Review by Paul Fiander
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: E. M. Gist
I have read the Strain Trilogy, so this review is coming from a place where the twists and turns have already played out. I will not spoil the events but instead talk about the way this series has developed under the stewardship of David Lapham et al.
First things first the cover, it is a visual marvel but I would have preferred a something a little obvious. Although it does not telegraph what is going to happen it still feels too closely linked to the story for my liking. E.M.Gist has done a fantastic job with the skeletons looking natural and the embrace of the two holding a semblance of humanity despite the lack of skin.
As for the art within the issue Mike Huddleston does a familiar job rendering each character with a distinctive feel, so even in shade you know who you are looking at. This makes the energy driven scenes flow past your eyes helping the issue to feel rather short but never rushed. Dan Jackson adds a variety of colours to proceedings from the UV tones of the luma laps to the muted whiteness of the Strigoi. The boldness of many of the choices is great to see and will bathe your eyes throughout the issue.
As for the story Lapham has stuck faithfully to the story as we play-out the final battle. Lapham allows the art to do the heavy lifting and thankfully does not bog the panels down with heavy and cumbersome text. I actually prefer this interpretation above the book, mostly as it only hints at events instead of trying to raise them into the readers conciousness.Of course this is a personal take and some will love the ending in the book, but for me this is a stronger finish and for that I tip my hat to the creators
With the Strain now on TV as well as in books and comics if feels a shame that the series has a definitive ending. However the ability to finish a series correctly is something Del Toro and Hogan have shown they can accomplish and now the comic series has done likewise.
If you have not kept up then you may be a little lost stepping into this issue but it is still worth reading as it has to be one of the series ending issues I have ever read.