Review by Frank Plowright
The Fall opens just a week after the conclusion of Volume 2, in which a major threat was dealt with, in the short term at least delaying an attempted vampiric world in everyone’s future. It’s just been a week since Ephraim Goodweather was transformed from the head of an epidemiology department to a wanted fugitive, but even that’s better than the transformations others have suffered. At least now there’s a broad awareness of what’s going on, if not the finer details, nor what the vampires eventually plan, but Goodweather is part of a small group who know the bigger picture.
Pleasingly, it remains David Lapham and Mike Huddleston adapting the middle section of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s horror trilogy, providing a consistency sometimes absent when a series of novels are adapted. Early on they introduce Mister Quinlan, whose origins will occupy an entirely separate graphic novel, and show how some alliances are being made across the city. Goodweather and his group realise they have to try to prevent the vampires spreading beyond Manhattan, which requires sealing all the tunnels, while Gus Elizade is able to call on some former gangster enemies to aid his crusade.
The four chapters of the story to be concluded in Volume 4, are the same kind of desperate thrill rush we’re now expecting. The situation is far worse than it was, and Goodweather considers that killing the billionaire who enabled the Master to cause so much havoc is a good start to the end play. There’s a cliffhanger ending, or alternatively both volumes are combined as The Strain Book Two in hardcover.
Before leaving this volume, though, there’s a bonus story, ‘The Silver Angel’. The main continuity introduced an elderly man with a bad knee saved from the vampires when Elizade and his allies turned up. The back-up explains who he is. This is written and drawn by Lapham, crosscutting events of the past explaining what motivates the Silver Angel. It’s presumably because he has a larger part ahead, because although well produced, it’s an interlude when we want the main attraction.