What a way to kick off a new volume! THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL thrusts readers into the future where everything is looking extremely bad for the human race. Because of the nuclear meltdowns, planned by The Master, there's a nuclear winter and the sun is blocked out, so humans have no where to go.
The book is chaotic, and that's what makes it such a thrilling read. The team of vampire-hunters is disjointed and there is little to no hope left for humans, since they're all under the thumb of the Master. Vampires patrol the streets to keep control, and it's weirdly refreshing to see a book like this where at one point there was a lot of hope for the heroes to win, but ultimately, the bad guys were victorious.
The opening of the book gives the reader into the origin of series main antagonist: The Master. He's the youngest of the ancients, a teenager by comparison. It's a great way to start off the issue and gives readers a little glimpse into what makes this villain the person it is.
Writer David Lapham, based on Guillermo Del Toro's and Chuck Hogan's story, does one hell of a job with the story. It's paced incredibly well and the dialogue feels incredibly natural. The real driving force in the writing happens a bit down the road in this issue. Ephraim Goodweather's diary becomes the narrative as Eph sneaks his way around the city. The scene works so well and for e, was the highlight of the overall issue.
Artist Mike Huddleston's art has gotten better since the last volume. Don't get me wrong, it was never bad before, but this first issue shows he's really crafted a unique look for this book and with colors by Dan Jackson, the art makes the story feel more desperate and the world a lost cause. Huddleston has gotten really great with detail in character's faces, giving them all a bit more depth and distinction.
No problems with this first issue of the new volume. Obviously, this is a terrible place to jump onto the series, considering it's the third and final volume of THE STRAIN. However, the opening page does give the reader a tiny bit of a catch up, in case they're crazy and don't want to read the other volumes.
THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL is off to a great start. While not a good place at all for a new reader to jump on, especially if they've been enjoying the series on FX, it's still a series folks should check out. It's written incredibly well and the dialogue is real and natural. Huddleston's art gets even better here as well. The world sucks here, figuratively and literally, but it's easily one of the better books I've read this month.