Story By: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Script By: David Lapham
Art By: Mike Huddlston
Colors By: Dan Jackson
Letters By: Clem Robins
Dark Horse Comics
I for one am all for comic adaptions of popular novels. It gives the reader a new way to experience these stories while also introducing avid comic readers to the novel versions – win, win. In accordance to Guillermo Del Toro’s hit novel “The Strain” and David Lapham’s comic version of the same title, I feel no different. The breath of new life that these stories receive when pushed into the comic book world is awe-inspiring; even a film adaption could not give a feeling so fulfilling. Although they do not always live up to their original form, there is something to be said for the guy who tried to add in his own perspective to a favored story.
So let’s have at it shall we?
Let’s go back to a time, 1927 to be precise, when it was deemed okay to scare the piss out of your children through stories, as long as they learned their lesson by the end. In this particular tale of horrific manners we meet Sardu, a too-tall man with back problems and a severe hate on for the weak. He slays children and adults alike, no small man was safe from his terror. The lesson of course being, ‘Eat your damn dinner, Abraham.’ What Granny didn’t know, however, was that poor little Abraham would not only be doomed to eat borscht his entire life but also foretell an attack by Sardu that I feel he is unready to battle against.
Whilst all that crazy is going on we meet Ephram, a disease control worker that is now faced with an entire plane of dead people with his only clue being the unmarked coffin in luggage. With nothing to go on but a grave, will he be able to solve his mystery in time? (As if we already haven’t…)
This issue leaves me torn. On one hand, I know the story gets better as the plot unfolds and I also know that that odds of Lapham failing are quite low. On the other hand, this issue sucked. It ended with a very obvious cliff hanger that anyone over the age of 10 could figure out and it all felt a bit forced. We focus mainly on this plane and a fairy tale, while meeting two somewhat unrelateable and seemingly random people – it feels like I’m playing some messed up game of clue and Colonel Mustard is going to pop out of nowhere with a pipe in the living room.
With that said, I am familiar with the novels and do have high hopes for the rest of this series. But, I quickly find myself regretting buying it issue for issue and not just waiting for the trade. Having the next two issues in my hand makes me a little more excited for the series than I would have been had I only had the first, but, I still have my doubts.
2/5… Wait for the trade to be released, I feel it will be much stronger.