Ah, the time-honored tradition of the comics crossover. What is it about characters co-mingling that readers love so much? Huh? There's something a little fan-fictiony- or, at least, fan-servicey- about them. Mind you, I'm not complaining! I can see why it would be cool to have, say, the Avengers hanging out with the JLA, and I'll admit to a grudging fondness for meet-ups that make little sense (see: Tomb of Dracula & Silver Surfer, X-Men & Burger King (I wish)). But much like the television miniseries, crossovers are always presented as events that cannot be missed.
Such is the buzz surrounding X-Files/30 Days of Night, the latest release from publishers Wildstorm and IDW. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the properties...first of all, really? You're unfamiliar with two extremely popular franchises that cross several mediums? Man, you've got some sort of fulfilling life outside of pop culture...loser nerd!
Whoa, sorry. Don't know why I'm so ornery.
Anyway, 30 Days of Night concerns some eeeevil vampires who descend upon Alaskan towns during the extended arctic nights. The X-Files features FBI Agents Mulder and Scully, who investigate all the weirdo cases: anything that seems irregular falls to them. Mulder declares "Cryptozoology!" while Scully declares "But...real science!" and a good time is had by all.
In the first issue of this 6-issue miniseries, Mulder and Scully head to Wainwright, Alaska to investigate the brutal, seemingly-unexplainable deaths of sixteen truck drivers. Decapitations and ritualistic displays have Scully thinking "serial killers", while they've got Mulder thinking "monsters". As this is 30 Days of Night-land, they're both right for once.
I'm being cheeky but to be honest, 30 Days of Night and The X-Files are made for each other and I really enjoyed this book. Co-writers Steve Niles (who co-created 30 Days) and Adam Jones set up an intriguing story that seems pulled directly from a prime season of The X-Files. The dialogue of the well-known characters rings true, and the case is certainly one the intrepid agents would handle. The art, courtesy of Tom Mandrake, is appropriately atmospheric: snow and darkness are abundant. The panel layouts are occasionally confusing, however, and the action can be difficult to follow. Still, it's a minor hiccup and damn purdy.
So there you go. If the first issue is any indication, the miniseries will play out like a bonus episode of The X-Files featuring Alaska's nastiest vampires, which is...you know...pretty cool. Hey! This crossover really is an event that cannot be missed! Good thing it's on sale right this minute.