The Strain, the first in a trilogy of vampire wonder, has generated a continuous stream of content since its release in 2009. The originators of this tale, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, have seen their story adapted to many different platforms.
After the trilogy’s release, the comic books came to life with Dark Horse Comics with gruesome images of long, terrifying tongues dripping red blood to match the bold lettering of the title. The first comic book, as in this new series, has been written by David Lapham. His talent to tell a story, while providing seamless transitions from one panel to the next, makes The Strain’s storytelling unmatched by another comic book writer. The current series, Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter, provides a Gladiatoresque theme and the main character struggles to survive in the fighter’s arena.
Not only will you find yourself engrossed in “Candidus’” tale, curiosity will overwhelm you as you imagine when he will transform to the parasitic nightmares shown on the deadly cover page. Juan Ferreyra illustrates Candidus soaring high above a pile of dead bodies, while many vampires surround him with tongues and tentacles aimed at destroying him. Pinkish-red hues jump from the page against a bevy of black-and-white characters.
The tale of this story follows Candidus through battle and on his personal quest to find his mother’s killer. This journey reflects a sense of humanity within that he questions even exists. His internal balancing act coincides with the balance of colors throughout this comic book, which emphasizes the bursts of red highlighting Candidus’ eyes, clothes, and blood spatter from his compatriots or enemies.
The details of Guillermo del Toro’s vision for The Strain can be seen in an interview with Geek and Sundry, where he describes exploring “the roots of vampirism in eastern European folklore.” The series further continues its transformation from novel to comic books as Dark Horse Motion Comics makes an animated episode, also appearing on Geek and Sundry. This sequence of adaptations eventually brought this unique vision of vampires to the FX television series.
Throughout the varying platforms, the comic book has continued to evolve. This story’s artwork, crafted by Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, and Dan Jackson, presents vivid expressions, detailed fight sequences, and wonderful colors depicting the early A.D. years of Rome. They clearly present the differences between men and “the strained;” deadly, infectious tentacles, advanced strength to swing swords through armor, and an extended reach with long, claw-like fingers. The imagery is as equally dramatic as the story being told by Lapham.
If you are used to vampires presented in the classic tales of two blood-sucking teeth, fighting against werewolves, or even the love story between vampire and human, this will be a unique take showcasing ghastly and aggressive beings who are terrifying to even contemplate. Readers will rip through these pages, much like the strained rip through their victims. It’s quick and painless, hopefully.
The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter #2 will be available on Wednesday, October 12 for print and digital release.