Review by: Mike Peluso
Writer: Andrew M. Henderson
Artist: Orlando Baez
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Release Date: May 8th 2013
Synopsis: The year is 2051. A new strain of virus has mutated 5% of the Earth’s population into creatures of the night. “Vampires,” as they’re called by their detractors, tentatively co-exist alongside humans thanks to Aeternus Eternus, a synthetic form of sustenance created by Biotech giant Imago Labs. But for some, nothing can truly replace the taste of fresh blood…fresh human blood. As the illegal blood trade rises, a new predator takes to the streets. One which even the Vampires themselves fear. Those who have seen him and lived to tell about it can only utter one word to describe the winged avenger, hell-bent on ridding the world of their people. “NOCTUA”.
Our Thoughts: These days everywhere you look, there lurks Nosferatu. Whether it is day or night, on TV or the big screen, those demonic blood suckers have their fangs stuck in almost every form of pop culture. They are especially prominent in horror comics. So, for me, it takes something truly fresh and dynamic to hold my interest when it comes to tales involving the thirstiest of the undead. And for me, Noctua #1 was that something.
Andrew Henderson’s depiction of Vampires as an oppressed minority was a great angle that really pulled me in. There are some “Transhumans” (the non-insulting, politically correct word for Vampire) in society who fight the oppression and bigotry legally and try to peacefully co-exist with humans. Then there are the others who live up to their masochistic lore and illegally traffic fresh human blood to feed their primal hunger. These dynamics really add intrigue to Henderson’s diverse vamperic world.
Orlando Baez’s artwork is stellar. I do feel the style he brings to the series is a little too light hearted and cartoony for the intense nature that Noctua’s story holds. I can’t say whether or not it truly doesn’t fit from just the sample size of one issue though.
Andrew Henderson’s Noctua #1 to me was an enjoyable horror comic that when I finished it, left me wanting more. Someone that actually gets me to sympathize with the unholy creatures of the night is an accomplishment in itself. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Noctua issue #2 and I suggest you do the same.