Sunday, August 10, 2014

Comics Review: THE STRAIN #6

DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

STORY: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
SCRIPT: David Lapham
ART: Mike Huddleston
COLORS: Dan Jackson
LETTERS: Clem Robins
COVER: E.M. Gist
28pp, Color, $3.50 U.S. (July 2012)

Part 6: “Dear Ones”

Some time ago, Dark Horse Comics made PDF copies of all 11 issues of its horror comic book series, The Strain, available to its media mailing list.  This was part of DHC’s promotional effort for the follow-up series, The Strain: The Fall.  Between those PDFs and hard copies, I was able to review all 11 issues of The Strain for the ComicBookBin.

I have previously posted my reviews of The Strain, issues #1 through 5, here on the “I Reads You” blog.  Over the course of the coming weeks, I will post the reviews of issues 6 to 11 on this blog in conjunction with the broadcast of “The Strain,” the television adaptation of the novel that is the source material for both the TV series and Dark Horse’s comic book.  The first episode aired on Sunday night, July 13, 2014 on cable channel, FX, with each new episode airing the following Sunday.


The Strain is an 11-issue comic book adaptation of The Strain, a 2009 vampire novel from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan.  The adaptation is scripted by David Lapham, drawn by Mike Huddleston, colored by Dan Jackson, and lettered by Clem Robins.

In the story, Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) heads the Canary Project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats.   With his second-in-command, Nora Martinez, Eph has found such a threat at J.F.K. International Airport in New York City.  There, a Boeing 777 went dead silent after landing, while inside, almost all the passengers and crew were dead.

As The Strain #6 opens, Eph and Dr. Martinez tentatively take Professor Abraham Setrakian’s claims seriously.  Someone is going to use the “v” word.  The scientists go to Setrakian’s antique shop, where they visit his basement and see the thing the old man keeps in a jar.

Next, Eph, Martinez, and Setrakian search for the “dear ones,” in a bid to track the path of the strange virus that could destroy life in New York City.  Meanwhile, Eldritch Palmer, CEO of the Stoneheart Group, tries to resolve some loose ends in the part he plays in the growing horror.

It has been two months since I last read the fifth issue of The Strain, and it is still good as I remember.  By now, this series is a back issue, with second trade due to arrive and the second series (entitled The Fall) preparing to launch.  New release or back issue, The Strain is a great read.

If The Strain does not become a perennial or backlist favorite, then, the comic book gods must be crazy.  Lapham and Huddleston’s efforts have earned readers’ notice.  Fans of horror comic books should get The Strain.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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