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This article is about the comic series. For other uses, see Stranger Things (disambiguation).

Stranger Things is a line of comics based on the Netflix original series of the same name. Published by Dark Horse Comics, the series is written by Jody Houser, inked by Keith Champagne, colored by Lauren Affe, and lettered by Nate Piekos. The first volume was illustrated by Stefano Martino while the second was illustrated by Edgar Salazar.

The first miniseries consists of four issues, following Will Byers after he is taken to the Upside Down by the Demogorgon. The second miniseries also consists of four issues and follows the events of Six during her time at the Hawkins National Laboratory. An exclusive Stranger Things one-shot issue was released for free on May 4, 2019 as part of the Free Comic Book Day event.

Issues

Cover Issue Synopsis Published
ST Issue 1 Cover 1
1 When Will Byers finds himself in the Upside Down, an impossible dark parody of his own world, he is understandably frightened. But that's nothing compared to the fear that takes hold when he realizes what's in that world with him! September 26, 2018
ST Issue 2 Cover 2
2 Stuck in the mysterious Upside Down, Will Byers is cold, scared and starving. He uses his last bullet to temporarily drive away the Demogorgon. Drawing on lessons learned from D&D, Will hunts for food and supplies to prepare for whatever lies ahead. After discovering he can affect the lights in his family home, brief excitement turns to terror when he realizes he isn’t the only one that wants to break through to the other side. October 31, 2018
ST Issue 3 Cover 2
3 Running from the Demogorgon in a twisted mirror of his own world, Will Byers still struggles to communicate with the other side. In a desperate race to stay one step ahead of the dangerous creature, Will must use all his wits to stay safe. But can he keep his friends and family safe, when he's stick in the Upside Down with no way out? November 28, 2018
ST Issue 4 Cover 1
4 Exhausted and at the end of his rope, Will Byers seeks shelter in a dark mirror of the fort he created in happier times, Castle Byers. Will must fight to keep his sanity just as surely as he mush fight to keep out of the Demogorgon's clutches in this suspenseful conclusion. January 2, 2019
FCBD 2019 Following Eleven's disappearance, Nancy and Steve find a way to lift the spirits of a despondent Mike, encouraging him to get the adventuring party back together again. Perhaps all it takes is a roll of the dice. May 4, 2019
ST-comic-Six
5 Francine, a teenage girl with precognition, has struggled through a lifetime of exploitation: first by her parents, then by Dr. Brenner of Hawkins Laboratory. Dr. Brenner wants to harness her powers as well as those of the other gifted children that they hold captive at the lab. Wracked by increasingly disturbing visions, she sees an opportunity to change her life. But at what cost? May 29, 2019
ST-comic-Six-issue2
6 Trapped inside the mysterious Hawkins Laboratory, gifted teen Francine struggles with nightmares and dark flashbacks as Dr. Brenner attempts to truly unlock her precognitive powers. And an old friend tries to make amends—but can she really trust him? June 26, 2019
7 Discover the origins of Project MKUltra! Francine and the other gifted young people are being held in the Hawkins Laboratory by Dr. Brenner. Francine believes he will stop at nothing to harness their collective powers. Increasingly grueling experiments unlock dark visions of the future, convincing her and her friends that they must somehow escape with the rest of the children--but will their opportunity arrive too late? July 31, 2019
STSIX4 Cover
8 Francine's precognitive abilities are put to the test when she and Ricky attempt to escape Hawkins National Laboratory and save the other children from Dr. Brenner's cruel experiments. Will the ensuing chaos result in freedom for all of the gifted captives....or will some be left behind? August 28, 2019

Development

Following the critical success of Netflix's original series Stranger Things, on June 18, 2018, the President of Dark Horse Mike Richardson announced a multi-year partnership between Dark Horse and Netflix to publish a series of comics based on the TV series "to bring the world of Stranger Things to comics," which will give the fans “an opportunity to explore the mysterious world of Hawkins, Indiana.”[1]

Jody Houser, the writer of the series stated it was her love for the show that encouraged her to take on the project. "The hardest part was not breathing a word about it for six months!" she told. Penciller Stefano Martino revealed that he was excited working with Houser and also to take on this project giving the right respect to the fan base.[2]

Story

The team had to work closely with Netflix to figure out on what areas of the world they could expand on. Due to Stranger Things being an ongoing show, they had to tread carefully.[2] Eventually they decided to explore Will’s story. Regarding the decision, Houser explained that "Will was less a character" in the first season and "more of a treasure that the adventuring party was trying to find," and the team wanted to explore the Upside Down from his perspective.

The use of D&D was a core part of the boys’ friendship and their understanding of the monsters they faced in the show and she wanted to continue that in the comics as a means to "bring Will’s friends into the book via his memories of playing".[2] Besides, she was excited to use her gaming experiences to highlight other characters, particularly Mike. "Mike’s seen as that leader and making sure that his players are feeling comfortable and doing at least a shadow of what they’re supposed to do," she told. [3]

Illustration

Taking Houser's suggestion, colorist Lauren Affe designed the book in the style of '80s comics while adding brighter tones to give a retro feel.[3]

Since the miniseries focused on Will's time in the Upside Down, Martino got the opportunity to explore some of the nuances of the show's visual landscape. He focused his art on "the more natural and emotional storytelling" so that readers could feel "the fear of Will in his face and his entire body".[2]

Each individual issue contains a back cover illustration created by Fruiz which, when aligned together according to issue number, forms an overall interconnected image.

References

  1. "Dark Horse announces line of 'Stranger Things' comics" Entertainment Weekly. June 18, 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 STRANGER THINGS’ Writer and Artist on Bringing the Upside Down to Comics Nerdist. September 20, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Jody Houser reveals what happened to Will Byers in Stranger Things comic"SYFY. September 13, 2018
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