Review: 30 Days of Night #5

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
April 19th, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: 30 Days of Night #5
Comics
0
Price:
Brutal Horror

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On April 19, 2018
Last modified:April 19, 2018

Summary:

30 Days of Night is an exceptionally crafted comic that wallows in bloody violence. But the characters Steve Niles has created gives the ready a small sense of hope. Hope enough to come back next month to see how the hero will survive.

Price:
Brutal Horror

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On April 19, 2018
Last modified:April 19, 2018

Summary:

30 Days of Night is an exceptionally crafted comic that wallows in bloody violence. But the characters Steve Niles has created gives the ready a small sense of hope. Hope enough to come back next month to see how the hero will survive.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Fear and violence flood the pages of IDW’s 30 Days of Night as it heads into its #5th issue. Our contributor, Darryll Robson, looks over the story as it heads towards the finale to see if the franchise is still as captivating and shocking as the original.

Vampires are everywhere, and there’s nothing new to say about the classic monster. However, in recent years the vampire has been de-fanged, and the violence has drained from their tales as romanticised characters take the limelight. There are a few, however, who fight against this modern vampire and Steve Niles is one such writer. Re-imagining the 30 Days of Night franchise has not dulled the beast one iota. The pages of this series run red with the blood of the innocent and the gleefull howls of bloodthirsty animals. As well it should.

Synopsis

Nearing the end of the month-long night of terror, Stella and Roxy search for supplies and a safe place to hide. Others risk a move through the streets, but they aren’t so lucky; the vampire hoard is everywhere, painting the town red with the inhabitant’s blood.

As dawn draws near can anyone survive the vampire's reign of terror or are all lost to the night?

Credit: IDW Publishing

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Analysis

This issue is Vampire Armageddon. There has been a big time jump since the last point which is something which is made clear through an opening caption and further conversations between the Sheriff and her Deputy.

Steve Niles takes this approach for two reasons; firstly, to explain to the reader that the long 30 days of night are almost up, and secondly to introduce the concept of hope into the hopeless situation. Somehow, these characters have survived for most of the month, hiding away from the murderous mob. If that’s possible then anything is possible, an idea which is emphasized by Niles' use of comedy in a far from the humorous situation. Roxy is petrified, as illustrated through her defeatist speech and physical posture but Stella is determined and strong. The reader is shown grotesque scenes of death and violence on the opening pages, and we can only assume Stella has also seen these, but she still isn’t defeated. She has come so far from the first issue and remains a hero lost in a dire situation.

Niles builds the small cast of characters up correctly, populating the town of Barrow with the scared, the lost and the determined. The writer gives the reader a hero to follow a seemingly lost cause. It is this spark of hope that fuels the story and gives it purpose. Niles is shining a light on the determination of the human spirit.

Credit: IDW Publishing

The artwork is exceptional as in previous months, with Piotr Kowalski’s detailed inking and heavy shadows giving the entire comic an air of menace. He stages his panels with clear distinctions between foreground and background allowing the vampire characters to infiltrate the desperate survivors by crossing from one plain to another. The creatures violate the space on the pages, forcing themselves from one position to another and no matter where they are within a panel, they always have the upper hand. In Kowalski’s art, no question are superior creatures.

Every page in this issue is stained with blood red washes provided by colorist Brad Simpson. His straightforward, easy to interpret color palates have made this series a joy to read. In the same way that Kowalski creates layers through fore/middle/backgrounds, Simpson produces character through color coding and horror through vast expanses of bright red. The violence is highlighted when the dark reds wash over the scene, and the fear is enhanced as the color drains from a panel, replaced with the light, cold blues.

30 Days of Night is shocking, disturbing but above all entertaining. The scripting is tight and the artwork expressive. The reader is pulled into these pages and hides in fear along-side Stella and Roxy. The ending of this month’s chapter is cruel, but I guarantee you’ll be back for the next issue.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, but he does remember to write more about comics on his website comiccutdown.com

Story continues below

30 Days of Night #5

  • 4

Brutal Horror

30 Days of Night is an exceptionally crafted comic that wallows in bloody violence. But the characters Steve Niles has created gives the ready a small sense of hope. Hope enough to come back next month to see how the hero will survive.

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