Strain #11 & the Entire Run (#1 to #11)

by lucstclair on February 13, 2013

The final showdown between Doctor Goodweather’s team and Strigoi, the master vampire is finally here! Armed to the teeth with Professor Setrakian’s awesome arsenal of anti-vampire weapons, they make their way to the underground nest. Will Eph save his ex-wife from a vampire fate? Will NYC survive the outbreak? It’s a story almost a year in the making.

The Team

Adapted & scripted by David Lapham (Stray Bullets, Silverfish, Dan The Unharmable Vol. 1) from the novel of the same name written by Guillermo Del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth & Hellboy 1 & 2) & Chuck Hogan (The Fall). Illustrated by Mike Huddleston (Mnemovore, The Coffin, Deep Sleeper) & coloured by Dan Jackson. Cover by E.M. Gist. Published by Dark Horse Comics.

The Pros & Cons

I was nearly a year ago that I picked up the very first issue of The Strain and I haven’t looked back even since. This issue brings this thrilling & shocking series to an end, but like Doc Goodweather says in the final panel “…the beginning of the end”. New players emerge, as the plot thickens for the next chapter of this series entitled The Fall coming out this July.
This issue has all the blood splatter & flash frying vampires to satisfy your horror needs. What’s fun are the cool weapons that Professor Setrakian supplies for Eph & Vasiliy to fight the creatures with. A U.V.C. device that acts like a bomb of light, killing every bloodsucker in the room and a big-ass nail gun that fires large silver nails to really stick it to the vamps. Mix in some good old fashioned sunlight and your vampire slayer killing kit is good to go.
I’ll admit that the way the crew dispatches of Strigoi has been done to death and taken directly from vampire movies like Fright Night & From Dusk Till Dawn. I can forgive that ending, because as a whole, this series took its time to build up the tension, jacking up the creep factor and slowly revealing the effects of the epidemic as simple New Yorkers are transformed into horrific monsters. Also with 11 issues, you have the time to truly develop the characters, giving them a rich history and making the reader appreciate their growth as human beings or even vampires. Professor Setrakian’s WW2 background and his terrible ordeal in the concentration camp gave me the creeps. What was good about the series is, you never knew in what direction it was heading, I never read the novels, so for me this was a comic book treat. Visually, this series had some of the best covers I’ve ever laid eyes on, Mike Huddleston & the amazing E.M. Gist created bone chilling images that really gave life to Del Toro & Hogan’s vision and I’m grateful for it.
Having never read the novel, I couldn’t compare David Lapham’s script to the pages of the book, but Lapham’s no stranger to violence and horror. Having written shocking comics like Crossed & Ferals, Lapham wrote these comics like he wrote the novel himself. Mike Huddleston’s illustrations brought it all together with his unique style and gave the vampires a look that this reader will not soon forget.
With the 2nd collect trade coming out, the sequel series called The Fall & the upcoming FX TV show, the future for this series as a franchise, shines brighter than the very sun the vampires are afraid of. This issue gets a rating of 8 and the entire run gets a 9. Kudos to the hard working people at Dark Horse, I can’t wait for The Fall. Cheers!

Our Score:


A Look Inside