I could not wait for this issue to come out. As I said in my last review, The Strain is one of my favorite books and after reading the first issue quickly became one of my favorite comics. Guillermo Del Torro and Chuck Hogan do an amazing job of combining science and mythology in a retelling of the blood suckers that we all have learned to love. And Lapham and Huddleston have take the pages from Del Torro and Hogan’s book and brought them to life.
In this issue, with a solar occultation, or eclipse as the background, we find Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his CDC team searching for an explanation for what happened to the Boeing 777, where all but three passengers died from unknown causes. There are so many questions with very few, if any, answers to what happened. Modern science does not explain what has happened/happening to the victims. But Eph’s luck may turn as the old man from the pawn shop seeks him out after seeing him at a press conference. But hopefully the old man is not too late, because at the morgue we see a strange transformation in the corpse. And what about the three survivors?!
Yet again Lapham does a great job of building the ever rising suspense. This issue has a very fast pace to it with plenty of juicy parts along the way. It can be a hard job of picking what the reader needs to see from novel to comic, all the while maintaining the integrity of the original story, but Lapham does a great job of walking that line. I have notice a few differences from book to comic, for example in the book there were four survivors, not three. But I agree with leaving her out because she was just an annoying, stuck-up lawyer that did not add a whole lot to the story. And who knows, we may see her down the road. But overall this issue is right on pace with the book.
Mike Huddleston’s vision of this story is amazing. The detail that he puts into every scene puts me right there with the characters, and he does not back on the more gruesome images as well. There is a very dark feel to this story and he does a great job of portraying that. The cover looks really cool, and I personally like it more because the image is from one of my favorite scenes out of the book. There were no variants for this issue, which kind of makes me sad, just because I cannot get enough of the art!
Putting aside what is missing from the transition from novel to comic, this comic book itself is really, really good. I hope that the pace slows down just a little so that we can enjoy what is happening before our eyes, but other than that I am very pleased with what I am reading. And the final panel in this issue leaves you saying, “WTF!?”
Total: 4.5 out of 5