"The Strain" Comic Review


Written by James Ferguson


Published by Dark Horse Comics



Written by David Lapham
Illustrated by Mike Huddleston
2011, 23 Pages, $1.00
Comic released on December 14th, 2011



I'll start this review off by saying that I have yet to read anything from The Strain trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  I've heard nothing but good things about it and I have the first two books sitting on my shelf upstairs, but I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet.  Despite that, I was excited to hear that Dark Horse would be publishing an adaptation of the comic.  The first issue came out recently.  Having nothing to compare it to, I was relatively pleased.


Click images to enlarge.


The book starts out with a ghost story of sorts.  An old woman is telling her grandson (?) the tale of a wealthy giant named Jusef Sardu who was once a very kind man who struggled with weak muscles.  After a hunting expedition left his entire party horrifically mauled, but not eaten, Sardu returned to his castle, but was now feared by the townspeople.  No one knew what really happened to him, but local children began to disappear.  

Then, years later, a plane lands at JFK airport and of the 201 passengers, only 3 are still alive.  The rest are dead on arrival.  The CDC and Hazmat teams are trying to figure out what happened, but no answers are found.  The appearance of a mysterious coffin is sure to bring up more questions, though.


Click images to enlarge.


This first issue, which is only $1.00 by the way, has all the makings of a great premiere comic.  This sets the stage for everything in a simple, easy to follow way that drew me in insanely fast.  There are two different story lines from the two sets of characters (Abraham, the boy from the beginning who is now an old man in NYC, and Ephraim, the CDC worker), but it's clear that they tie together.


Mike Huddleston's art works wonders here.  It has a gruff feel to it which matches the tone of the story well.  Huddleston also transitions remarkably well between the two time periods, bouncing from the old world background at the start of the issue to the modern day metropolis of the second half.  It's a seamless change that loses no momentum as the book carries on.  His cover for the issue is also downright terrifying.  If this is what we can expect when the series gets rolling, I cannot wait.

Click images to enlarge.

Adaptation comics aren't really my thing, but considering I haven't read the source material, I'm totally on board so far with The Strain.  I'd love to hear what people that have read the book thought of the first issue.  Dark Horse promised to make this more than your average adaptation comic and so far it delivers.







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James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
Other articles by this writer



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