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“The Strain”

From Dark Horse Comics

Based on “The Strain” Trilogy Novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Story by David Lapham

Art by Mike Huddleston

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This new and terrifying comic book adaptation based on The Strain Trilogy of books starts in Romania 1927. A young boy named Abraham Setrakian is being told a scary yarn (while trying to eat his Borscht) by his beloved Grandmother or “Bubbeh”  This yarn is about a giant infirm Polish Nobleman named Jusef Sardu who, during a Wolf hunt with his father and cousins returns changed and evil.

It is only the beginning of the story though as when upon returning to his homeland Sardu shuts himself away ever transformed into an un-dead demon. Abraham is made to endure hardships with his family which includes terrible nightmares about Sardu, missing villagers, Nazis and Concentration Camps. The reality of Sardu lurks ever near and Abe is forced to face this ancient evil that corrupted the kind and gentle Jusef Sardu.

In the present in New York City, Flight 753, a Boeing 777 lands at JFK and immediately upon landing stalls and is powered down for no reason on the runway. No engines, lights or electricity.  The Centers for Disease Control is contacted, fearing a terrorist attack. We are then introduced to Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (or “Eph”) and his assistant Dr. Nora Martinez. Along with them is a team of  professional biological-threat first responders.

Only the elderly and wizened Abraham Setrakian, now a pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem (“El Barrio”) in Manhattan suspects a venomous and supernatural purpose behind the mystery of the Aircraft . Something ancient that is intent on spreading a Vampiric plague that can envelope the City and the World’s population in 2 months!

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Lapham does a commendable job bringing this first chapter of Del Toro and Hogan’s novels to life. The story is tight, terrifying and very involving. It is very reminiscent of other great Vampire tomes like “Salem’s Lot” mainly because it is very multi-layered and dynamic. There are many characters, story-lines and locales that all eventually merge fabulously. It puts an incredibly interesting spin on the genre and it succeeds in grossing us out and chilling us to the bone at the same time. Huddleston’s art, though a bit clunky at times (some pretty shoddy anatomy work) it is very fluid, raw and scary.

His images of the mature Vampires are stunningly rendered, feral and deadly looking. The absolute stuff of nightmares. Not since “30 Days Of Night” have I been this excited about a Vampire Comic. I am also very impressed on how true and accurate Lapham stays to the Novel. He obviously wants to convey the sheer terror and hopelessness of the outbreak and the tender bonds that are ripped asunder and made alike. The story has a other-wordly dramatic effect as well. So, I hope you all get a chance to pick these Issues up or pre-order the Trade Paperback Volumes 1 and 2 here 

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Vic’s Note: “The Strain: The Fall” is currently an ongoing series of books as well. You may get more info here for Volume 3 and 4 of the terrifying sequel!

Vic’s Note: Actor Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Pro-Life, Alien Resurrection) does an astounding job on the Audio-Book of the first installment of the trilogy: “The Strain”  I highly recommend it! The next two novels are read brilliantly by Daniel Oreskes (The Devil’s Advocate, The Sopranos). Enjoy!

– Vic

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Here is the HD Trailer for the new FX show “The Strain” which has begun. Enjoy!

Enjoy the Comic Book Panel Gallery Below!

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