REVIEW: ‘Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons,’ #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

STDD

Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is a science-fiction, action-adventure published by Dark Horse. The issue is authored by Jody Houser and Jim Zub, with art by Diego Galindo. MSASSYK lends their talents on colors and Nate Piekos as a letterer.

What drew me into the world of Netflix’s Stranger Things was Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will growing up in the 80s and being a bunch of geeks. There were so many references in the show that I got including some from Dungeons & Dragons. Stranger Things and Dungeon & Dragons #1 hits home because it explores the boys diving into the world of D&D for the first time. In the series, we see the boys smack dab in the middle of a campaign, securing victory. This issue is quite refreshing seeing the boys before they realize that actual monsters exist.

Before taking on a Demogorgon from another dimension and saving their friend Will from its clutches, the Stranger Things kids were just regular middle schoolboys. They loved exploring the town and riding their bikes and unfortunately were bullied by bigger kids. This is where their story begins. As they run for safety, they dip into what seems to be an old book and hobbies shop. However, they are not safe from the shop owner who perceives them to be trouble makers. Mike and Lucas’s saving grace is being interested in the shop owner’s mock war figurines displayed on a giant table. They inquire about the battle and so learn of Dungeon & Dragons.

Galindo’s art in Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is extremely well done. It’s as if the characters are ripped straight from the series. MSASSYK’s coloring is fun as well, and vibrant, just like our boys. With their combination, everything is well detailed, including the different backgrounds the boys inhabit. Our gang constantly hangs in the woods and I particularly appreciate that you not can recognize during what season the story takes place.

Houser and Zub’s writing is on point with a great and relatable story. They bring out the characters we know and love. The authors do a great job of fleshing the characters out by not only showcasing their love for Dungeons & Dragons but showing how they used what they learned in the game to navigate life and their messy and troublesome middle school ecosystem. We see Dustin is brought into the group as he watched Mike, Lucas, and Will have trouble defeating a boss in one of their campaigns. Houser and Zub also don’t shy away from how smart Dustin is, which I feel is overlooked by the boys in the actual series. Soon we see the kids become a pact and we begin to understand the power of the friendship and love they have for one another.

Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is an amazing issue for any fan of Stranger Things and/or Dungeons & Dragons. It shows our characters in a sense of normalcy without the real monsters. This issue also gives D&D players that nostalgic kick of when they first dove into the tabletop RPG and the excitement they felt campaigning and finishing that campaign. Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is a perfect amalgamation of growing up, friendship, and a passion for geek culture.

Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is available where comic books are sold.


Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1
5

TL;DR

Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is an amazing issue for any fan of Stranger Things and/or Dungeons & Dragons. It shows our characters in a sense of normalcy without the real monsters. This issue also gives D&D players that nostalgic kick of when they first dove into the tabletop RPG and the excitement they felt campaigning and finishing that campaign. Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons #1 is a perfect amalgamation of growing up, friendship, and a passion for geek culture.