I am now entering the seventh installment of this macabre creation of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan that will be appearing on television this summer in the form of a TV series. Dark Horse Comics started releasing an adapted graphic novel, using writer David Lapham on the scripting during the summer of 2013. And this story dealing with a vampire virus spread to humans through worms has gotten good acclaim during its publication. Nothing has changed after issue seven. The virus started in Manhattan and has been relatively quiet as forces have worked to suppress knowledge of it to the public. The suppression is beginning to fail and things are beginning to spiral hopelessly out of control. At ground zero where things are hopeless already, a pawnbroker, doctor, alcoholic, exterminator, and criminal are working together to not only save their home, but the world as we know it. The forces against them are great and they may have won even before the five can make their move however.
Issue seven continues the television episode feel that has been a part of all the issues with a little back story brought in on the life of the pawn broker added to this one. Our pawn broker who was once a professor at a distinguished college at one time has had quite a colorful history working against man and beast in his life. His story adds a nice back drop to the action that is laid out before our eyes. What follows the back story is sheer action as the team work to make their escape from Manhattan with a mysterious book in hand that may hold the secrets to stopping this modern plague of evil.
The visual imagery that has been used both on the covers and within the pages has been superb in conveying a dark and sinister feel. It has a detachedness in its creatures that is an ample portrayal of this virus as it appears to be indifferent to all. It is doom, period. The artwork gives that feel all the way through and it brings it up an additional notch as the action kicks in. It continues to inspire me and creep me out at the same time.
The writing of Lapham’s script has also had an episodic feel to it, but we are beginning to see that there is power in the characters involved. They are not only being fleshed out in the pages, but they are showing that they are more than the basic descriptions carried with them from the start. They are much deeper and Lapham is beginning to show this level of deepness. He does a very good job here as with previous issues.
Every time I read The Strain, I am sickened and entertained. It crawls on you giving an uneasy feeling, but it also works with you that you keep turning the pages. It utilizes the best elements of horror and action and has made me a big believer in the story and its subject matter. Here on issue seven, I am beginning to get a stronger understanding of our heroes. They have mettle and may just be able to do what they need to do. If anything, I must say that they are committed to ending this plague. Looking forward to see where things go next.
Writer: David Lapham Artist: Mike Huddleston Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/15/14