By Stephen Wilds | Contributor Published: 09/18/2013 10:00 am EST
Publish date: September 18, 2013 Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
“When hope is waning, vengeance must sustain us.” – Professor Setrakian
I had high expectations going into this issue. Yes, that is mostly because I thought there were going to be some amazing scenes of a luchador bashing in vampire skulls—don’t judge me. Sadly this one just didn’t hold up to its predecessors, and just when I thought the series was going to get better, I found myself a bit disappointed. No, this is not another round of complaints about my distaste for the art style. The covers are still a huge draw and the action is crisp and clear, while the inside art and its lacking of any real detail and smudged effects still bother me; however that is not why I’m let down.
The reason I’m not as included to like The Strain: The Fall #3 is because it doesn’t feel like the story did anything—a filler issue at its best, I suppose. Several panels of this comic are wasted space-fillers, like the opening segment that establishes the meatpacking facility. The book’s main point this time around seemed to focus on showing how important the book known as the Occido Lumen is, even though that was already partially established. Now there is a flashback; one that is quite good actually and shows a darker side to the professor, but I’m not sure it’s needed. The second important thing is that the master wants the boy that readers saw back in the first issue, but nothing has yet been seen of why this particular child is important. It doesn’t help that issue three comes across like there is no payoff for the first scene in the issue. Even the subtle implication of the burning building at the end just doesn’t feel like it does much to progress anything that would not have happened naturally anyway.
The last element of setup here is the introduction of the Silver Angel, the wrestler character that fans were promised last issue who is featured predominantly on this month’s cover. It’s a tease though. The introduction is not bad, but consists mostly of him running away and learning about what is happening around the city. Couldn’t he have at least put on the mask? I can only hope now that the Silver Angel seems upset the next issue will feature his revenge.
One final small thing that I thought was neat is that one of the characters mentions that he started a blog, discussing his adventures with hunting and killing vampires. I thought this was just a silly way make the character seem relatable at first, but then I saw the genius. In the real world, there really are blogs all over like this, about vampires, ghosts, and lizard men that people claim they run into. The character of Vasiliy has the idea to use it to meet like-minded individuals, since a certain type of person frequents those sites and the group is having trouble convincing others to join their cause. I think this will come up again later. It’s the little things like this in comics that can make them fan favorites.
In the end this was not a great issue of The Strain: The Fall by any means, but there is a fan poem on the bonus page to console me. I think the next installment will be better, but seeing as there is a filler issue this early, I wonder how long this series will last.