“La nuit blanche”: vampires can also be superheroes! [Spoilery Comic Review]
The White Night trade paperback Black Horse The comics show us that even creatures of the night want to be superheroes too. They might not have quite the best reasons for it, but at least they have their undead hearts in the right places.
The White Night is essentially the graphic novel compilation of issues 1-5 of ComiXology’s comic book series of the same name. Chip Zdarsky is the writer, with Aditya Bidikar as the lettering. Jason Loo is the artist and cover artist, with Paris Alleyne as colorist. At last, Dark Horse Comics is the publisher behind this compilation of graphic novels.
The White Night put up for sale on March 16, 2022 for a retail price of $19.99. You can order it in hard copy or download it digitally directly from Dark Horse Comics.
Warning: spoilers for The White Night below. If you want to read about the (mis)adventures of a vampire superhero for yourself, stop here and come back once the sun has gone down again.
The White Night: Plot Summary
The White Night features us at the titular all-night/night-only dinner, where a group of vampire led by Ian live and work there to conceal their undeath. The restaurant provides them with both an income and a source of food in the form of the blood of the butchers who supply them with their meat. It’s a pretty comfortable life for a vampire overall. For our main character Alex, living is not enough. He is bored to death and wants to live instead of just collecting his daily blood. So when an assault gives him the opportunity to be a superhero like his idols, he grabs her by the throat.
Unfortunately, his family of vampires understands that this superhero is him. Starting with her best friend Joy (a 45-year-old woman stuck in the body of a 12-year-old teenager), who luckily decides to accompany her on her night patrols also out of boredom. She actually saves her own skin from being discovered during a drug smuggling raid. Apparently, if a human identifies a supernatural creature in this world and releases this information, said supernatural creature will summon the Takers for them. We never learn what the Takers are really in The White Night. Only once they’ve got you, you never come back. Just like Charlie was anybody. We never learn who he was either, so that’s a bummer.
Creatures of the night, assemble!
Unfortunately, Alex and Joy’s nocturnal hijinks give ideas to other supernatural creatures. You see, the superhero concert turns out to be an escape the supernatural creatures can use to avoid the attention of the Takers. It starts with a group of trolls attacking cars crossing their bridge and taking people hostage. Alex and Joy manage to free them, but this results in Alex’s arrest and forces his family to break into the police station to free him (with a little help from Frankenstein and his private army of wolves- garou).
Alex promises never to do it again, but events conspire to force him to break that promise sooner. A clown-like boogeyman and his army of goblin-like things invade the local town hall, take politicians hostage, and terrorize passers-by. The vampire family decides to intervene, and even Ian ends up coming and helping kill the boogeyman. In the midst of the fighting however, Ian disappears. As his vampire family celebrates their victory and their newfound freedom (courtesy of police allies), we find out what happened to Ian.
Apparently, his clan of vampires take him prisoner, claiming he violated an ancient vampire law. This law was simply that vampires could not have clans they did not approve of. It’s a kangaroo court, but the vampires are fully aware of that. They actually intend to use this as an excuse to eliminate Ian, who turns out to be Dracula. What will happen to Ian/Dracula? Well, that’s what we’ll probably find out in the next volume of The White Night. Assuming there will be one.
The White Night: Good
The basic premise of The White Night is probably his biggest hook. The idea of a family of vampires becoming superheroes is very interesting. It’s like Interview of the Vampire crossed with The Incredibles. And to Chip Zdarsky’s credit, it executes the premise quite well with a nice balance of action, comedy, and drama. With a small but noticeable amount of extra blood. It’s rather appropriate for a family of vampires.
The work of The White Night is another good point about this. Not only is the art in general pretty good, but Alex and Joy’s costumes are also pretty well designed. They feel like a combination of those old Silver Age superheroes crossed with the dark gritty of Kick ass.
The White Night: The bad
One of my complaints about The White Night This is how Chip Zdarsky characterized Alex from the start. Alex explicitly decided to become a superhero not out of morality, but because he was bored to death. Admittedly, he comes out of it in the middle of the story. However, I feel like the transition from “Superheroes for the excitement” to “Superheroes because it’s the right thing to do” wasn’t as smooth as it might have been. ‘to be. I think it might have been better if his antics had accidentally caused civilian deaths, which forces him to re-evaluate why he’s a superhero. But that’s just my opinion here. Your mileage may vary.
My other complaint about The White Night This is how Frankenstein essentially convinced Cynthia to step down as CEO of her own company. Frankenstein acted like a chauvinistic and condescending fool; although this may be intentional on Chip Zdarsky’s part. Cynthia’s reasoning for stepping down as CEO (“The world will tolerate a quirky rich man, but not a quirky rich woman”) also seems… out of place. I guess it’s a social commentary on the glass ceiling that women face in business, but it seems… unfair is the best way to put it. Guess that could also be intentional on Zdarsky’s part. Maybe that’s a good thing that makes me uncomfortable then. At the very least, it draws attention to the problem. Hopefully in a way that’s thoughtfully uncomfortable.
Source: Dark Horse Comics