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Infestation 2: 30 Days of Night #1 [Review]

Written by: Duane Swierczynski
Art by: Stuart Sayger
Colors by: Jay Fotos
Lettering by: Shawn Lee
Edited by: Denton J. Tipton
Cover by: Sam Shearon
Published by: IDW

In 1952, a photojournalist and her pilot have a rough landing a couple hundred miles south of the North Pole. Seeking shelter and to complete their mission–for the journalist to get the photos they flew here for–the two stumble across a fairly deadly gathering. Fleeing the fate of her pilot, the journalist finds herself in continued peril–as a deadly battle between vampires and an Elder God rages around her, with the Russian military seeking to deal with intruders, period. Her struggle for survival ends with a slight twist that seems to fit the issue in general.

The Vampire element in this story seems almost thrown in (given the title and all). It works, but doesn’t seem essential–they could almost be replaced by any sort of “cult” or group of people influenced by the nightmare of the Elder Gods. Having watched an episode of Mad Men the other day, I’m sort of struck by the contrast in the role a woman’s allowed to play in this story set years earlier. The female protagonist also unfortunately plays into the generic horror movie feel. If the character’s name was given, I don’t recall it as I type–she’s just there, speaking to the reader of the event she experienced.

The visual style of the issue is of dark and muted colors, and at points things seemed fairly surreal and hallucinatory. That certainly fit the story and the generic characters, and lent a clear tone to the story.

Overall, this was a pretty good horror-story one-shot officially set within the world of 30 Days of Night. You’ve got tentacled Elder Gods, typical non-sparkly/non-friendly vampires, and “normal humans” caught in-between. I have no idea if the characters are supposed to be significant to general continuity or not, but I enjoyed the issue well enough either way. This puts me in mind of some Aliens comics, where new characters generally seem to be introduced for any given story, set against the general backdrop of a world.

So, as with all the other Infestation 2 issues…I really don’t feel you need to know much more than the basic “concept” of the property to enjoy the Infestation 2 tie-ins; nor do these tread against the continuity of the individual properties. Established fan of 30 Days of Night or fans of the film or just picking this up as part of following Infestation 2 itself, this is worth buying. I almost prefer the single-issue nature of this to two issues, as one issue seems a taste or glimpse into the property, and two issues almost a tease compared to general done-in-one stories vs. “full arcs.”

Story: 6.5/10
Art: 7.5/10
Overall: 7/10

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