Thursday, August 13, 2009

Batman: Nosferatu

Written by: Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier

Illustrated by: Ted McKeever

First published: 1999

Contains spoilers

Previously we looked at the omnibus batman graphic Vampire, which was part of the DC Elseworlds series. Like that, Nosferatu is an Elseworlds graphic – but of a different world.

It is actually a sequel to Superman: Metropolis – which told the story of Superman in terms of, and merged with, the Fritz Lang movie. In this the hidden totalitarian regime of Lutor has been overthrown and the Super-Man with Lois are rebuilding society. Bruss Wayne-son and Dirk Gray-son – doctor and lawyer – are friends but compete for the love of Barbara, daughter of the First Eschevin Gord-Son.

Gord-son wants to bring about a stop to the public séances – or psychomancy – done by Dr Arkham for public amusement that use the latent talents of the Laughing Man. When Gord-son is murdered the two rivals begin to look into his death and the city decides that there must be a darkness to counterbalance the light, a yin to the yang – Nosferatu. In many respects, if Super-Man resides in heaven, as it were, then a Devil is needed to rule Hell.

The style of the artwork is very unusual but is designed to encapsulate the German expressionism the story is inspired by – obviously taking the work of Murnau and Nosferatu as a starting position but also owing as much, if not more, to Wiene’s “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari”.

This is a masterpiece, but probably more so for those familiar with the silent movies that this (and the essential first Superman part) takes its inspiration from. 8 out of 10.


Vampire Sighs said...

Thanks for surfacing this - looks great!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

absolutely no problem

The T said...

Fantastic! Fan of both the Murnau masterpiece and Batman... Hope I can find it...

Taliesin_ttlg said...

It is out there if you search... read it in consort with the Superman Metropolis if you can.