Stranger Things knew how to work its target audience from the very beginning of Season 1. While the Netflix phenomenon worked its nostalgic magic on fans of the supernatural by playing with tension as it slowly unveiled the villainous Demogorgon running wild in the Upside Down, the corresponding comic coming from Dark Horse puts its cards on the table early.
This isn’t because the comic is inept, but that it’s telling the story from a new perspective and in a new medium. Dark Horse's ashcan preview comic, Stranger Things, written by Jody Houser to inspire fans to invest in the upcoming full issue come September, briefly tells the story of how Will Byers was transported into the demonic realm somehow connected to the town of Hawkins -- and how he survived his first encounter with the Demogorgon.
That being of darkness is revealed on the fourth and final page of the small comic tease -- with the Demogorgon's flowery jaws expanded and its monstrousness hanging out for all to see. Perhaps that’s because with comics, particularly the 4-page variety, it’s tough building tension from the unseen -- especially when your audience has likely already seen the big reveal by watching the property it’s adapting.
Regardless, it looks cool. Will finds a gun as he’s pursued in Hawkins by the beast and, when he’s transported from the shed to an Upside Down shed, he keeps the loaded weapon. Thinking back to his Dungeons & Dragons games, he knows that you have to use what’s at hand when faced with danger.
Will shooting the Demogorgon to buy himself some time gives the lightly sketched character some real courage on top of the base needed to simply survive in the mirrored zone, so adding on more character development from here seems easy and satisfying. Don't you think? Check out the preview over at Dark Horse, then let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Stranger Things #1 will be out in stores on Sept. 26.