Monday, March 8, 2010

30 Days of Night: Dead Space #1-3

Written by Steve Niles and Dan Wickline
Art by Milx

I've dabbled a couple of times now into the 30 Days of Night pool, and in each case I've come back with mixed feelings, except for David Lapham's awesome contribution to the line. They consistently seem to fall short of their potential, which I find frustrating.

This series is no different. The concept hooked me right away - a space shuttle mission with a vampire on board. It's a little like Aliens, except the creature can be a real character. What happens though, is that the entire crew of the shuttle is dispatched with off-camera, and the next two issues of the comic are all about the 'rescue mission' coming up to see what was going on, before they too get attacked.

It's a quickly-paced story that depends on a couple of things happening that are rather ridiculous. I'm willing to accept that vampires can survive in outer space, since I assume they don't breathe. What I can't handle is that vampires that burn up if they are exposed to sunlight on Earth would be able to happily float in orbit around the planet for a month, and never once catch a glimpse of the sun. This is never discussed in the story, and I found it made it impossible for me to suspend my disbelief (being fully aware that I'm reading a comic about vampires in space).

The characterizations in this book are handled very quickly and with little development. The one person that the authors take the time to flesh out is the astronaut that becomes a vampire, but I'm not clear how he became infected.

The art is different - it looks like it's all watercolours - but it works quite well for this type of story. I get the feeling like it might be time to abandon hope for this line, but I did pick up Templesmith's Red Snow at the same Comic-con, so I guess it gets one more chance.

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