Ok, first off I have to say that this is the sweetest cover not only from The Strain: The Night Eternal series. It could be quite possibly be the sweetest cover from the entire Strain run. It is dag nasty! It is more than dag nasty! It is absolutely freaking awesome! But, it has absolutely nothing to do with the action that is portrayed within the pages of Issue #7. That being said, I can now begin the review… Issue #7 returns to some of the back history of vampires and their evil walk. This time, we cover the history with a pretty strong biblical flair to it that details the strengths, the weaknesses, and the current state of things as they are.
What “they are” is one horribly sucky reality. Humanity is enslaved, surviving only for The Master’s whimsy. Acting as a food supply, a work force, and a breeding operation, there is darkness all around thanks to nuclear winter and just a whole lot of misery and pain. Our heroes, which are few, are no better off as they are dealing with their own demons that can be even more dangerous than big nasties that are everywhere with their veiny tongues and group as one mentality. Things are starting to crack and it could spell big dark curtains for everyone.
Instead of celebrating the successful rescue of Nora from the clutches of doom, our heroes are bickering and at each other’s throats wanting blood (no pun intended). Taking the brunt end of it all is Doctor Ephrain (Eph) Goodweather. He has been on a nonstop torment parade given to him courtesy of The Master who has his wife Kelly as a companion as well as his son Zack being used as a bargaining chip by The Master as well as an emotional anguish device for the good doctor. Young Zack is still unturned into a vampire for now. But who knows what the future will hold. The Master wants to screw with Eph for a little longer and Zack seems to be the way to do it.
In fact, it seems that everyone is beginning to turn on Eph, blaming him for his attitude as well as his promptness. He is always late and people are suffering and being lost because of it. After the events of this issue, that list of people hating Eph rises as he has successfully pissed everyone off but maybe the vampire known as Mr. Quinlan.
Well Quinlan and The Master I guess. The Master wants Eph to get his hands on the ancient book called The Lumen to finally seal the deal with his power. Of course, The Lumen is also the only chance that there is to defeat The Master so it’s not exactly something that can be easily given. During this issue, we catch a good long conversation between the two and a pretty interesting bombshell is laid out they may or may not be true depending if you believe The Master. It all spells for more darkness, more failure, and more struggle for our rag tag band of heroes.
The Strain: The Night Eternal is truly some of the darkest writing that I may have ever read in a graphic novel format. It feels devoid of hope. And writer David Lapham writes it exactly like that. The emotions that are portrayed in this issue are raw and real feeling. You can feel the heat that is on Eph from all sides that is crushing him like a grape. Even Nora, once on his side, has pretty much given up all hope on him. It is powerful writing that though not easy to read (due to the tones), it really hammers on its points and instills a dark emotion that sits deep down in the pit of your stomach as you.
And with each dark writing piece, we are given and equal amount of darkness within the art style of Mike Huddleston. Huddleston and Lapham have really perfected their collaboration with this third book and it shows throughout. I mean, as you read this, you can’t help to mutter to yourself that there is no way, no freaking way, that these people are going to make it. The world and human race are doomed with no chance of victory. But as you feel that emotion you also feel a second and more powerful emotion that makes you think that if our heroes do somehow pull this thing out, that it is going to be pretty damn awesome. Now that is the sign of a good comic and that is the feeling that I get every single time that I read this series. But as for now, we simply just have darkness and despair; big heaping portions of darkness and despair. But, if you can handle the whole darkness and despair thing, then this is the series for you.
The Strain: The Night Eternal #7 Writer: David Lapham Artist: Mike Huddleston Colorist: Dan Jackson Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/18/15 Format: Mini-/Series; Print/Digital/