Stranger Things #2
Dark Horse's inside look at Will Byer's time in the Upside-Down continues this month, as we follow Will's courageous escape from the Demogorgon and his perspective of his attempts to communicate through the veil between worlds. Moments of bravery from our young hero punctuate the tragic tale of a terrified boy trying to find his way in a world that is familiar yet horrifying in its differences.
The beauty of this series is in capturing a narrative that we know but also do not. For those who watched the hit Netflix phenomenon, you are being treated to the moments of terror so often denied when it came to the story of Will Byers. His journey through the Upside-Down, a space of living uncanny, was understood only through the outside perspective, but never through his own eyes. Here we are treated to a boy trying to be brave and succeeding against all odds, ad the narrative voice of Houser is particularly strong throughout.
There is a remarkable parallelism between Will’s friends playing their roleplaying game while Will lives out a real-life game scenario in which he transfers the rules of the game and the ethics of his party into his survival and evasive maneuvers. The “nobody left behind” mentality is pervasive in his thought process as Will runs towards screams as he likely has done dozens of times in the fantasy world of the game.
One such set of screams seemingly belongs to Barb, our doomed companion in the show who loses her life in the Upside-Down and is never avenged. In a bit of potential fan-service, perchance could future issues give #justiceforbarb?
Stranger Things is a must-read for fans of the show as it works to answer questions burning in the hearts of the most dedicated. If you aren't a fan of the show, there is a chance this comic will fall flat for you, despite how well it is crafted, simply based on the way it speaks directly to fans without offering repetitive narrative from the series.
Stranger Things #2: What it Means to be a Hero
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 8/10
Art - 8/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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