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March 22, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: The Strain #4

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Written by: Billy
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The Strain #4
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: David Lapham (story by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan)
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Colorist: Dan Jackson

As the strange plague starts to envelop New York City, Dr. Goodweather is beginning to get an idea about what exactly they are dealing with. There is also the arrival of a stranger that seems very ominous, as well. As if this situation needed any of that! Things get so crazy for the Doctor that he even dreams that his son gets infected with this mysterious “virus.” As the 911 operators are so busy with calls from everyone in the city, we see a couple of the people that were released prematurely from the hospital. They change into ravenous beasts that seem to crave the deaths of anyone they come into contact with. It’s starting to become a race against time. Will the vampires overtake the city, or will Goodweather and his associates find a way to stop this outbreak?

OK, first off, this was another solid issue from Lapham. Personally, I love his raw take on things. He’s very in your face with his writing style and also great at being mysterious, too. This book has had a very original feel to it from issue number one. This is definitely one of those comic books that could easily be turned into a movie that would make a considerable mount of money, in my opinion. My only observation about the book that isn’t positive is the fact that it was saturated with foul language. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were times where it didn’t seem forced or anything, but it just isn’t my cup of tea. The book definitely wouldn’t be anything less without it. Also, there was a scene in the book that seemed a bit out of place. At one point, Dr. Goodweather and his assistant are discussing their plans and all of a sudden kiss, then end up in bed together. It just felt slightly out of place in regards to where the book has been and is heading.

Now, onto the artwork of Mike Huddleston. He was obviously a great choice for this book. Why, you ask? Well, if you’re not reading it yet, then hit up DarkHorse.com for preview images, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. He has a great grip on things, and doesn’t ever seem to miss anything. Well, let me just point out one thing first. Whether it was a mistake or meant to be, in one panel we see Dr. Goodweather and his assistant get out of bed. She has eyes, boobs, hair, and a nose, but no mouth. Yeah, and to make matters worse, it was of course in the one panel where the chick was speaking. That aside though, the book was very good. It seems as if the story is just getting ready to hit its peak. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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