Cover to Batman: Nosferatu. Art by Ted McKeever.
|No. of issues||1|
|Main character(s)||Bruce Wayne
|Created by||Jean-Marc Lofficier
|Written by||Jean-Marc Lofficier
Batman: Nosferatu is a DC Comics comic book and a Batman Elseworlds publication. It is the middle of a trilogy based on German Expressionist Cinema, proceeded by Superman's Metropolis and succeeded by Wonder Woman: The Blue Amazon. It was written by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, and illustrated by Ted McKeever. The story of Batman: Nosferatu is patterned after the classic films The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis and, to a lesser extent, Nosferatu.
Under Clark and Lois' enlightened rule, Metropolis has begun to progress. However, some resist that progress, such as Dr. Arkham, the head of an asylum, who holds "psychomantic" seances for the entertainment of the depraved rich of Metropolis. The star of these is the "Laughing Man", a white-faced, murderous creature, a prototype cyborg built by Lutor from one of Arkham's patients. Many other patients in the asylum are also experiments of Lutor, driven mad by his work. When Eschevin Gordon tries to close Arkham down, the doctor sends the Laughing Man to kill him. Attorney Dirk Grayson becomes suspicious of Arkham, but he, too, is killed by the Laughing Man. Dirk's friend, Bruss Wayne, and their mutual love-interest Barbera Gordon, are then drawn to investigate Arkham, after being turned down by the police and apparently ignored by the Super-Man and Lois, who have greater concerns that require his attention.
Wayne discovers Arkham is in league with the new Chancellor, Henderson, and that the two are manipulating the city's aristocrats via knowledge of their secrets and the shows in the cabinet. He also hears the two plotting to kill both himself and Barbera with the Laughing Man. But, during an attempted escape by the inmates in the asylum, he is captured and thrown into a great pit, at the bottom of which lie vast, sentient computers who once built Metropolis and still sustain it and watch over humanity. They turn Wayne into the "Nosferatu" and send him back to the city above.
The Nosferatu saves Barbera and kills the Laughing Man, before attacking Arkham in his asylum. As he fights the orderlies, the inmates hail him as "the Master." While confronting both Dr. Arkham and Henderson, the latter armed with a gun scavenged from Lutor's old lair and powered by the green stone taken from Lutor's chest, the Super-Man appears to investigate at Wayne-son's behest and is wounded by the weapon before the Nosferatu hurls Hender-son from the tower.
He is then confronted by the Superman, who believes there is no place for creatures of shadow in his city of light, while the Nosferatu calls him naïve and claims the inmates as his responsibility. They fight, eventually falling down into the underworld. Their battle is inconclusive, with each mortally wounding the other. However, the ancient machines reveal themselves to the Superman and he realizes that there can be no light without shadows. The Nosferatu's job is to catch these shadows. The machines restore both combatants, and the Superman accepts his control over the dark. Bruss Wayne ends up in charge of the asylum where Arkham is now a prisoner, trying to convince anyone who will listen that the new director is the Nosferatu.
DC characters which appear in the story (in order of appearance):
- Bruce Wayne-son/The Nosferatu
- Dirk Gray-son
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Dr. Arkham
- Eschevin Gord-son
- Chancellor Hender-son
- Jimmy Olson
- Hugo Strange
- Vicki Vale
- Barbera Gord-son
- The Laughing Man
- Lutor (flashback)
- Clark Kent-son/The Super-Man
- Lois Lane
- The Penguin
- Poison Ivy
- Killer Croc
- The Scarecrow
- The Ventriloquist
This is the second of the trilogy:
Writer Jean-Marc Lofficier had a fourth and final volume planned, entitled The Green Light. Which would have introduced counterparts of The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter (based on Leni Riefenstahl's Das Blaue Licht (1922) and Arnold Fanck's Weiße Rausch - Der Neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs (a.k.a. The White Flame) (1931)). And a female Aquaman (based on Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Die Herrin von Atlantis (a.k.a. The Mistress of Atlantis) (1932)). The book would have dealt with the rediscovery of Earth, but it never materialised.