Book Review: X-Files/30 Days of Night, Steve Niles et al. (2011)

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Don’t MAKE him say the v-word, Scully!

four out of five stars

When the grisly remains of some sixteen truck drivers are discovered by plow driver Henry-Lee “Patches” Brown, Mulder and Scully are called out to Wainwright, Alaska to investigate. Decapitated, drained of blood, and hung atop a 40-foot pole, these clearly aren’t the victims of an ordinary serial killer – despite what their colleagues at the FBI believe. Mulder and Scully’s investigation leads them to an abandoned 19th century ship, a limbless old man, an ancient artifact, and a young girl covered in third-degree burns (and then…not). All the while, they must contend with the 24-hour darkness that has enveloped wintry Wainwright.

A fan of the 2007 film 30 Days of Night, I was researching the comic book series by Steve Niles, trying to decide whether I should give it a try, when I stumbled upon this crossover series. Whereas the 30 Days of Night comics generally have poor to fair reviews, this one came highly recommended. But hey, they had me at “The X-Files“!

Steve Niles and Adam Jones (of Tool fame) expertly capture the tone and spirit of the show in this adaptation: the wry humor, the amiable-yet-sometimes-exasperated banter, the sense of camaraderie between our favorite two federal agents. The writers nail the characters of Mulder and Scully (and Skinner!), even if the art isn’t always spot-on. As I read, I could easily envision this story on the small screen. (Or large. Someone make this happen please! Given the comic’s final panel, it would make an excellent sequel to the 30 Days of Night film!)

The story wasn’t quite as long as I would have liked, but then I’d rather the writers leave me wanting more rather than wishing for less.

Whether you count yourself a member of the X-Files or 30 Days fandom, X-Files/30 Days of Night belongs in your book pile.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)