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X-files/30 Days of Night #3

(No Spoilers)

Writer: Steve Niles & Adam Jones
Pencils: Tom Mandrake
Colors: Darlene Royer
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Andrea Sorrentino

The nightmare for Agents Mulder and Scully continues as the threat increases substantially in this issue. Niles and Jones have gone from making this feel like an X-files episode to feeling more like an X-files movie.

The layouts and the pacing take on more of a widescreen feel in this issue. Mandrake’s art seems to be getting better and I like some of the huge establishing shots he illustrates. Plus, like I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have a particular vampire character we’re following so Mandrake takes the vampires we do see and seems to give us only teases of them. Whether it’s in shadows or close-up shots, he truly gives them a beast-like quality. This is a departure from the way Niles has presented them in the past which was a mixture of the human and animalistic traits. But again, I think it’s the lack of a main vampire character (so far) that drives this notion.

The characterization is still spot on as Mulder continues to insert humor even in the most dire situation while Scully is ever the skeptic as the unexplainable happens around her. They also get into a pretty intense action scene towards the end. It’s not something I’m used to seeing with them but the unexpectedness of it added to the suspense.

The story is still moving along nicely. We didn’t learn as much as I would’ve liked this issue but we traded that for a great action scene. I think what made it more suspenseful is that I’ve been wondering how Mulder and Scully will survive against such a dangerous foe. I got a taste of that here.

The series is continuing to be a great read each month. I’m confident that the remaining issues will be just as enjoyable. Niles proves time and time again that he knows how to write a good comic. Now with Adam Jones providing some insight, it appears the two work really well together. A solid read each month and one that is worth checking out if you still haven’t.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

X-files/30 Days of Night #2

(No Spoilers)

Writer: Steve Niles & Adam Jones
Pencils: Tom Mandrake
Colors: Darlene Royer
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Andrea Sorrentino

I feel like I’m watching an episode of the X-files. That’s how much I think this creative team is nailing this mini-series so far!

I don’t just hear David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s voices when I read this, I believe that this is Mulder and Scully in an episode that I’m reading about instead of watching. There is a great opening scene with the two that is classic. The dialogue is spot on, the reaction of each character, and even the little goofiness that Mulder tended to have in the show. Everything about this screams X-files. I hope fans of the show are picking this up.

As far as the 30 Days of Night aspect to this story, well it’s being well-crafted here just like in the other stories Niles has told in this world. Like I’ve said before, 30 Days of Night is more about the world than any one character. This is why it’s working so well with this crossover. Mulder and Scully were the focus of the X-files and they are here as well. The world serves as the backdrop for their story so it all fits together nicely.

The pacing of the issue is also very well done. It seemed to move at a brisk pace and had enough surprises to keep it interesting. Mandrake’s art is still not my favorite but he’s doing a good job giving us some really creepy scenes. I will say that the art and the coloring work well to keep the atmosphere dark and gritty.

We end with another great cliffhanger as the mysteries continue to pile up. Even though we as the readers know who the bad guys are here, there is still enough mystery to keep us guessing about what’s really going on in this story. This creative team is doing an excellent job so far. I hope they can keep this good momentum going throughout the remainder of the series. It’s even got me wanting to go back and watch some X-files episodes.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

X Files / 30 Days of Night #1 - Cover

X-files/30 Days of Night #1

Writer: Steve Niles & Adam Jones
Pencils: Tom Mandrake
Colors: Darlene Royer
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Denton & Ben Abernathy
Cover: Andrea Sorrentino
“30 Days of Night: Variant Cover: Sam Keith
“X-files” Variant Cover: Tom Mandrake & JD Mettler

(No Spoilers)

X-files and 30 Days of Night. When I first heard of this crossover it made me think, ‘why not?’ Why hadn’t this been done before? Well, I guess it was a matter of timing. X-files ended its run in May 2002 and the first 30 Days of Night mini-series came out later that year. X-files had lost a lot of steam towards the end so I guess doing a crossover with it at the time didn’t make much sense. But with the 2008 movie “X-files: I Want to Believe” and the comic series Wildstorm published that same year, X-files has had some exposure once again.

I love Steve Niles’ 30 Days of Night series but I was just a casual X-files fan. The show appealed to me more during the episodes that dealt with the alien conspiracy. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect with an X-files vampire story. But Niles has set up a great story that perfectly blends the two worlds.  His collaboration with Adam Jones is flawless because I can’t see a discrepancy in the writing.  It’s obvious already the two work well together.

One of Niles’ strengths is that he knows how to write good characters. Even if they’re not essential players, sometimes he takes secondary characters and makes their role in the story more interesting than most writers usually do with secondary characters. Here, it’s a truck driver named Henry-Lee “Patches” Brown. His story bookends this first issue. He’s a native of Alaska so his inner monologue about life in the state really brings you into the mood of the story.

Speaking of inner monologue, Niles does an excellent job of utilizing this to help us feel what Patches is feeling as we experience the story with him. This part made it feel like a comic but in contrast, the scenes where Mulder and Scully show up and begin their classic banter, it felt like an X-files episode. Niles blended the two perfectly here. And yes, I did imagine David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson voicing their parts which made it even more enjoyable.

Tom Mandrake’s art is decent. I can’t say I was blown away by it but I did enjoy it. He got a chance to illustrate some really creepy scenes like Patches’ discovery of the murder scene at the beginning and at the end with a really gruesome cliffhanger.

We’ve got the setup for a great story and I think fans of both series will find something they like here. I’m extremely curious to see how Mulder and Scully are going to handle such a dangerous opponent as vampires. But Niles has never let me down with his storytelling so he’s definitely got me hungry to know what’s coming next.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)