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'The Strain Volume 1:' Advance TPB Review


The StrainI would imagine that adapting an existing story to comic form would be incredibly challenging.  You have to approach the original with both reverence and a critical eye. That balance must be just right, or the entire project can fail spectacularly. Having read the novel by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan and the first trade of The Strain, I can say that the adaptation was admirably done.

The story is pretty simple. A 777 lands at JFK and then sits there without communication for hours. The best guess is that everybody on board is dead, but nobody knows how or why. Vampires. The story unfolds as a cross between Outbreak and A Good Vampire Movie.

This is an interesting and additive update on the vampire legends. This new version takes most of the existing, but not sparkly stalker, versions of the creature as a jumping off point. I don’t want to ruin any of the surprises, but these fiends are definitely undead, vulnerable to sunlight, and monsters. Man, have I missed the good, old-fashioned, scary vampire. I know that they have been around, but the sexy, seductive, and just plain silly have been overshadowing the horror. This comic doesn’t shy away from much of anything. The result is a fun vampire version of the beginning of the apocalypse.

In fact, this book has taken most of the right lessons from the glut of zombie stories that are available now. If you are going to tell a story about a monster, ground it as much as possible in a world that is recognizably ours. Also, the most interesting stories about a society tend to focus on the unraveling.

Mike Huddleston’s art and Dan Jackson’s colors were tremendous. The style is mostly realistic, but stretched out. I started to get into Art History 101 interpretation mode, but let’s just say that it felt like the perfect fit for this comic.

The biggest problem that I had with this book is that I wanted to read the next issue immediately. Everything in this comic works with everything else. The premise is fascinating. The vampires are sufficiently frightening. The characters are interesting. This is one that works.

Four and a Half Vampires that Escaped the Glitter out of Five.



Last modified on Friday, 21 June 2013 01:34

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python