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Comic Book / 30 Days of Night

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30 Days of Night is a three-issue comic book miniseries written by Steve Niles, illustrated by Ben Templesmith, and published by IDW Publishing in 2002.

Welcome to Barrow, Alaska. This small, secluded town is located so far north that in the winter there is a span of thirty days when the sun does not rise above the horizon. Usually this is only a minor inconvenience to the residents, but this year, the dead of winter will become a terrifying fight for survival.

This year, the vampires are coming to take advantage of the prolonged darkness.

This Is Gonna Suck.

List of comics in the 30 Days of Night series:

  • 30 Days of Night (2002): The original miniseries.
  • Dark Days (2003)
  • Annual 2004
  • 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow (2004)
  • 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales (2004-2005)
  • Annual 2005
  • 30 Days of Night: Dead Space (2006)
  • Advertisement:
  • 30 Days of Night: Spreading the Disease (2006-2007)
  • 30 Days of Night: Eben and Stella (2007)
  • 30 Days of Night: Red Snow (2007)
  • 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow (2007-2008)
  • 30 Days of Night: 30 Days 'Til Death (2008-2009)
  • The X-Files/30 Days of Night (2010-2011) - Crossover with The X-Files
  • 30 Days of Night: Night Again (2011)
  • 30 Days of Night (2011-2012)
  • Infestation 2 (2012) - A crossover event with other IDW properties and the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover (2012-2013)
  • 30 Days of Night (2017-2018)

Other media includes:

Books include:

  • 30 Days of Night: Rumors of the Undead (2006)
  • 30 Days of Night: Immortal Remains (2007)
  • 30 Days of Night: Eternal Damnation (2008)
  • 30 Days of Night: Light of Day (2009)
  • Advertisement:
  • 30 Days of Night: Fear of the Dark (2010)
  • 30 Days of Night: Night, Again (2011)

  • 30 Days of Night (2007) - Novelization of The Film

The comic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the remake, the vampires are a bit more human-looking than their original counterparts, whereas in Ben Templesmith's artwork, they were often drawn with tendril-like tongues. Marlow and Vicente especially underwent this, with the latter having been an Orlok lookalike in the original comics.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Vampires in Barrow.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Vampires, almost literally, with very few exceptions.
  • Badass Normal: John freaking Ikos. He has, hands down, the highest vampire body count of any human, and even kills a pack leader with just a knife.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Max and Fiona in 30 Days 'Til Death, while fighting the Enforcers, although they clearly expect to be overrun in short order.
  • Bait the Dog: At first, Vicente seems a Reasonable Authority Figure as he furiously denounces the Barrow massacre...then reveals his solution is to slaughter anyone left alive and burn the town to the ground...nor is he above deciding to feed on two children caught hiding as a snack.
  • Becoming the Mask: Vaguely hinted at with Rufus. First he shows some sadness at the neighbors dying but that may just be because it means the end of his masquerade, but then he also takes Sarafina with him when he tries to run instead of abandoning her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Dane is one of barely even a handful of vampires in the series who is genuinely friendly and mostly harmless. However, he murders a doctor in order to protect his true identity.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: The main Big Bad in the second collection in the miniseries is named Lilith.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: These crop up every so often, but often resolve themselves. In the original miniseries, the American vampire Marlow is behind the attack on Barrow. The Elder vampire Vicente is more than a bit frustrated, but his solution is hardly better for the Barrow residents. Future stories include Mr. Reyes and the Zero Family Circus in Juarez and Eben Olemaun and Father Paul in the ongoing.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Dane, John Ikos, Stella and Eben pull this at times.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The vampires have black pupils without any other color, making them look like rabid sharks in human suits. Though the color tends to vary in some comics. 30 Days 'Til Death for example has the vampries have red eyes with golden pupils whereas in Spreading the Disease Reverend Gant's eyes stay human most of the time in spite of him having been turned into a vampire. Vincente's eyes are black yet have red sclera whereas Lilith's eyes have glowing green pupils.
  • Broken Bird: Sarafina in 30 Days 'Til Death: has it pretty bad. She's a drug addicted prostitute abducted off the streets by Rufus, brainwashed into thinking she's his girlfriend while he has her go cold turkey, all to serve as The Beard for him by making him appear more human. Then just as she's begun to enjoy being sober and off the street, one of Rufus' guests causes her to relapse (because she found Sara annoying but couldn't eat her), and that same day she finds herself in the crossfire when the enforcers show up.
  • Cassandra Truth: In Dark Days, Stella writes about the Barrow massacre she hopes will expose them. First, after some assurances it'll be listed under "true crime", her publishers decide to publish it as fiction after all. At a book tour event, Stella knows some vampires will be checking it out and exposes them to the onlookers...and people assume it's a big publicity stunt. Stella has to realize the reason vampires have managed to hide so long is the simple truth most people will refuse to believe in them.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Eduardo Reyes from ''Juarez, or Lex Nova and the Case of the 400 Dead Mexican Girls". He's a bored businessman who runs the city of Juarez, making it into a Wretched Hive and murdering girls on the side for sport.
  • Crapsack World: Vampires are a rampant epidemic whose numbers grow daily, infesting just about every major city and ruthlessly picking off and tormenting anyone that crosses their path. The few who care to curb any wanton slaughter care absolutely nothing for humanity itself rather than self-preservation, and are more than willing to engage in brutal mass-murder themselves.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The vampires initial attack on Barrow is a near-effortless slaughter; all resistance is swept aside and the few survivors are forced to cower in various inhospitable hiding spots, making occasional desperate dashes for supplies.
    • In 30 Days 'Til Death: The nine European enforcers inflict this on every American vampire group they encounter. Most significantly, Rufus' four "cousins" seek shelter with him after escaping the slaughter of their enclave - an army over 150 strong - which cost the enforcers exactly one casualty in exchange.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Eben undergoes one after Stella's death.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Agent Norris tries to get his old partner to back off vampire research by slaughtering his family... because Andy Grey slept with Norris' wife. When Norris is officially dead, Grey finally gets to confront Norris about murdering his family. Norris simply responds "you fucked my wife."
    • Another example is Bingo Zero hypnotizing a security guard into blowing his brains out solely because Bingo blamed him for being stuck in traffic for hours. Bingo basically admitted it was unreasonable, but he was in a bad mood.
  • Duel to the Death: Eben and Vicente. What Vicente expects to be the quick curb-stomp of an arrogant "new blood" becomes a vicious, drawn out mutual-mauling.
  • Dumb Muscle: Jacko both before and after being bitten.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • After reappearing for a few pages in the Annual 2005, Billy is killed and dismembered off-page by Santana Lutz.
    • Stella is accidentally killed with no fanfare whatsoever.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Taylor geting vampires on film for the first time ever.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One reason the Elders aren't initially interested in Eben's peace overtures? Before Eben took over from Father Paul, Paul had slaughtered a host of elders... one of them being Lord John Westminster's husband of three hundred years, Brecht. An example in the original series is Vicente and Lilith.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: According to Lilith, at least, both her and Vicente were of the opinion that humans were not meant for wholesale slaughter. However, this may be more of an example of Pragmatic Villainy, and the both of them are shown to contradict this.
  • Evil Is Petty: One short story has vampires try to invade an orphanage for the free treats... problem being, the orphanage's priest is a demon in disguise cultivating the children for his own purposes later. When the vampires protest they had no idea, they're willing to leave in peace and he has no reason to harm them, he responds "I'm a demon. What am I, if not petty?"
  • Face Death with Dignity: Subverted in the remake, where Stella is willing to let Vicente kill her, but Eben interrupts them.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Eben is now a murderous, bloodthirsty monster.
  • Fantastic Racism: As is the norm for vampires, they think of humans as little more than walking sacks of blood, and the worst of them wish to overthrow them as the dominant species. Humans aren't very fond of vampires, either.
    This is how it is meant to be: Humans. Like bottles. Waiting for their caps to be popped.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Kitchen sink may be stretching it, but in a universe full of vampires, a recent comic has also revealed the existence of a functional Golem, which possesses people by encasing them in living mud, as well as the fact that the 30 Days vamps seem to be involved in the Infestation crossover. However, with the reveal that 30 Days Of Night crosses over with Criminal Macabre, this trope is very apt.
  • Fat Bastard: A few nasty vampires. Especially Billy Boy from 30 Days 'Til Death. Special nod must go to Lord John Westminster of the elders.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire:
    • Played with in the comic 30 Days 'Til Death, where the elder vampires in Germany have simply had it with the younger generation and decides to kill them off. The vampire protagonist, Rufus, responds by deciding to hide among humans, à la his own personal masquerade. It doesn't work out well, half because Rufus is not a good person whatsoever and half because his old friends show up and destroy his efforts, catching the attention of the Elders.
    • Played straight however, in the comic Juarez or Lex Nova and the Case of The 400 Dead Mexican Girls, with the titular Lex Nova, a vampire private eye who monologues to himself (aloud) and manages his blood habit by drinking from goats.
    • Played straight as well with Eben and Stella, who by the end of their own comic, Eben and Stella, have successfully reconciled their morality with being undead monsters, and become the protectors of Barrow. That is, until Eben forfeits the title after slaughtering the neighborhood. To the last man.
    • Dane's a pretty nice guy as well, though he's not against murdering a doctor to avoid himself being exposed.
    • Billy is probably the sole truly heroic vampire in the series. He's never killed an innocent except to put them out of their misery after the Mad Doctor had experimented on them.
  • From Bad to Worse: Once Rufus' vampire kin show up at his apartment, everything he's done to try and maintain a sense of normalcy falls apart due to their inability to keep their hunger in check or just behave in general, causing Rufus no end of grief. Then the vampire death squad he was hiding from shows up...
  • Gonk: Spreading the Disease infamously has quite a lot of human characters drawn in a hideous style, with Gabe and Rafael being the worst offenders in spite of being good guys.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dane goes from trying to re-kill Eben in front of Stella and stop her in her quest to expose vampires, to aiding her once he discovers that Eben didn't kill Marlow.
  • Hero Antagonist: The enforcers wiping out American vampires in 30 Days 'Til Death could count, given how so many deserve it.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Discussed. In the second series, the protagonist asks one of the vampires why they seem to automatically become evil as soon as they're turned. He asks her how many people she knows who wouldn't if they actually had the power to pull it off.
    • Another example in Juarez when the vampires, after seeing headlines of 400 missing or dead young women, think it's their clan patriarch at work... only to find it's just a group of bored men, which absolutely delights the head of said clan.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Stella in Dark Days. Though she Took a Level in Badass, she has to deal with a lot of shit. Her attempt to expose vampires is seen as a publicity stunt for her book, which gets labeled as fiction by its publishers, her and the hunters end up all going their separate ways, and she has the only existing copy of evidence of the Barrow massacre destroyed. In the end, when she resurrects Eben, he bites and turns her into a vampire.
  • Informed Ability: We're informed at one point by the only Friendly Neighborhood Vampire around that most vampires didn't care for the attack on Barrow and just want to co-exist without too much bloodshed. To say this is very contradictory to every time we see other vampires in action is an obvious understatement.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Rufus throwing Billy Boy out the window into the sun after he showed no impulse control and brought the enforcers down on them with indiscriminate killing.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire handles vampires well. It's also what finally brings down Eben.
  • Klingon Promotion: Eben ascends to ruling the vampire world after he kills the eldest, most powerful vampire alive.
  • Masquerade: The vampire elders of the Old World try to uphold one, having lived long enough to realize secrecy is the primary advantage preventing The Hunter Becomes the Hunted in mankind's favor. New World vampires, on the other hand, are so absurdly incapable of subtlety that their kin across the pond decide kill them all is the only way to preserve that advantage.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Rufus is a cold-blooded killer with a bloody past, yet he actually makes an effort to lay low and avoid indiscriminate killing after the Elders start sending hit squads, while hardly any other vampire who appears in that story arc even tries to show self-control.
  • Looks Like Orlok:
    • Vicente in the original. He's entirely bald, has a black trench coat, pointed ears, and noticeable claws.
    • Eben. A little horrible fire damage, a little drinking the blood of the oldest vampires he can get...
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Annual 2004 features a book club discussing Stella's book. When they start to believe it, one of their members convinces the rest that their creepy neighbor is a vampire, and the group goes to his house and kills him. It turns out that the member who made the accusation in the first place is the real vampire.
  • Meaningful Name: Besides being a real town, "barrows" are a type of grave.
  • Monster Clown: The Zero Family Circus from Bloodsucker Tales is a clan of clown-themed vampires, lead by the alpha Bingo Zero and his babes Halo and Echo.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Dane has been given two different backstories, with the only consistency being that Marlow turned him. His first claim in the annual is that he was turned in the 70s, and the second in Immortal Remains is that he was turned in the Civil War era.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Rufus letting his old coven mate Martin and a few others who survived the Cleveland Curb-Stomp Battle lay low with him, which quickly attracts the enforcers that they escaped from.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There's at least three characters named Billy in the entire series, although one of them isn't seen except in the movie.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They are almost invincible, though the measure of their invulnerabilities tends to vary. In one series they are capable of taking shotgun blasts to the face and having grenades go off on their heads, and in another, they die by decapitation. One consistent factor seems to be their vulnerability to UV light, which seems to vary, again with age. A vampire is killed in 30 Days 'Til Death by being hurled out a window at sunset, while a far older vampire manages to run through the light before getting shot in the face. Then again, one newly made vampire in the original miniseries dies at the first light of dawn, and so fast that he doesn't even get a frame showing him burning. Also, one of the miniseries featuring a family of yuppies traveling to Barrow to see the original vampires. Instead they find insectile 'ancient vampires' who had adapted to the environment and feed on regular vampires.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Vicente and Marlow had been exchanging emails about the attack on Barrow, which Vicente ended up being vehemently against and tried to stop. Instead of cryptic "I'll be there" messages, Vicente might have prevented the whole mess by simply emailing do not do this under any circumstances or I will fucking kill you with my bare hands.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Hello, Agent Norris. Goodbye, Agent Norris."
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Rufus' neighbor Karl.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: 30 Days of Night: Dead Space.note 
  • Religion of Evil: Spreading the Disease is about a cult that believes vampirism is the next step to Heaven, and spread it by way of contaminated alcohol.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Both are shown as a way to kill vampires.
  • The Renfield: Agent Norris starts out as a bug eater, who are pretty much the in-universe equivalent of this trope. Though apparently, these become full-blown vampires later. The stranger who sabotages Barrow in preparation for the attack is also later identified as one, explaining his unnatural behavior and strength alongside endurance to sunlight.
  • Self-Parody: Juarez is notably goofier than the rest of the series and plays out like this, with a comically insane protagonist, jabs at vampire clichés, and a Laughably Evil secondary antagonist. However, it's still set in the series' trademark Crapsack World, and has maybe one of the most grim settings and storylines in an already bleak series. Worse still, it's the most rooted in reality.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: Copious need for blood? Check. Morality shift? Check. Contagious? Very. A single crewman in Dead Space changes after a scratch. These guys are some of the most hostile vampires in fiction. There are, being generous, maybe four or five vampires in the entire thing who aren't bad people. Even Dane isn't above killing people or enacting horrible vengeance.
  • Stupid Evil: Vicente calls the vampires participating in the Barrow massacre this, though it's also applicable to most of the vampires seen in the series. They are, with very few exceptions, Always Chaotic Evil, and insist on being as vicious as possible and leaving behind trails of mutilated, blood-drained corpses. And those are just the ones that don't care about the Masquerade. There are some that manage to be smarter and better at covering their tracks than others, but most of the time, they get away with wanton slaughter mostly out of sheer dumb luck.
  • Suicide by Sunlight: Eben can't bare the idea of losing his love for Stella at the end of the original series, so he allows himself to die as the sun rises.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Walt to John Ikos in the remake. Hunter with a similar beard, parka, only the difference is that he's among the first to be turned.
  • Tainted Veins
  • Transhuman Treachery: Almost everyone who is turned immediately begins chowing down on their best friends. Notable aversions include Eben, (though he gets a bit worse), Lex Nova and Stella, though she still does kill a room service clerk in hunger (and irritation).
  • Weakened by the Light: Pretty much the only weakness of the vampires in this series. It's notable that vampires here are way more susceptible to sunlight than most, bursting into flames and dying from even minor exposure to the sun's rays and even UV lamps. This is kind of balanced, however, by their total immunity to basically every other form of attack.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Lilith and Vicente. Also John Westminster and Brecht were a homosexual version of this.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Juarez is a borderline Self-Parody of the series, but Reyes, the main antagonist of that series, is still a horribly odious character, being a wealthy man bored with his riches, raping and killing the girls of Juarez en masse.
  • The Virus: Vampirism is portrayed as this later in the comics, with a single bite or scratch converting humans. Spreading the Disease is even about a vampire cult spreading vampirism via contaminated alcohol. Vampirism is at least somewhat supernatural, however, as dead vampires can be regenerated if blood is poured on their remains.
  • Visionary Villain: Father Paul has a vision for the vampire race: overthrow the decadent, European elders and unite the race. Eben's vision is even more expansive: the elders and Americans united under his banner, humanity smashed underfoot and made into cattle.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dane spends a year fighting alongside John Ikos against a lunatic vampire who wants to convert humanity into cattle. When Eben starts doing this on a greater scale than ever before, you'd think Dane might get involved, maybe with these supposed vampires who are against this lunacy.note  For that matter, we never see John Ikos when Eben massacres Barrow to the last man. Or Brian Kitka, who would be an adult at that time. Agent Norris just kinda vanishes as well. His fate is resolved in one of the novels, but in the only one that could possibly be canon. Some of Rufus's background neighbors aren't seen the second time the enforcers come back to the building. They probably died, but might have left during the interval between the attacks.