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Review: ‘The Strain: The Fall’ #3

Never missing a beat, “The Strain: The Fall” #3 continues to be thrilling roller-coaster ride for horror fans. After “Twilight” sucked all the fun out of being a vampire, “The Fall” reminds horror fans why they are so freaking scary. This is an awesome adaptation of the best-selling trilogy of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

WRITTEN BY: David Lapham
ART BY: Mike Huddleston
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: September 18, 2012

The vampire plague has run rampant in the inner-city. Knowing there is a lot of money to be made, local gangs have teamed up to take on the parasitic bloodsuckers. Not only are the gangs getting involved, the average Joe has taken up the fight too. Because of his nonstop drinking, Ephraim though has given up the good cause and watches as his colleagues continue with the war against vampires. Humanity has a bigger chance of winning if they locate the ancient book that will end this demonic strain. But, who will get to this sacred book first, the humans or the vampires?

Writer David Lapham’s continues to employ social commentary about racism and ethnic barriers, which was a big part of the originally trilogy. This is about the portrayal of the so-called “last dregs of society” as heroes. These are minorities, the unwanted, taking charge during the apocalypse. Lapham doesn’t hide away from this theme but rather revels in it. You have interesting characters, such as the ex-wrestler The Angel and the gang leader Gus, who unexpectedly turn out to be the last hope of humanity.

At times, the subplot about Ephraim’s downfall isn’t as interesting as the round-up of the local gangs. As the subplots switch back and forth, I wanted the narrative to go back to Gus and his gang. I feel this is something I haven’t seen in the vampire genre. Then again, it seems Lapham is also aiming to bring both subplots together so hopefully the narrative will gain speed as these different personalities clash.

Mike Huddleston builds a suspenseful and eerie atmosphere as the cities suffer from the vampire attacks. Huddleston presents readers with wide shots of the destruction of Harlem. In these panels, buildings are lit up on fire and the hot dogs stands appear abandoned in the middle of the streets. Readers get a sense of what is going on without the vampires being on the page.

Huddleston knows how to make the action sequences exciting, without going over-the-top. The Angel is depicted as a washed-up old-man, whose wrestling has been over for a long time. When he is being chased by the vampires, the Angel’s body shifts in rough and slow movements. Knowing his age is an issue, the Angel uses his physical attributes for self-defense, never to attack.

Exciting at its core, “The Strain: The Fall” #3 keeps the story moving with an engaging cast of unlikely heroes. If you’re a fan of the novel, you’ll definitely enjoy how the book’s prose is brought to life in the comic book page.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis



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