The brunt of the virus is rearing its ugly head in the latest issue of The Strain. In this issue, a burly exterminator is sent under the city to find the source of some mysterious rat activity. What he finds may be the key to discovering the cure for this sinister plague, if he can survive to tell the tale.
WRITTEN BY: Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan (script by David Lapham)
ART BY: Mike Huddleston
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
RELEASE: August 8th
You know that you’re in trouble when an epidemic calls out the animals from hiding. This issue opens with a visit from a large, brooding exterminator, who is called in to eliminate a rat infestation. When he figures out that the sudden influx of rats has something to do with the vampiric virus that’s been showing up left and right, he takes a trip under the city to find the source of the problem. What he discovers may be the key to the cure, except no one else knows what he discovers, which could be dangerous with such a violent virus on the loose. Meanwhile, Dr. Goodweather has become a fugitive, and he must continue trying to slow down the virus without being caught by the police.
Despite the amount of activity, this issue offers a bit of a breather. Dr. Goodweather is predominately on the run, and the exterminator is investigating the tunnels under the city. Granted, he uncovers something that I’m really curious about, and the scenes at the end of the issue try to keep things exciting, but overall, it just drags. There are a lot of plot details that are going to be uncovered within the next couple of issues, but this is a setup issue. The series has been steadily awesome; sometimes a comic series needs an issue to set the stage for bigger and better things.
Huddleston’s artwork is as stellar as ever. He’s is great at keeping the art in tune with the mood of the story. He knows when to keep things creepy, and when to be a little more whimsical and bright. I really love the scenes when the exterminator goes under the city; you feel like you’re following him through the tunnels, walking through the shades of green that are used gave it the moldy, swampy feel.
Lapham is doing a wonderful adaptation of an original del Toro story, something not all writers would risk. The art is consistently fantastic, and the story progresses in a way that keeps things flowing smoothly. I hope that the next issue brings that exterminator’s discovery to the forefront, along with a little more information about how to kill the strain.
Reviewed by: Kaity McAllister