‘The Strain Vol. 1’review
By Brittney MacDonald, Staff Writer
When it comes to the modern reader, we expect new and innovative concepts and narratives that both excite and sometimes terrify. Unfortunately The Strain by David Lapham doesn’t deliver any of that. Featuring a narrative that has almost become a trope in the horror genre, and a bland artistic style that any comic enthusiast has seen a thousand times before, The Strain was just too boring to offer up any scares.
The plot follows what has become known as the “plague story,” visible in movies like 28 Days Later, Resident Evil,and Contagion. Basically a virus or biological weapon is let loose on a populated town or city where it spreads, killing people or turning them into monsters. In the case of The Strain, it turns them into vampires. I usually have no problem with origins like this. What becomes unfortunate is that instead of veering off and adding something to this common sub-genre of horror, The Strain just continues on following a common narrative without deviance. Right down to the common Joe protagonist and his female counterpart who could save everyone if they could just get someone in the government to believe them. There is nothing particularly offensive about this, it’s just overdone.
The most exciting thing about this novel is the cover art done by E.M. Geist. The actual art within the novel is done by Mike Huddleston. Huddleston’s art is clean with thick lines and devoid of any real detail. This style was typical of generic comic books produced in the mid- to late-‘90s. Again, not bad—just overdone.
I suppose I could recommend this novel to someone really into the “plague story” trope, but I probably won’t.