The threat of an upcoming war between vampires and humans is more real than ever in Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night: Final Night #1. With an impending sense of danger, one of these two franchises won’t make it out of this war. Issue #1 of the epic crossover offers a promising beginning of the end.
WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Christopher Mitten
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics/IDW Publishing
RELEASE: December 12, 2012
Steve Niles’ comic creations come together for a final showdown. From “30 Days of Night,” Eben Olemaun has been building an army of vampires. After sacrificing his life to save the citizens of Barrow, Alaska, Eben wants revenge for the loss of his wife, Stella. With his humanity gone, Eben is looking for a war against the entire human race. The only thing getting in his way is Cal McDonald, the supernatural private investigator from the “Criminal Macabre” series. The future of the human race is at stake as Cal and Eben will inevitably confront each other in a battle to the death.
In a creative twist, Niles uses vampirism as a metaphor for domestic terrorism. Bloodsuckers are now sleeper agents waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Sending out a loud message for all to hear, Eben orders a vampire attack on a federal building. Even though he has faced monsters, werewolves, and demons, Cal has something to fear this time around. Ever since he came back from the dead, Cal is not 100 percent and can barely stand up on his own two feet. If he confronts Eben, he might actually lose.
In the “Criminal Macabre” series, Cal’s sidekick, Mo’Lock, has always kept his cool in tough situations. But this time, when the vampires take something personal away from him, Mo’Lock completely loses his temper. Mo’Lock has always served as the voice of reason and conscience to Cal. Readers will be quite surprised to see Mo’Lock lose control as he beats a vampire to a bloody pulp. With a war brewing between the vampires and the ghouls, will Mo’Lock be able to keep himself in check even after such a personal loss? When it matters most, can Cal truly depend on Mo’Lock to be there for him?
Making great use of shadows and low-key lighting, artist Christopher Mitten captures a noir-like look of Los Angeles. Mitten brings out the black humor in Niles’ script through visual gags. In the opening pages, Mitten focuses on the bruises, stitches, and bandages that Cal and Alice Blood have on their faces. Pay close attention to one of the backgrounds because you will find a framed photo of Cal and The Goon.
An epic battle between good and evil is foreshadowed in the climatic last pages. In grand scale, Eben gathers his growing vampire army across the suburban streets of LA. Mitten illustrates numerous crowd scenes in every camera angle, to demonstrate just how huge the upcoming war will be. In his character design, Eben is completely disfigured, representing how there is nothing left of his humanity. Hideous on the inside and outside, Eben has succumbed to his bloodlust, becoming the monster he once fought against.
While being quite accessible to newcomers, “Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night: Final Night” #1 also establishes how the stakes are personal to longtime readers. Eben and his army of nasty vampires from “30 Days of Night” fit seamlessly into the “Criminal Macabre” world. Fans of both series are really going to enjoy watching them clash. It’s a shame one of these books will be ending.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis