In Issue 3, Will Buyers is trapped in the Upside Down, a mirrored reality dimension. When the issue starts, Will is being chasing through town by the Demogorgon. He reaches his house, finding a whole in the living room wall that is like a mirror to the real world. In this mirror is his mom, calling out for him, telling him to run. Will runs to the cemetery to escape until it is safe to come back to the house. This time his dad is in the mirrored whole in the wall.
This issue of Stranger Things is eerie and bursting with adventure. The artwork has a dreamlike watercolor effect that heightens the horrifying nature of the story. Everything in the Upside Down is colored in a blue wash that makes the story mystic.
During his adventures, Will travels to multiple locations, running into several different people without always an explanation as to why he traveled and how he got there. This makes the storyline a little difficult to follow at times. At the same time, some of the narration offers a wonderful sense of foreboding and intensity despite its vagueness. It would help if the comic allowed time to develop some of the relationships as apposed to rushing through the introduction of characters. There is a scene with Will’s friends in the real world, deciding what they are going to do, that feels out of place and ultimately goes nowhere. I assume it will continue in the next chapter, but it doesn’t seem to have a place in this chapter. The same could be said when Will runs into a dying man. The man dies almost as soon as the two meet and, just as quickly, Will is off running from the Demogorgon. The effect is rushed rather than intense.
There is a lot of story packed into this chapter of Stranger Things. From the Demogorgon to a dead man, many characters are introduced and discarded. While I enjoyed the overall concept and artwork, the storyline was lacking in clarity. Had the issue been extended, giving more time to develop certain scenes or developed fewer and keep the current length, the story would have benefited.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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