Writers: Steve Niles & Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Justin Randall
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Well now, this is more like it. After last month’s rather lackluster and (for new readers) confusing start, 30 Days of Night: Eben & Stella finds it footing and the story gets rolling properly.
Anyone who read the first issue, or even thumbed through it, could make a fair guess at the big twist here. With a quick "of happier times" flashback opener, this installment of 30DoN: E&S has three main parts: a baby, power and the importance of said baby in attaining and wielding aforementioned power. Although most of this issue still comes across as setup, it does have its moments of plot developments and twist. While there might be some resolution to quite a few of them, I suspect that (as in the past) some will be left dangling for future 30 Days of Night mini-series.
As for the three main characters here, (other than the baby), the recently turned Stella is in the pickle the most. Not only is she going through the usual "new vamp" steps, i.e. hallucinations, hunger, etc., she also has a kid to take care of now, all while coming to terms with what her husband, Eben did to her. Unbeknownst to her, her situation is all set to become even more dire, all thanks to Xen and her underlings. Speaking of Eben and Xen, former Sheriff Eben Olemaun is not doing so well himself. Having fallen in Xen’s clutches, he has no choice but to go along with her schemes to get the baby back from Stella. On the bright side though, at least he’s getting a square "blood" meal, even if it that of a cat.
There are a couple of other side-plots, one tying into the events of the previous issue while the other is a prequel to this mini-series, Dark Days. The second one might confuse newer readers. Hopefully, next issue’s "The Story So Far…" recap will most probably help clarify it.
This brings us to the art, and although it’s (very) different from almost anything on the comic market today, the artwork of 30DoN: E&S isn’t going to bring any surprises to veteran 30 Days of Night readers. There is an interesting mix of realistic and darkly-fantastical elements here which, well, just seems to click.
Conclusion: Although still not quite perfect and newbie friendly, 30 Days of Night: Eben & Stella is a fast paced, tightly knit story, all brought together by some killer art.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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