Stranger Things #1
"Will Byers is missing. The town of Hawkins, Indiana, including Will's best friends and family scour the area looking for him. What they don't know is that he's lost in the Upside Down, an impossible dark parody of his own world. This grim realm seems desolate and empty, but Will isn't alone!"
Spinning out of the Netflix phenomenon series, Stranger Things, comes a four-part comics series that parallels the action of Season 1, filling in some of the gaps from Will's disappearance and time in the Upside Down.
Sure to be a critical and commercial success given the wide-spread popularity of the television series, Stranger Things manages to stand on its own merit as a strong entry into the comics industry, driven by the clear and nearly forceful narrative of Houser. Houser manages to take a story that was deemed inconsequential by the original creators, or perhaps ancillary to the overarching narrative, and give this sequencing depth and power. The creative team has managed to craft a story that is visceral and layered, structured around the notion that the party must stay together to survive, a hopeless ideologue in the face of what is to come for poor Will Byers. Cut off from his party in a land that is a perversion of his own, there is a bleakness to the Upside that is captured beautifully in both text and image, as we, the knowing reader, listen to the boys of Hawkins discuss a unity that has already been severed.
The synchronicity of the entire creative teams is perhaps best illustrated in this splash page, in which Will does his best to fight back against the terrifying Demogorgon. With sharp work from the letterer, Piekos, we see the “BLAM” of the shotgun that poor Will cannot bear to see. His eyes turned away as he desperately chooses to cast “fireball” over “protection”, the team captures the fear of a young man in a moment too impossible to believe, colored in soft, dulcet tones reflecting the lack of light of the Upside Down. This splash page shows a team in perfect harmony.
With nearly a month before its release, Stranger Things should be on the pull list of any fan of the show, as well as fans of the genre in general. If you like strong narrative and clean, beautiful imagery, Stranger Things is just the series for you!
Stranger Things #1: Who’s to Say What’s Impossible?
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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