Stranger Things #3 is written by Jody Houser with pencils by Stefano Martino, inks by Keith Champagne and colours by Lauren Affe. The cover art is by Aleksi Briclot.
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He knows there are doors to the other side; he just has to find them before the demogorgon finds him. Will ”The Wise” always does what is best for the ”Party,” but how long will that keep him alive in the Upside Down? Answers what happened to Will in season 1 of Stranger Things.
Stranger Things is quite the tie-in surprise. Like many, I’m always sceptical at tie-in comic books. I go in wary that they will simply be a non-canonical story that will either end up wasting my time or will be great but mean nothing.
But that is simply not the case with this series.
Instead of presenting us with the further adventures Eleven and the gang it chooses to focus on Will trapped in the Upside Down. Focusing on an event so pivotal to the series and presenting it from a previously unseen angle.
I’m jumping on the review bandwagon for this series a little late with issue #3. By this stage Will has been stuck for a little while. He’s narrowly missed witnessing the death of Barb and has been able to communicate with his mother via the famed Christmas light wall.
What makes this book stand out so much from other tie-ins is the emotional resonance. Writer Jody Houser has been able to perfectly capture the loneliness of being trapped in this other dimension.
The dialogue is able to relay Will’s panic at being lost in this unknown place. But Houser is also able to inject some of the levity and adventure of the series through his resolve to stay strong and get home.
The story being set during season 1 also allows for the comic to freely interact with the show. My high point is absolutely seeing Will interact with his mum from inside the Upside Down. Instead of feeling like a tie-in this comic quickly becomes almost like deleted scenes from the show. It evokes similar feeling to watching the show and that is not easy to do.
The artwork – here by Stefan MArtino, Keith Champagne and Lauren Affe – also captures the environment of the Upside Down faithfully. Landscapes are familiar but augmented. Everything is a bit drippy looking and dirty. There’s enough artistic license for the artists to have fun without ever straying too far from the source material.
Much like the Stranger Things TV series this comic doesnt overuse the monsters of the Upside Down. Though it appears on the cover the creature still only appears sparingly in this issue. The attention to detail in recreating the show is palpable and deserving on some seriously high praise.
Stranger Things third issue brings the story close to completion. The pieces are all in place to setup a final battle which could culminate in Will’s eventual return from the end of the shows first season.
Brilliantly written and incredibly well drawn. This is a mini-series well worth your time.