With the third season set for a release in July, those craving more Stranger Things will definitely want to dig into Dark Horse’s new comic spin-off series. When Will Byers finds himself in the Upside Down, an impossible dark parody of his own world, he’s understandably frightened. But that’s nothing compared with the fear that takes hold when he realizes what’s in that world with him! No one escapes a Demogorgon unscathed…
In the first season of the original Netflix series, Will spends a good portion of time trapped in the Upside Down which is not covered in depth. This comic aims to fill in those gaps showing everything Will gets up to in that time and what happens on his end in some of the most memorable moments from the series, including his attempt to contact his mother and the aftermath of Barb’s disappearance.
Similarly to the Netflix show hearkening back to classic 80s films, the writing style that Jody Houser employs would be right at home in any classic comics being put out in the 80s. The standard practice for narration and inner monologue these days is to merge the two together into thought captions, so it makes a nice change to go back to the days of thought bubbles and narration.
Beyond the writing style, Houser excels in exploring Will’s character in a situation where he has little chance to interact with other people or anything for that matter. Like the rest of the boys in the main series, Will relates a lot of what he is encountering to his knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons – with flashbacks showing how his time playing D&D with his friends helped form his approach to the new surrounding he is trapped in and how the creatures he is encountering resemble those that his party encountered in the game.
On the art side; Stefano Martino (alongside inker Keith Champagne and colourist Lauren Affe) does a fantastic job of replicating the atmosphere and 80s charm of the Netflix series. The team particularly excel in the Upside Down sections – which make up the bulk of the story – and get a chance to explore it in far deeper depth than the first season. Beyond successfully conveying Will’s fear, they also produce a terrifying Demogorgon which is just as memorable as its onscreen counterpart.
An easy read and packed with creepy moments, this is a perfect supplement to the hit Netflix series and a must-buy for any dedicated fans of Stranger Things.
9781506709765 – P/B – £14.99
Post by Leo