When the first issue of The Strain hit I didn’t love it. For some reason the first issue just didn’t grab me, but by issue two? Wow I was hooked. Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan created an intricately plotted, downright scary book about vampire. And they used an angle that’s rarely been done.
The Strain follows Dr. Ephram Goodweather leader of a CDC task force concerned with flight 753, a plane that upon landing safely at JFK International Airport was found to hold 198 dead and three survivors. How they died and why any survived is a mystery that will lead Eph down the path of folklore and legend. It’s a journey Eph’s agile mind handles very quickly, it would be better for us all if the higher ups had as good a grasp on reality.
I knew when following this series in monthlies that I’d love it even more as a trade. The script (by David Lapham) flows so well it’s hard not to read it in one sitting.
Mike Huddleston’s art and Dan Jackson’s colors really bring this book to life, a creepy, gross, disturbing life. And the new edition of chapter art by Huddleston and E.M. Gist raises the creep factor by like a thousand! I have to admit though it’s not really the art that makes this book scary for me. It’s the plot. They’ve really found a way to make the threat of vampire “infection” seem feasible. These vampires don’t sparkle and they’re not all angsty with great hair. These are ugly scary monsters.
(Closer look at that cover image? click here)
One of my favorite things about this series? Dr. Goodweather really believes he’s dealing with a contagion and when it’s explained that it’s more than that he just keeps moving forward. He doesn’t waste time arguing about whats possible or not possible, he just says ok how do we handle it. That made the book all the more real to me. I’ve always believed that when faced with something totally off the wall the truly intelligent, the truly brave step up, they don’t waste time asking pointless questions, they get to work.
Can’t wait to see how Dr. Ephram Goodweather handles volume two. Read this trade, you’ll need to know what happens next.
The release date for the trade is November 14, so order it at your local comic shop or pre- order online at amazon. I’ll be there’s someone who’d love to find this in their Christmas stocking!
The Strain Volume #1 TBP
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: Mike Huddleston
Genre: Action/Adventure, Horror
Publication Date: November 14, 2012
Format: FC, 152 pages; HC, 7″ x 10″
Age range: 14+