For fans of The X-Files and Steve Niles, Niles’ (with R.H. Stavis) graphic novel Something Monstrous will be a revelation. Niles has already done an official X-Files story with The X-Files/30 Days of Night crossover but now he’s done his own homage to the iconic franchise. This story follows siblings Cody and Alexis after Alexis returns home to the small town she grew up in to bail her brother out of jail and to get over the death of her father. It also just so happens that at the same time several of the town’s citizens have been meeting untimely and gruesome deaths at the hands of some giant shadow like creatures. When the locals are unable to handle the murders two FBI agents are brought in but the murders keep happening and the bodies keep piling up and Alexis and Cody soon realize that the murders may have something to do with something that happened in their past and that they may be more responsible than they know.
This is one of Niles’ darker stories as it has to do with child abuse and how it can affect two people in completely different ways. Whereas Alexis fled her hometown to get away from what happened to her as a child, her brother Cody decides to remain at home and drink himself to death and become revengeful and bitter. This plays into the story as when these two sibling finally come back together as adults they accidently release something conjured up from their past that will destroy everyone who was involved with the abuse from their past.
The two FBI agents are Niles’ version of Mulder and Scully and even make several comments about it. Niles does have more fun with these two characters as they are also the comic relief of the story despite the fact that they are responsible for uncovering most of the mystery that surrounds the story and all the characters.
Along for the ride on this story in terms of art is Stephanie Buscema whose style may turn a few people off (as it did me at first glance) but after reading the story it perfectly complimented the story. Buscema was a great choice for the story and her take on the so-called shadow monsters of the story works well. Between Niles, Stavis, and Buscema Something Monstrous is one of the more interesting monster stories out there because it has more to it than meets the eye. This is one that monster fans should definitely take a look at.