30 Days of Night was a three-issue miniseries written by Steve Niles, illustrated by Ben Templesmith, and published by American company IDW Publishing in 2002. Taking place in Barrow, Alaska, so far north that during the winter, the sun does not rise for 30 days. During this period the town comes under attack from vampires who take advantage of the prolonged darkness.
It is an incredible piece of work with stunning imagery. You can read our review here.
The series has been followed by numerous sequels and in 2007, was adapted into a film of the same name.
The follow up called 30 Days of Night: Dark Days continued the story & featured the original creative team. Having survived the Barrow attack, Stella Olemaun published an account of what happened attempting to spread the word that vampires exist by giving lectures to audiences.
Often met with derision, her cause is not helped by her publisher listing her book as a work of fiction. However, Stella has drawn the attention of the LA vampire population with her attempts to expose them, in particular the lover of Vicente, the head vampire from the original series.
She teams up with a group also wishing to expose and destroy the vampires & gets involved romantically with the vampire Dane, who seeks revenge for the murder of his mentor by Vicente.
Stella gets proof of the vampire attack on Barrow thanks to footage captured by a helicopter. However, before she can use it she discovers there is a way to bring Eben, her husband, back to life. Stella exchanges the proof for her husband’s remains, in the hope of bringing him back from the dead.
The comic book ends with her successfully resurrecting Eben. The two reconcile for a moment before the still-vampiric Eben lunges for her throat.
Once again, the artwork within Dark Days is simply stunning. The dark and moody imagery mixed with bright and colourful splashes of blood looks great and the exaggerated vampiric mouths & expressions are very memorable.
Visually, Dark Days is as good as the original but story-wise it is a little lacking.
It starts off well with Stella’s lecture forcing a group of vampires to reveal themselves, thrilling stuff. Unfortunately, after that it kind of descends into a ‘by the numbers’ vampire story with a few misses in plot turns. In particular, the ‘good’ vampire Dane and his relationship with Stella. This angle takes away from the brutality of the vampire race making them more human and less terrifying. Sure, he is an anomaly within the story but it just feels so out of place.
It’s a speed bump that slows things down but elsewhere things do pick up. A great villain who comes across like an ancient and all-powerful vampire helps add threat to proceedings.
The finale pays off the story well and certainly builds anticipation for the stories that follow. Dark Days was also adapted into a movie but changes so much in the second half that it is barely recognisable. It is not very good and you can read our review here.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days