Fresh off “The Miracle” of Issue #5, #6 takes charge and does not look back. After a slower start to this much darker third book of Gullermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s dark trilogy, Issue #6 continues the “kick” begun in Issue #5 as things are starting to line together. It might be time to strap in because it is going to be a bumpy ride. Or at least a fast moving one. This issue introduces us to the intricate nature of how thorough The Master’s plan truly is. We get to see the elements of a camp that is used to harvest humans for consumption. It is some pretty sick stuff to say the least. Even so, The Strain: The Night Eternal is beginning to show the same umph and pow that has made the previous two graphic renditions of the books such compelling and excellent works of comic entertainment. This is a good series and Issue #6 is one of those that demonstrates that fact. It is one of the signature ones of the entire series.
Action, action, action is on at full force with this issue. This one does not let up hardly at all, with maybe one exception as there is a scene where The Master is recognizing that those out to get him are serious. Now, of course he isn’t worried with this knowledge, just curious if anything. Apparently he has continued plans at play and we see those plans in action right after that brief interlude. Things go breakneck from beginning to end in a brutal winner take all feel.
When I read comics, I tend to have my reading flow in line with whatever action is going on. Some comics take me a little while to read. While others, I burn through in about five minutes. This particular issue (like the last) is one of those five minute ones. I give great credit to writer David Lapham for writing in such a way as to make one read through it in about five minutes. He rips through his words from the viewpoint of men in battle (which they are). Rapid fire speaking, cussing, and reacting to the ever changing conditions are the bulk of the writing and interaction. And it is quite fitting for what is on the page. It all reads quite fast and entertains thoroughly.
And adding to that rapid fire writing style is the flat out dark toned art of artist Mike Huddleston. These two have been at it now for three books and their timing and collaboration is incredible. The images are intense and flow well with the action as we get lots of faces and emotions as people are killing or being killed, blowing up, or being blown up. Running or yielding. It plays right to the action and aids this five minute sprint.
The real nice thing about this third book is that the human race has fallen so far that there is truly nowhere to go but up. It is one hopeless situation that only has the resolve of our heroes at play now that can make a difference, if any at all. They truly are the only ones that can save us. As you read each issue, Eph, Fet, Nora, and company have become old friends that you rise and fall with their victories and defeats. You really find yourself pulling for them as they go from one desperate situation to another. I credit this to the superb writing of Lapham and graphic creepy/cool art of Huddleston. I do hope to see this team in action once all is said and done here. As for now though, let’s just say that things are looking pretty bleak for our heroes…Right where they want to be…Or maybe right where The Master wants them to be…Who knows? The only thing that I know for sure is that I am going to read it to its glorious conclusion for better or for worse.
The Strain: The Night Eternal #6 Writer: David Lapham Artist: Mike Huddleston Colorist: Dan Jackson Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/18/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital