Like a good TV show — funny, because its pilot episode is being filmed by Guillermo Del Toro as you read this — this comic always keeps things rolling forward and the action taut. It helps that it’s based on a phenomenal three book series. That allows the writer and artist to push the boundaries of the story. It does however, require you to keep up. or does it? Is it good?
The Strain: The Fall #4 (Dark Horse Comics)
Issue #2 proved to be solid, check our review here.
Vampires have taken over Manhattan and all that stands in their way is the river between the mainland and the island. Vampires can’t cross over water, but they can if manmade tunnels transverse them. That means the subway is the only thing stopping them from invading all of the USA. What stands in their path is a motley crew of a scientist, an old man who is well versed in the folklore, and an exterminator. This issue opens with a quieter moment for this crew as they prepare to bomb the subway lines to keep the war in the city.
Mom is going to be pissed when she can’t find that timer.
And then writer David Lapham kicks things into ultradrive with another crew who’s essentially a special ops kill team. They’re made up of a Latino gang, a “good” vampire and enough killing skill to give these vamps a run for their money. This helps break up what is essentially a buildup issue for the big events that’ll dictate how this story closes.
I guess with the whole shutdown, our government is pretty weak then eh?
This is a solid issue due to this balance, but it doesn’t completely blow you away either. I suppose that’s one detriment to being a serial married to a plot like TV shows. You can’t blow the audience away too often, keeping the pace and tone at a certain level so that the final stroke is that much more dramatic.
Mike Huddleston continues to show he’s the perfect artist for a story like this. There are quiet moments; time needs to pass for things to happen and the simplest of panels needs a bit of a punch up to keep our attention. Huddleston’s lines are big and loud, something a methodical story needs. In a story like this, compared to a superhero book or something with all artistic freedoms allowed, Huddleston gives that energy and creativity that’s subdued enough not to overpower the story, but also keep your interest.
These vamps are gross vermin that is for sure.
- Huddleston proves he can kill it on a story that doesn’t allow his usual freedom
- Good pace and balance between action and exposition
- If you’re not following along the gravity of the story will be lost
Is It Good?
A gave the last issue reviewed an 8.0, mostly because the balance and pace was a tad off and it leaned on the exposition too much. This issue does it right though, and while you’ll be lost if you haven’t been following along, the action is so taut and the progression of the story so strong I think anybody could dig this ride.