We have now come to Issue #5 of Dark Horse Comics’ graphic depiction of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s third book of The Strain Trilogy. Entitled The Night Eternal, in reading and viewing the images, you will find that there could be no better or more appropriate title. This installment is a downer. No doubt about it. Human kind, and even vampire kind have been utterly swallowed up by The Master and his devious dealings. The guy (make that the “It”) that is The Master has for all intents and purposes, won. There is nothing more to fight for. Earth is doomed. Or is it? Our small band of heroes who have shuffled a little since the beginning book are (mostly) still together and are fighting for something more than their lives. They are fighting for their very humanity. And with Issue # 5, they are also fighting for one of their own.
Nora has been captured and sits within the confines of one of The Master’s concentration camps awaiting for whatever to happen (with a nice maintenance free haircut I would add). Our heroes, led by Eph and Fet are busting in with silver swords blazing to the rescue. What ensues, is some intense action, brutal head rolling violence, and some pure emotion with a bit of an anomaly bookended to the tale that will be playing a very significant role as the issues continue. There is something else out there. And there may be just a little bit of hope after all once all is said and done with this issue.
Writer David Lapham has been on a smooth grove with his portrayal of Del Toro and Hogan’s books. He has written The Strain with raw emotion, grit, and grime. This world is a harsh one that is not all rosy and pretty. Especially with the current circumstances that are at play. He has made a dark blot on humanity that flows to the true nature of the story.
Matching that dark edge is the artistic chops of Mike Huddleston. His art is like a snuff film under fluorescent lighting. Gross, yet almost realistic feeling with intense inky blackness, pale(y) skins, and shady color provided by colorist Dan Jackson.
The only real bad thing with this issue is simply the subject matter. This is a rough book that can drain you when reading. To say that I enjoy reading it is an understatement. But I have noticed sometimes, that I really need to be in the mood for it before sitting down. It can be harsh. But all in all, this has been a phenomenal series that is worth reading big time.
Writer: David Lapham Artist: Mike Huddleston Colorist: Dan Jackson Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/21/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital