STRANGER THINGS: SCIENCE CAMP #4, available Wednesday, December 30th from Dark Horse, finishes one of the latest Stranger Things series, as it is time that Dustin’s solo story comes to an end. On the bright side, we finally get to know what happened that one time at Science Camp.
The most recent season of Stranger Things had a lot of fun referencing Dustin’s time at Science Camp. It portrayed everything from making Dustin feel left out (for all that he missed over the summer), to making fun of his ‘imaginary girlfriend’ who is actually quite real. And quite brilliant.
That did leave fans just a little bit curious to see what actually happened while he was away at camp. Most of us (myself included) pictured an adorably nerdy camp, with a meet-cute designed just for Dustin and his new lady love.
As it turns out, things didn’t quite go as planned – which begs the question; why didn’t Dustin tell his friends the whole story. Except that maybe he didn’t think they’d believe him? After all, they didn’t believe the girlfriend story either.
Stranger Things: Science Camp #4 wraps up an intriguing plot, one that brought with it more danger and twists than most of us would have predicted. It’s good to know that Dustin’s experience in Hawkins has left him well-prepared.
It’s almost hard to believe that this series is only four issues long, and yet Stranger Things: Science Camp #4 is without a doubt the final wrap on this adventure. Over the course of these four issues, fans got to see what Dustin looked like when he was flying solo. As it turns out, he’s actually the cool kid. At least, when you put him in the context of a bunch of science and math fans.
Written by Jody Houser, this final issue answers at least two of the major questions lingering on our minds. Mainly, what the heck is going on, and how it leads to Dustin getting a girlfriend. Both fit in nicely with the larger world.
It’s impressive how many risks were taken in this short series, given how confined the timeline itself it. We all know full well what happened to Dustin before and after, which is fairly limiting. Yet there were some surprises in store.
Obviously, the big reveal of what happened isn’t quite to the same scale as what we’re used to seeing El fight – but that’s okay. In a way, this plot actually felt more human because of it. Plus, there’s something comforting in the familiar concept of a bunch of kids stepping up to try and save the day. Isn’t that the core of the series?
The artwork in Stranger Things: Science Camp #4 is more or less exactly what you’d expect. It features some brilliant forest scenes, but otherwise, it really does look like a camp that sprung straight out of the ’80s.
Edgar Salazar (pencils) and Keith Champagne (inks) created the ideal foundation for this plot. There’s no doubting the location, identity of characters – or the very real fear on their faces. While sometimes their expressions are comically overdone, it does feel intentional – we’re talking about the massive emotions that run through kids, after all.
Marissa Louise’s colors work wonders to set the scene. The lush and vibrant greens are reminiscent of all that time spent in camps, for obvious reasons. It makes for a stark contrast against the brighter oranges and earthy tones pulled in to balance it all out.
The lettering, provided by Nate Piekos of Blambot, is the icing on the cake, more or less. It’s what ties everything together while managing to remain understated in the best of ways.
And so concludes Stranger Things: Science Camp #4, a fun adventure revolving around one of the kids we’ve come to know so well. It was refreshing seeing one of them off on their own, and how well they can stand up in the big bad world. All thanks to their past experiences, of course.
The answers this series brought along were mostly expected – but with a couple of fun twists along the way. It held true to the core premise of the main series, while having a bit of fun along the way.