Lonesome Days, Savage Nights is a good old fashioned werewolf tale with a twist written by one of the most prolific horror comic book writers around Steve Niles, perhaps best known for his work in creating the vampire tale of 30 Days of Night and Remains. Unfortunately, it's one that isn't able to set itself apart from other lycanthropy-focused tales we've seen over the years. It's a better example of some of said werewolf stories we've seen recently, though, thanks to the creative team of Steve Niles, Salvatore Simeone, and Szymon Kudranski at TKO Studios.
The character of Stu Manning is enjoyable enough, earning his living as a private detective after being kicked out of the police following a werewolf attack, which Stu's fellow "boys in blue" considered to be a story made up to simply account for the loss of his service weapon. When Stu discovers that he now has the power to transform into a werewolf, he is able to gain some control over his transformation thanks in part to his partner Audrey.
The foibles of this story fall in its predictability. As mentioned earlier, it feels like a story we've seen numerous times before and the characters that are presented here. While Stu isn't exactly a super hero, his "heart of gold" does take some of the edge off of what this story could be.
The villains here are simply serviceable and don't do much to make themselves memorable when all is said and done, presenting themselves as a means to an end to keep the story moving and give Stu something to unleash his feral instincts upon. While Stu narrates most of the story, letting readers know the internal struggle he has with his inner wolf as he finds himself without the person that was keeping him firmly in control, it simply doesn't go into enough detail to make this struggle compelling.
The star of the show in Lonesome Days, Savage Nights is most definitely the art work provided by Szymon Kudranski, who is able to blend some amazing colors with down to earth pencils that set up the world perfectly. His work conveys the grittiness of the city streets as well as the horror of the werewolves and carnage they spread when they are stalking the streets. It's simply a joy to look at each page, and I wish that the story was equally compelling to match the artistic storytelling seen here.
With a story like 30 Days Of Night, Steve Niles' take on vampires had such an ingenious premise that it took the story much further, but unfortunately, the same can't be said for Stu's tale. One of the weaknesses I find in the story is that it leans just a little too much into "superhero" territory, without giving Stu's journey much more of a horror focus.
Lonesome Days, Savage Nights is able to take a number of elements from werewolf fiction such as An American Werewolf In London, Dog Soldiers, and The Wolfman, but it falls prey to some of their stereotypical elements in turn and is unable to offer readers anything new to make the series memorable.
Published by TKO Studios
On November 17th 2020
Written by Steve Niles and Salvatore Simeone
Art by Szymon Kudranski0comments
Letters by Thomas Mauer
Cover by Szymon Kudranski