STRANGER THINGS: INTO THE FIRE #2, out this Wednesday from Dark Horse Comics, provides a gritty view into the lives of the other surviving test subjects. Fans of Stranger Things have been asking what happened to the rest – and this series has the answer.
Did you know that Stranger Things: Into the Fire isn’t the first comic series focused on the Netflix series? There have actually been a few series at this point, set both before and during the events of the show.
Stranger Things: Into the Fire #2 continues the tale of Dr. Brenner’s wayward subjects. While a shocking number of patients managed to escape (seriously, the count is up to four – and that’s just what we’re aware of) it seems that not every subject has been so lucky.
That is merely the beginning of this story. Set sometime after the events in season two, this series gives a glimpse into how Eight has been doing, as well as leaving a clear idea that the events Dr. Brenner set into motion did not all end with his death.
Jody Houser was the mind behind Stranger Things: Into the Fire #2, and you’ll probably recognize that name. She’s been behind several of the Stranger Things projects, and that’s actually a great thing. She’s keeping the stories between series cohesive and unified. That’s not something every spinoff series can brag about, so embrace it.
There are a lot of clever storytelling techniques woven into this issue, starting with the creative use of flashbacks to create a narrative. This allows for multiple viewpoints to merge, telling a fuller story. That story is shockingly dark, but then again, this is Stranger Things we’re talking about. So experimenting on human beings (and worse) has sort of become the norm.
There’s this almost beautifully tragic feeling to the entire issue, as the truth is revealed. What had been a celebration has turned into devastation, as characters learn the price of their freedom – and who they left behind. It’s somber, and it’s jarring, but it’s also thematically appropriate for the franchise.
The end of this issue marks the halfway point for the series. That means we only have two issues left to wrap up the plot, which presumably will involve a rescue mission (or the attempt at one), and all of the chaos that will bring with it. That likely means that the next few issues are going to be packed of action, taking full advantage of all the setting up presented here.
The artistic team behind Stranger Things: Into the Fire #2 really went all out. As mentioned above, there were a variety of flashbacks presented in this issue. Each and every one of them felt unique, with color palettes and details altering based on who was telling the story. It’s a small but effective piece that made this issue work so well.
Ryan Kelly (pencils), Le Beau Underwood (inks), Triona Farrell (colors), and Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters) all worked together to a brilliant effect here. The scenes are dynamic and powerful, showing off all of the drama and intensity that we’ve come to expect.
Adapting a series to comic book form can sometimes be a challenge – especially when you have to pull in recognizable characters. But this issue did a great job portraying Eight and everything that made her so distinctive — all while showing off their own distinctive flair.
Stranger Things: Into the Fire #2 was a carefully planned issue. One that hinted at the past, while fanning the flames formed by concern and anxiety. Our characters are headed down a dark path, but it’s also the only right path left for them. This is a feeling fans are familiar with, but we’re still looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.