Action returns to our band of misfits/saviors left to try to change the world and end the dark rule of the Master and his victory tour of the Earth. In tracking down the Lumen, The Master’s minions (and a traitor) have met our gang and are stopping at nothing to gain this only link that could theoretically, bring an end to the Master. If only someone knew how to utilize it.
Enter Dr. Ephraim (Eph) Goodweather, the much maligned and tortured protagonist who seemingly has lost everything dear to him. But who clings on by a thread to make right what has been made wrong. Through the pages of this issue, Eph has an interesting vision that for the first time in a very long time, might offer some hope at last.
With the entire Strain minis, they have been filled with some issues that move kind of subtle and slow. While others move a little more briskly. Issue #12 is one of those brisk issues and I mean real brisk. Minus Eph’s vision quest and some general dialogue, this entire issue revolves around battle and escape. The pages turn quickly and you find yourself wondering where the other pages are once you turn the last. You also find yourself kind of upset that you have to wait a month to see what happens next.
Though I felt a little bit shortchanged as this issue felt smaller. It was an action induced story that allowed it to be one of the more enjoyable issues in this otherwise darker mini. With The Night Eternal being as much of a bummer of a story as it has been, I welcome the positive change in the series. It does instill some hope where really very little has been revealed except in tiny bits and pieces here and there.
Issue #12 plays out well and credit needs to be given to writer David Lapham who knows when to ease the dialogue and let the action and artist Mike Huddleston’s magic go to work in telling this story. This issue is mostly the pictures (with some battle dialogue) that corresponds quite well to what is happening. I was pleased for the most part.
The art and the coloring have always been a hallmark of this series as Huddleston’s depictions are kind of creepy and dark. He doubles down with this issue as he shows a talent that has been on display since the start, but sometimes gets lost in the details. Here in Issue #12, the action is well drawn and flowing, feeling alive.
Dan Jackson’s use of coloring between Eph’s vision and the action at large is likewise good. The dream sequences have fresh and frisky color only to be shattered and laid back to brutal dark reality quickly. As the story moves forward however, the color takes a very subtle and lighter tone that is only fitting to what is happening.
If you have followed The Strain this far, then you are wholly invested and fully committed to reading its run. Though I have not been as impressed with The Night Eternal as the other two graphic books, I am fully into the struggles of the characters and am anxious to see where it all goes. Issue #12 helps to perpetuate me to that inevitable conclusion and gives me hope for a place of hopeless that I have been witnessing and reading for a pretty good while. The Master isn’t quite against the ropes yet, but at least our heroes might have a strategy other than surviving to defeat this Night Eternal.