The Strain #1 by David Lapham, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan


When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event-an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.

In a nutshell:

John read it in: English

He liked it:     Yes

For people who like:

John’s thoughts: 

After a cliched beginning, or as one says, the short hand language of emotional button pushing ‘The Strain’ gets off to an interesting first instalment.

The use of an old folktale created for the story arc is a well heeled technique but it still satisfies on some level especially when dealing with the modern monster archive of vampires, werewolves and zombies. Setting a scene through the retelling of folk yarns adds a certain authenticity but can also be deftly used to fool one into expectations. It does so here.

The scene is a CDC agent at a plane that has landed and then gone silent. When they finally make it inside the aircraft all but 3 passengers and crew are dead. We don’t really know what the villain is, the suggestion is an old world fiend – the folktale suggests either vampire or werewolf but this is an expectation one is placing on the story as we are not told. There are hints – ‘he is here’ for example, a coffin like box is removed from the cargo hold, an old man, the boy of the folktale perhaps- has a wolf headed cane at his side.

Still it is not clear who or what ‘he’ is. Whilst I enjoy vampire stories and werewolves for that matter, I’m hoping this is something else, something not supernatural. This first issue is intriguing and I will be buying the second – if it turns out to be another vampire story I will probably stop at issue 2 unless it is of the calibre of “Salem’s Lot” or Sheridan Le Fanu.

I would recommend those interested in horror stories to look this one up, whether it develops into something special is yet to be seen but it has the seeds of a something worthwhile.

Product info and buy link :

Title The Strain #1
Author David Lapham, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
UPC 7 61568 19174 5 00111
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy The Strain #1 at Dark Horse Comics


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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