Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Caio Filipe
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Nate Piekos
Cover: Diego Galindo
Editor: Spencer Cushing
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Story: 3.4 Stars
Artwork: 3.4 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.7 Stars
Dialogue: 3.4 Stars
Mechanics: 3.5 Stars
Editing: 3.6 Stars
About the Book:
Stranger Things: Tales from Hawkins #1 takes us back to the first season. Rather than focusing on the adventures of the kids, Hopper, or Joyce we get to know two other characters. Dale and Henry are hunting buddies who go into the woods that the children refer to as Mirkwood.
During their hunting expedition they find the remains of a creature that was so savagely attacked that there’s no doubt it was the work of a dangerous animal. The two men decide to hunt down this creature before it can hurt the children that like to play in these woods. Are they truly the hunters, though?
Stranger Things has always spoken to me. The kids in the show were nerds when it wasn’t cool and they are only a couple years older than I was at that time. If you were to subtract anything that came from Hawkins Lab and the Soviets, I lived their life. Except growing up in the sticks I didn’t have much in the way of other kids in the neighborhood.
As a fan of the series I was very excited to learn Dark Horse Comics was giving us another Stranger Things title. I’ve loved how all of the other titles have done such a great job of painting a bigger, more detailed picture of this exciting franchise.
Having the focus of the story on characters we didn’t get to know during the television series was a nice touch. Dale and Henry are very relatable. A couple of buddies that like to down a few beers while they wander around the woods and talk. During this time we learn Henry’s wife is battling cancer.
This is a therapy session for guys before it was okay for men to raise their hands and admit that they were struggling. The fact that they have their rifles with them allows them to be manly and call it hunting, so there is no judgment. They don’t expect to catch anything. That’s okay. It was never about that.
It’s easy for fans of the series to feel bad for these two heroes. We know there are creatures far more dangerous than a bear or bobcat lurking in Mirkwood. Dale and Henry had no reason to believe they were hunting anything that was truly that dangerous. They were doing their part to try to keep the citizens of Hawkins safe from a wild animal that ventured too close to town.
I am very impressed with Galindo’s on this cover. You can feel the intensity in both men’s eyes as they come to terms with the fact that they are about to be in for the fight of their lives. All the while the demogorgon is ready and waiting for any challengers.
The artwork on the interior pages is the perfect style for a story of this nature. With every panel in the woods the reader has to wonder if it’s a tree or the silhouette of something far more sinister. It truly helps the reader fall into this story.
As a geek on a budget I would say Stranger Things: Tales from Hawkins #1 is well worth the price of admission for the hardcore fans of this franchise. It gives us more depth by letting us get to know more characters while also helping us understand just how isolated Hawkins is from most bigger cities.