The start of a brand new chapter, “The Strain: The Night Eternal: #1” brings to life the epic third part of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s giant-sized novel. As the plot moves at breakneck speed, readers have better keep up with the crazy twists and turns. If you’re enjoying the TV series, then you better get “The Strain” comic right now.
Written By: David Lapham
Art By: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release: August 20, 2014
Reviewed By Jorge Solis
The vampire apocalypse all started when Flight 753 mysteriously landed at JFK International Airport. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and Nora Martinez, the disease detectives, were too late to stop the biological threat. The Master had won, spreading eternal darkness all across the entire globe. After triggering a series of meltdowns, the sun was completely blocked by a nuclear cloud. The rest of humanity has given up to the vampire race, but there are still a few who wish to fight.
In this adaptation, writer David Lapham delivers a somber and bleak narrative where the heroes have actually lost. Eph and his team failed to stop their enemy and now face the consequences. There’s a desperate need to keep fighting, but they have all lost faith in each other. Because he misses his own son, Eph has succumbed to his thirst for alcohol just as like the vampires have feed their bloodlust.
Nora, Epha’s love interest, has more personality in this installment. Lapham has developed her character, who was once mousy and quiet, to a more verbal and authoritative persona. There is resentment in her dialogue towards Eph, as if all her emotions are hanging by a thread. The group has separated into different teams, but there is no leader like before because Abraham is gone.
In the opening pages, artist Mike Huddleston takes us through different time periods, showing how the vampire epidemic has always been around. When Huddleston takes us to the present day, we see pieces of the world, from Washington D.C. to France, in a complete state of ruin. Because there is no more sunlight, every panel has to look like it is nighttime and the backgrounds always have shadows.
In his new character design, Eph looks more like a homeless bum because of his long hair and scruffy beard. Through her facial expressions, we can tell Nora is beyond pissed in her close-ups. In the violence department, Huddleston sure likes to let loose the stingers in the bloodsucker’s mouth. Towards the climax, there’s even a decapitated head moving around on the floor.
If you’ve been around since the beginning, there’s no reason for you not to continue with “The Strain: The Night Eternal” #1. With the creative team-up of Lapham and Huddleston, they have done an amazing job translating the bleak tone and spirit of the novel into the comic book medium.