By Stephen Wilds | Contributor Published: 08/21/2013 10:00 am EST
Publish date: August 21, 2013 Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
I enjoyed the first issue of this series, so I was eager to sink my teeth (pun intended) into The Strain: The Fall #2, hoping it would be even better than the last morsel. It begins with a recruitment scene. The vampires need soldiers that can do things in the daytime, but the interesting aspect explored here is that all of the vampires are not on the same page. Not only does this opening scene give more depth to the story from the vampire side, but the focus shifts to other characters beyond the main group that was introduced last month, and shows what vampires and humans working alongside each other looks like. As long as Lapham and Huddleston are willing to spend some time on these new additions, they should prove to be fun and intriguing down the road.
The old man, Professor Abraham Setrakian, is one of the more interesting characters in the series so far, but he is not in this issue at all. The old man is discussed by other characters though, about how his condition is deteriorating and that Setrakian has been hunting vampires for a very long time. This brings up a lot of questions about the old man and establishes openings for even more intrigue. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see that the next issue will focus on him. The second issue not only introduces new characters, but refers again to the eclipse and the people that it caused to go blind. I have a feeling that this will be important later on, and it was just enough of a tease at the end to pique my curiosity. I love feeling like there is a much bigger plot at work; even if the outcome is predictable, it makes it harder for me to lose interest in the book at slow points.
The Strain: The Fall #2 is quicker paced than the last issue, with more fighting and shorter scenes that help to move thigns along, making it a more fun read. The fight scenes are gruesome and brutal, showing off the strengths of several characters and a penchant for decapitations. But, although the vampires look amazing and the world feels dark, I still think one of my biggest issues with this series for me is with the art, for the same reasons I mentioned in my last review. The lack of detail and occasionally odd character expressions throw me off. In a way, I feel like it breaks the immersion, but that is starting to bother me less.
I’m excited about the next issue, especially since it promises a retired Mexican wrestler, which will work perfectly in this bloody, violent, and complicated world. Bonus pages at the end of this issue tease what is to come in the next issue and announce some stars that have been cast for the television version of The Strain. To show that marketing works, the comic has not only gotten me interested in it—even with my trepidation after the first issue—but in the other forms of media the title exists in as well. If fans have any interest in the show, this comic may be a must-have companion for it.