, everything is together submitted for your reading enjoyment. Following the vampire power couple Tarquin and Moria, our story addresses what happens when the two decide to leave the cities in search of some more exciting prey. They do find it at the gates of the Lord Mattering. He has isolated himself and his family from the Plague and has some serious armaments defending him....Perfect. While preparing for their most interesting meal however , Moria convinces her lover to intercede on a lady's behalf who had encountered and spoke to the two. From there, trouble ensues, and quite possibly the most out of nowhere plot twist that I have ever seen. You just have time read it to believe it.
This is the second comic that I have reviewed from Steven Niles this week. One of the things that I have discovered in viewing his writing is that he is not afraid to play around with improbables. He's a gutsy writer that will take a chance on a story. He did so with Monster and Madman (see review). And he does so here. With this one however, he nails it. It is a solid story that somehow through all the morbidity, there is a love story being orchestrated. That is what we see, a love story between Tarquin and Moria. Their love will endure no matter what hits them or takes them away from each other. This is an extremely impressive writing feat considering the darkness of the subject matter.
To say the artwork is stunning would be an understatement. It is amazingly detailed and captures Niles' love story angle perfectly. Everything is dark and gothic, but it has a dreaminess about it too, like something out of a twisted fantasy. Tarquin and Moria are drawn as almost demonic looking creatures. Yet somewhere through the fog, you also see passion and life in our undead duo. It's pretty amazing to see.
Though the subject matter is dark, the story is good and well worth the read. I don't know if I ever will get over the ending here, but it is a nice finishing touch to a well written and well-presented story. Hope there will be some more in the future.
Writer: Steve Niles Artist: Mention 3 Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/12/14