Review: ‘The Strain: The Fall’ #6

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In a really big move, “The Strain: The Fall” #6 finally lets the subplots converge and the ensemble cast of characters meet. What could be more frightening than a bloodsucker? Things are about to get a bit twisted as a group of criminals, hardcore street thugs, join in the fight. While anxiously waiting for the TV series to surface, fans have this terrific adaptation of the best-selling trilogy of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan to take advantage of.

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

In order to protect him from The Master, Ephraim decided to let his son go and foolishly went off to confront the evil by himself. While Ephraim is captured, his son, Zack, and girlfriend, Nora, are attacked by a group of vicious vampires. On the run, Zack and Nora can only trust each other while everyone else is being killed at the railroad station. Vasiliy the exterminator and Abraham, the pawnbroker, are about to receive unexpected help from an unwanted ally. Whether or not they can actually get along, Gus and the rest of the street gangs want to join Abraham’s small army.

What I particularly enjoy about David Lapham’s adaptation is how the writing is kept at a suspenseful pace in each subplot. Captured and in handcuffs, Ephraim is about to meet Eldritch Palmer, the wealthy billionaire in league with the vampires. Gus, Vasiliy, and Abraham reluctantly work together as they desperately jump into the vampire’s den. While the others are in their own predicament, Nora and Zack have to keep running or the bloodsuckers will get them. But how can they keep moving fast if Nora’s elderly mother is slowing them down?

Lapham is able to also to depict Eldritch as a different type of antagonist than the Master. While the Master wants world-domination, Eldritch has his own set of reasons why humanity should fall. Because he is a dying old man, Eldritch just wants to live for another day. Fueled by a basic need, Eldritch wants to prevent his own death, even while he is bringing death to everyone else.

In his artwork, Mike Huddleston brings out the suspense with his crooked angles and extreme close-ups. When Gus, Abraham, and Vasiliy enter the bloodsucker’s hideout, Huddleston creeps in the tension with the shadows and dark corners of the old building. In a big panel, Huddleston illustrates the vampires standing tall and patient. The vampires were expecting the three to finally show up but were bored from waiting.

We also see a different side of Nora through Huddleston’s action-packed illustrations. While the rest of the team are busy, this time it’s Nora who gets to be the swashbuckling heroine in these tight, enclosed spaces. With nowhere else to hide, Nora throws herself headfirst at the bloodsuckers, swinging her sword. In an extreme close-up, Huddleston wants you to see the sword spilt the bloodsucker’s face in half, with blood spewing out in the air.

A new antagonist arrives and an unlikely alliance takes place in “The Strain: The Fall” #6. With the team-up of Gus, Abraham, and Vasiliy finally happening, I can’t wait to see how the story progresses.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis