September 2, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: The Strain #7

The Strain #7
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston (cover by E. M. Gist)
Colors: Dan Jackson

Up until this point, Dr. Martinez and Dr. Goodweather were in big trouble. Now, they’re in big trouble times ten. Their superiors have discovered that they killed a couple of people, and all evidence seems to make it look like it was in cold blood. The people were infected, but the superiors aren’t having any of that foolish kind of talk. Luckily for the doctors, Dr. Setrakian, from Europe, is here to help. He quickly draws a dagger and a sword from his cane, and demands that the doctors be released. After a fast exit, they’re on the run, but can’t figure out why the people they used to trust are suddenly against them. We next see that Eldritch Palmer, a recluse billionaire, has been manipulating things from the start, and is in league with the vampires. He believes he can control them, and utilize them for his own deeds. Meanwhile, a pest control employee takes care of a rat in someone’s home. He tells the occupants that usually rats stay in the sewers, but something must be driving them from their home. After he trudges down into the sewer system, he makes the startling discovery of what is driving them out!

Another quality issue from Lapham, but the series does seem to have slowed down quite considerably from the first five issues. Not that that’s terrible or anything, but it’s definitely noticeable. Sometimes when a single issue takes place over the period of a couple of hours without flashback scenes or anything to break it up, things tend to get slightly muggy. Overall, the series is still an A+, but it does need to get back to the feeling it had in earlier issues of gaining momentum, and not just spinning its wheels. Again, still solid, but slower pacing than before.

Huddleston is right on track with the artwork, though, and it keeps the book feeling pretty fresh. Along with colorist Dan Jackson, he provides the reader with a usually dark and creepy feeling of pure dread. This is one of those books you read with the lights on, for sure! The cover is just fantastic, and E. M. Gist shows off some serious skills with it. The detail, colors, and of course the infected human, all add up to a masterpiece that sets the tone before you even open to a page. Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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