Calling all Stranger Things fans! Have a conspiracy theory about the origins of Project MKUltra? Curious about all the strangeness that went on before Eleven’s stay at Dr. Brenner’s Hawkins Laboratory? Then we’ve got just the thing for you. Netflix and Dark Horse Comics teamed up earlier this year to announce their project, the first prequel comic series for the hit show, Stranger Things: SIX!
Stranger Things: SIX follows the story of Francine, a teenage girl with precognition, who has suffered plenty because of it. After her parents exploit her power to earn a quick buck, Francine ends up in the clutches of Dr. Brenner; whose main goal is to harness Francine’s abilities, as well as those of the other gifted children at the lab, for one malicious endgame.
But things grow more intense as Francine starts seeing disturbing visions and runs into a familiar face. Could these visions hold the key to her changing her life for the better? Or will it unravel something she can’t come back from? Either way, Stranger Things: Six is a must read for Stranger Things fans.
I cannot praise this prequel enough. First thing I want to touch on is the art itself. Penciller Edgar Salazar, inker Keith Champagne, and colorist Triona Farrell’s talents really shine throughout the artwork, especially in the coloring, which came off as surprisingly warm in every panel. Even in the forbidding walls of the laboratory. I’m ecstatic that they didn’t go with a a cartoonish look. It’s all brilliantly rendered, with sharp facial features that show off the character’s emotions in great detail. The coloring is a dream. It’s all very pleasing to the eye.
As far as the storyline goes? There is some serious potential there. So much so that at the end of this issue it left me wanting more. Seeing as it is the very first issue, everything is pretty introductory so you don’t develop any attachments to anyone beyond our main character Francine. You’ll likely feel for her instantly. Flashbacks into her past give readers a sense of how helpless and isolated her precognitive abilities have made her feel throughout her short life. Yet you get to see that Francine has managed to find some sort of solace in the halls of Dr. Brenner’s Hawkins Laboratory. She’s locked up in an institution with other children with strange powers like her, why wouldn’t she feel comfortable? It’s probably her first time feeling something close to normal.
The first issue leaves you to ponder the wicked tale that begins to unfold in these mere 32 pages. How did Francine get involved with Dr. Brenner’s experiments? Where are her parents? And what’s the deal with this boy Ricky from her past? So much mystery, so little time. I genuinely can’t wait to see what happens next. So, do yourself a favor, head over to your local comic book shop, pick up a copy of Stranger Things: SIX and put on your favorite retro jam (May I suggest ‘Layla’ by Derek & The Dominos?) and read all about the strangeness that happened before the series began!
Stranger Things: SIX is published by Dark Horse and is written by Jody Houser, penciled by Edgar Salazar, inked by Keith Champagne, the lettering was made by Nate Piekos, colored by Triona Farrel and the cover art was made by Aleksi Briclot, Kyle Lambert, David Mack, Patrick Satterfield and Jenny Frison. It is now available in comic book shops and via the Dark Horse Website.
Wicked Rating: 8/10