The first season of Netflix’s wildly popular retro-horror series Stranger Things was focused on the disappearance of Will Byers. However, it didn’t really explore what was happening to Will in the Upside-Down while his mom, Mike, Eleven, and the rest of the cast were looking for him. A new comic series will fill in this missing piece of the story.
Entertainment Weekly announced on Monday that Dark Horse Comics has teamed with Netflix to publish a line of Stranger Things comic books. The first four-issue arc, which comes out in late September, will focus on Will’s horrifying adventures in the Upside-Down that took place during the first season.
A preview from the first issue, which can be seen at the bottom of this post, appears to retell the moment from the show when Will first goes missing, but with one big twist. In the comic, it appears that Will saw a semi-spectral vision of Eleven before he was taken to the Upside-Down. In the show, as far as viewers know, he went missing before she showed up.
That’s an interesting bit of new information, but Stranger Things fans would do well to set their bombshell expectations low. It’s not often that tie-in comics, even officially licensed ones, will make major changes to official canon. The reason is simple — consider how many people watched Stranger Things, a show that was so popular in its first season that it was worth it for Netflix to drop Super Bowl commercial money on Season 2 compared to how many people will read these comics.
Crucial story developments almost certainly won’t occur in the comic, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be thrilling comics. The preview pages look fun. It’s just that comics like these should be appreciated on their own merits, and not viewed as a means of major, cross-medium story progression.
Dark Horse describes the comics as “an opportunity to explore the mysterious world of Hawkins, Indiana,” implying that future story arcs will focus on other aspects of Stranger Things lore.
The first issue comes out on September 26.