This volume collects a four-issue miniseries set in the 30 Days of Night universe, with an unusual set of creators: writer Joe R. Lansdale and artist Sam Keith. The concept again proves itself to be quite flexible. The story centers around a group of survivors of a vampire attack who are trying to cross the Arctic to the next town, with the vampires in pursuit. The vampires are an exceptionally bloodthirsty bunch, and Keith delights in depicting bloody carnage. By the time the escapees meet up with group of scientists studying climate change they have been surviving by cannibalism: that plus their vampire stories convince the scientists that they're completely crazy, so they lock them up.
The scientists have uncovered a large metal container that had been frozen in the ice (deposited there by a Nazi submarine, as we saw in the opening scene in the series). Naturally they open it, despite the ominous pounding that had been issuing from within. But instead of a vampire (which every reader must surely have expected) they find a golem. And that's the first two issues!
It's no accident that the series opened with the scene of the golem being interred in the ice. As the scientists and survivors prepare for the vampire attack they decide to release the golem and chain it up, ready to use as their secret weapon. There's more flashback information about the golem: Lansdale comes up with a novel origin, that of an alien intelligence which takes over a human host via the ingestion of clay. Naturally one of the survivors has the bright idea of setting the golem on fire, melting the clay... The whole story really takes an interesting turn. In the end it's mostly about the golem, with the vampires as background characters. Can't put that on the cover, I suppose (although some of the monthly covers did).
Sam Keith is an unexpected choice for the art duties, with his odd mixture of realism and very cartoony drawing. He certainly gets the creepy part down, even if some of the cartoon sound effects (mainly in the flashbacks) can be jarring. He addresses this in his Afterword. But as he points out, Steve Niles liked the results enough to ask him to illustrate the ongoing series that started after this miniseries came out.