December 15, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: The Strain #1

The Strain #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan, David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston

As if the names attached to this book were not enough, Dark Horse has decided to sell the first issue for $1. That’s right, one measly buck. I know times are tight, but when you can grab a book like this for one dollar, you need to jump on it. Right now David Lapham (Kull the Cat and the Skull, Deadpool) is killing it on more than one book, and Guillermo del Toro is one of the most influential guys to hit the movie industry in the last decade (Blade II, Hellboy & Hellboy 2).

This combination brings us a story with two different sides to it. One based in the past of Transylvania, and another in the here and now at JFK airport. The tale from Transylvania is a familiar one in the onset, but quickly changes pace with the disappearance of a nobleman that is freakishly tall and clumsy while on a hunt with his family and friends. The second part deals with an incident at JFK airport where a flight from Germany has landed, but the tower lost contact with the pilot just before landing and the plane is sealed up tight with the shades drawn. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) is on the move and has the S.W.A.T. team to back them up. Nothing they’ve seen before will prepare them for what they’re about to see inside this airplane, though.

Alright, well, I didn’t know what to expect from this book, because I’m not a huge horror comic guy (I’m more old school Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night than new school), but this book really impressed me. For starters, the story about the nobleman was absolutely awesome. Yeah, it had bits and pieces of other stories, but it also felt like its own thing ultimately. The part about the CDC and the airplane at JFK was pretty cool, as well. It didn’t give anything away, but kept me on the edge of my chair and begging for issue #2. The artist, Mike Hiddleston, did a great job with the setting for the new and old parts of this book. The part about Transylvania definitely had a Hammer Horror movie feeling to it, but when he had to switch gears to the present time, it was smooth and didn’t have any wrinkles to it. If you’re in the market for a new horror book, then spend the buck and pick this up. There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll feel like you’re getting a steal of a deal! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy




  1. Just read it and was very impressed.

    Besides having a well written script and likeable characters, it succeeded in creeping me out. Definitely worth $1, and definitely worth checking out #2!

  2. Billy

    It was very creepy!

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