STRANGER THINGS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL ONE-SHOT, available this Wednesday from Dark Horse Comics, brings fans back to the world of Stranger Things for a seasonally appropriate tale. One that feels right at home with the series.
The Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot may be a bit of a mouthful for a title, but it is an accurate description. The world of Stranger Things is well suited to horror tales, for obvious reasons. So it’s really no surprise that they’re diving back in to tell a quick and spooky tale.
It’s even less of a surprise, given just how many Stranger Things series are out there at the moment. There are several complete series now, as well as Stranger Things Science Camp, which is actively updating. Not to mention at least one more series on the horizon (Stranger Things and Dungeons and Dragons).
Yeah, it’s a lot. And it’s possibly intimidating to keep up with all of those series. Here’s the good news, the Halloween Special really is just a one-shot. You need only have watched the series (and just the first season at that) to understand and appreciate this issue. Nothing else is required.
Michael Moreci took charge of the Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot. It is an issue that delivers on its promise. Interestingly enough, that isn’t all that it does.
Picture the boys (Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin) all having a fun time telling spooky stories in their beloved spot in the woods. Now you have the setting for this issue – and it feels pretty in line with the world (and characters) so far.
It’s a quick read, letting fans dive into a single moment of four friends simply enjoying each other’s company. Yet there seems to be more to it, all the same. Set before the events of the first season, there’s a dark implication found within.
The spooky story itself feels familiar, in some ways. It’s dark and twisted and leaves many connections to the events that unfolded over the course of the series so far. Again, it feels right at home here.
The Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot has an art style that feels like a cross between the show and the comic book world. Fans of the other Stranger Things series will immediately recognize the given style.
Todor Hristov was the lead artist for this project, portraying beloved characters, as well as an entirely new cast as well. While at times the characters seem to be flat, and contain less life than their television versions, overall the style is well-suited to the world.
The darker elements are danced around, playing a game of hide and seek. Until suddenly, it’s not. Much like the show itself, once the horror is shown, it takes full advantage of taking the focus upon itself.
Chris O’Halloran’s colors really bring it all together. The bright pops of color against darker backgrounds is reminiscent of many a campfire tale, with a classic 80s color palette thrown into the mix as well.
Nate Piekos’ lettering is another vital piece of the art, adding tension at key moments, while overall carrying the story along flawlessly.
The Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot is a fun and quick read. It’s absolutely perfect for any and all fans of Stranger Things. Especially if you want an excuse to dive into the spookier side of their stories, during this time of year.
Overall, this issue provided an odd combination of sweet and spooky. It’s the sort of combination one can only find in the Stranger Things franchise. The essence of the world and characters was perfectly captured here, with a few added embellishments for the sake of the Halloween focus.