Stranger Things: Into the Fire #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 13, 2020

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

As a stranger things comic there are certain expectations from this comic. The biggest problem it faces is that it can’t capture the magic of the TV series. So for fans coming here expecting Stranger Things they’re going to be sorely disappointed. And that isn’t to say it’s a bad comic, not by any means, but it isn’t Stranger Things.

Sure we have characters from the TV series, it deepens the mythology of the series, die hard fans of the TV series will love it. But it isn’t Stranger Things. It feels like a cheap knock off. Even having a quick reference to Eleven and giving us a more concrete timeline for the events doesn’t help.

The other problem facing this series is it feels important. We’re learning far more about Brenner, and his mysterious research into other powered children. Except that despite all this it can’t be important. It may be canon but the TV series isn’t going to reference anything that happens here. It’s too small a percentage of the TV viewers that will read this.

So without capturing the vibe or magic that makes Stranger Things so good, and remaining separate from the TV series, it makes it hard to recommend. Which is a real shame because there is some talent that’s gone into making this comic. A few tweaks perhaps, separating itself from the Stranger Things world, and making it it’s own thing there’s the potential for it to be good.

Fans of previous series featuring Marcy and Ricky are sure to enjoy it. Fans of the first issue are sure to enjoy it. But fans expecting Stranger Things are going to be disappointed.

Ryan Kelly and Le Beau Underwood make a really good team on the art. While most of the characters were created for the comics when it’s a character from the TV series, i.e. Eight, Brenner, even for one brief moment Eleven, they manage to capture their likenesses really well.

There are some really clever tricks that Triona Farrell manages to incorporate with her colors, most notably adopting different colors when different powers are being used. There are some brilliant purples and yellows in particular used to demonstrate this and it works really well. Then we have some flashbacks which appear almost monotone but aren’t. It’s cleverly done to good effect.

The art and colors are well done, some clever storytelling techniques are used. On paper this should be a great comic. The biggest problem it has is tying it into Stranger Things. It can’t capture the eighties movie vibe that the series does so well and as such will only appeal to the superfans. Unlike a lot of tv tie ins this won’t appeal to the masses more just the zealots.

Our Score:


A Look Inside