Stranger Things: Into The Fire #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 08, 2020

Writer: Jody Houser
Pencils: Ryan Kelly
Inks: Le Beau Underwood
Colors: Triona Farrell
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot

This is a follow up to the last Stranger Things series, “Six”, and follows two of the characters who made their escape in that last series also written by Jody Houser. This comic faces a big problem though, and it’s one it has in common with the season two episode “The Lost Sister”, which was unquestionably the weakest episode of Stranger Things. That problem is the fact that stranger things is at its best when we’re following the main characters, whether that’s Mike & Eleven, Will, Lucas and Dustin, or Hopper, or any of the others. It’s nice to flesh out the world of Stranger Things but it’s hard to find ourselves caring much about these other test subjects.

It’s not that this is a bad comic, instead by calling itself Stranger Things it isn’t delivering that thing which we want from it. The other problem this has is whether or not the events are officially canon. The majority of fans of the TV series are unlikely to read this, so the events have to remain separate from the TV series. With these obstacles ahead of it this comic has a difficult job ahead of it.

With all that said I did enjoy this comic. It gets the eighties vibe that is synonymous with the TV series, from the hair cuts to the clothes. It’s nice to see the bond between Marcy and Ricky growing, he’s playing Big Brother to her and they obviously care about each other.

One of the things I like about Rickys powers is that they’re quite subtle and it’s nice to see those powers in use rather than the more dangerous powers we’re used to seeing from this world. Something we believed from the previous story arc turns out to not be true and that forms the basis of this story. We also meet a character from the TV series. I won’t reveal either for reasons of spoilers but it’s an interesting set-up and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

Ryan Kelly’s pencils and Le Beau Underwood’s inks are really good and when we meet the character from the TV series the likeness is absolutely spot on. There was no doubt in my mind who it was. Then Triona Farrell’s colors are really good, bringing out the best in the art. And a nice touch was giving each characters different powers their own color.

It’s not necessary to have read the previous arc, it’s self-explanatory enough to follow along without too much needless exposition which is always a nice touch.

For die hard fans only, those fans looking for a bit more Stranger Things won’t necessarily get what they’re after here. Not to say this is a bad comic, it’s enjoyable, it just doesn’t have the same allure the TV series does. It suffers from the same problems all tie-in comics do.

Our Score:


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