ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things: SIX,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Stranger Things: SIX #3

Stranger Things: Six #3 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, Francine, identified as patient Six, attempted to push her abilities further than they had been before. Dr. Brenner however, feels she’s holding back, and his goal to breakthrough, is to put Francine in the newly installed sensory deprivation tank. There were some fantastic panels, and the tension really evoked a lot of similar tones from the show that this comic series is based on.

In issue 3, we find Six right where we’d left her in the prior issue, preparing to enter the sensory deprivation tank in an attempt to enhance her powers of foresight. The images she’s greeted with are a jumbled mess of things yet to come, which fans of the show will recognize instantly. One images that takes her breath away is a shadowy dark scowling figure, with no face.

A note in relation to this sequence. It was a welcomed choice that Houser throws us right back into where the prior story finished, because as noted, I was ready for more. The reality of the experience in this first half of the issue however, really fell extremely flat. Rather than build the tension, as they did in issue 2, the reader is greeted by all of Francine’s visions laid out on one page, and then it moves forward and brushes past the visions.

While Salazar, Champagne, and Piekos all did some really good work with the images on the page, it felt ultimately that all these images had just been thrown at us. As quick as the vision is there, it’s gone. There was no tension, no feelings of dread, or horror. Instead the story lead with a comedic response once Francine is asked what she saw, and it reads really out of step. What little tension was there is now eradicated.

There are a few other elements to point that reinforce the same point. The balance of the issue seems more focused on the development of other characters, and the continued fixation with Francine’s home life. Making this choice seems to suggest that Houser was trying to accomplish too much within the story, given it’s only a four issue run, there’s just not the time to fall down the rabbit hole, and due to this it dilutes the overarching plot that is trying to be delivered.

The illustrations overall doesn’t really transfer over well, in that they don’t reinforce the horror element that the Netflix show has been able to capture. It’s a little too light, and lacking some harshness.

Ultimately, this issue should have been a really big tense, and terrifying plot within the series that foreshadows evil are on the horizon. In reality it never truly delivers, and given the expectation following on from issue #2, this left me feeling even more disappointed. Especially given the rave reviews that the third season that show has just received. There’s just too many elements out of balance that compound the problems of the issue.

Stranger Things: Six #3 is available on July 31, wherever comic books are sold.

Stranger Things: SIX #3
1

TL;DR

Ultimately, this issue should have been a really big tense, and terrifying plot within the series that foreshadows evil are on the horizon. In reality it never truly delivers, and given the expectation following on from issue #2, this left me feeling even more disappointed.