Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review: THE STRAIN #3

DARK HORSE COMICS – @DarkHorseComics

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

Part 3: “First Night”

Dark Horse Comics made PDF copies of all 11 issues of its horror comic book series, The Strain, available in early 2013 to comic book reviewers on its e-mailing list.  This PDF release was in anticipation of the follow-up series, The Strain: The Fall.  I was able to review all 11 issues of The Strain for the ComicBookBin.

I have previously posted my reviews of The Strain #1-2 on this, the “I Reads You” blog.  Over the course of the coming weeks, I will post the reviews of issues 3 to 11 on this blog in conjunction with the airing of “The Strain,” the television adaptation of the original novel.  The first episode debuted on Sunday, July 13, 2014 on cable channel, FX.


The 2009 vampire novel from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan, The Strain, became a comic book miniseries.  Beginning in 2011, Dark Horse Comics began the 11-issue comic book adaptation, also entitled The Strain, with script adaptation by David Lapham and art by Mike Huddleston.

The Strain’s central character is Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).  Eph heads the Canary Project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats.   With his second-in-command, Nora Martinez, Eph may have found such a threat at J.F.K. International Airport in New York City, where a Boeing 777 went dead silent after landing.

As The Strain #3 opens, elderly Professor Abraham Setrakian noisily confronts Eph and Nora, warning of the coming abomination.  Unlike the characters in so much of horror fiction and storytelling, Eph and Nora pay attention to the warnings… somewhat.  They may be just a little late to stop the supernatural disaster.  Two of the survivors of the Boeing 777 are exhibiting strange behavior.

Last issue, Ansel Barbour had a special meal with the family dogs.  This issue, rock star, Bolivar, freaks out his threesome partners.  Meanwhile, in Manhattan, someone goes streaking through Times Square, perhaps like no other streaker has before him.  Also, eight-year-old Emma Gilbarton visits her grieving father.  With all the strangeness happening, NYPD still has time to racially profile and stop-and-frisk a brown person.

If The Strain maintains the level of quality that permeates this third issue, I’ll run out of good things to say by the time I get to issue #11.  The Strain #3 is f’ing awesome.  The Strain is the great horror comic book that the original 30 Days of Night should have been.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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