The GeeksverseThe Strain #1 – Advanced Review

The Strain #1 – Advanced Review
Published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by

Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain comes to comics in an adaption written by David Lapham.

Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Written by: David Lapham based on the novel by: Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Art by: Mike Huddleston
Colored by: Dan Jackson
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Cover Art: A- Mike Huddleson; B- Steve Morris
Assistant Editor: Jim Gibbons
Editor: Sierra Hahn

I’ve never read the novels so I don’t know how well it’s translated. I might have to pick them up though because this has me interested.

The opening sets up the story, telling us a story fron old Romania about a giant of a man that went away and came back as something of a monster. He’s used like the boogey man, to frighten children into obeying their parents. It’s an interesting way to start the story off, as we don’t know the significance of it. From there we meet the main character and the mystery starts.

Lapham does a good job keeping the story moving, and interesting, as it starts to bog down in the middle. Aside from the beginning, and the last page, the middle middle almost seems out of context, like it doesn’t belong. We go from an old myth to a scientific investigation. Both parts are well done and interesting, but they almost don’t seem to fit together.

And that only adds to the one part that puts a bump in the road for an otherwise well crafted story. It feels too short. It’s an odd place to end the story on, as it feels like an incomplete story. The ending is moody and somewhat tense, offering an exciting second part, but it almost feels like a commerical break and not the end of the first part. I wouldn’t expect a tv show to end on this note. It just feels like there needs to be more.

Even just a single shadowed panel hinting at the coming threat would have worked better.

The overall story is good, if lacking in cliffhangers and hooks. There’s not much to latch onto, to grab and hook the reader to grab the second issue. The mystery of what happened to the flight is all that carries the issue and even though it’s interesting, it’s not enough. The “he’s coming” doesn’t have the strength to serve as the hook either.

The only thing going for it is curiousity. Curiousity over wondering how the front piece, tied in by the back page, connects to the mystery of the airplane. Lapham’s story is solid enough that that may be all that is needed.

The characters are well developed, for the small amount of time we interact with them. Lapham does a good job setting up Ephraim and we immediately get a good handle on who he is. The dialogue is strong where even a few words helps set up a relationship between the characters.

Huddleston’s art is very nice. He does a great job with the moodiness of the opening story and an excellant job on the details of the old Romanian house. His figures are well rendered, well proportioned and his lay outs are strong. He paces the story out very well, doing a great job accompanying the dialogue.

The Strain #1 receives
3.5 out of 5

The end feels lacking, but the overall issue is strong.

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