ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things: SIX,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Stranger Things: SIX Issue #2

We’re a little more than two weeks away from season three of Stranger Things, one of the biggest original shows on Netflix. The new season will deal with events of the summer of 1985, but have you ever found yourself wondering what came before that portal opened in Hawkins Indiana? Then the prequel comic series Stranger Things: Six will definitely be of interest to you. Now in its second issue, Stranger Things: Six #2 is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Jody Houser, penciled by Edgar Salazar, inked by Keith Champagne, colored by Marissa Louise,  with letters by Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT.

Previously in issue one, we were introduced to the character of Francine and how she came to end up in the powered experimentation program in Hawkins, Indiana. The story briefly shifts through different parts of her past, but ultimately focuses on her experience in the program, and an unexpected visitor from her past.

Now Stranger Things: Six #2, Houser has more time to develop and progress the story at hand. Francine, or ‘Six’ as she’s been identified in the program, is being plagued by her visions. Part of the reason for her participating in the experiment was to gain control of these powers, much like you’d expect to see in any superhero franchise film, show, or comic book. These visions, however, seem driven to present themselves in times of stress, or when her mind is free and clear of distractions such as when she’s sleeping.

Stranger Things: SIX Issue #2

Not only is Six battling with these visions and the resulting sleepless nights, she’s also balancing the anxiety of being in the same place as her neighborhood sweetheart ‘Three.’ The two seem to have a damaged relationship, but up to this point we don’t quite no why. There are certainly implications in this issue which could point to why the two have fallen at odds with one another.

Stranger Things: Six #2 captured a lot more of what I was hoping for in the story itself. In the prior issue I was critical of the slow pace, and the lack of dialogue which resulted in an underwhelming impact for a debut issue. Issue two leaps forward right into the tension I’ve been waiting for. From the dark visions, to the parallels drawn between two major characters, and an unexpected character appearance. The ending in particular creates a tone of foreboding suspense as we are shown a device that has brought nothing but darkness.

Houser feels like she’s hit all of the major points that she was aiming for. The highlight in this story was definitely the contributions from Salazar, Champagne, and Louise. A lot of the images that I’d love to talk more about really foreshadow some devious things to come, however the contain a lot of spoilers, so you’ll have to pick up Stranger Things: Six #2 to see them.

One panel that isn’t within the spoiler realm happens during a flashback to Francine’s home life. Francine, in an argument, foresees herself being hit by her father, but manages to escape before he can act. The image is horrifically striking, but captured in such a way by the creative team, the tonal color, the facial image, and the inking surrounding the action.

The lettering from Piekos was also nicely on display especially during the early part of the comic, capturing the essence of a darker character, and the noises associated with it. Given there was a lot more dialogue in this issue, the lettering is well placed, and never detracts from the images, or the story.

Stranger Things: Six Issue #2  finally feels like it belongs in the world created by the Duffer brothers. It’s a great read, and has revived my interest, and curiosity as to what’s to come in the remaining two issues.

Stranger Things: Six Issue #2 is available on June 26, wherever comic books are sold.

Stranger Things: SIX Issue #2
3.5

TL;DR

Stranger Things: Six Issue #2  finally feels like it belongs in the world created by the Duffer brothers. It’s a great read, and has revived my interest, and curiosity as to what’s to come in the remaining two issues.