When the first season of Stranger Things hit Netflix in the summer of 2016, it took almost no time for the series to become a smash hit, accumulating a legion of fans. Now, two years later, the wait for a third season is rough. Though in production now, Season 3 of Stranger Things won't arrive on the streaming service until sometime in 2019--more than a year after the last new episode.
There is something coming that could help make that wait easier to handle, though. Dark Horse Comics is releasing a companion comic book series to Stranger Things, showing a story and character that Season 1 wasn't able to go in-depth on. While Eleven and her friends battled the Demogorgon during that first season, as they searched for the missing Will Byers, viewers didn't get a lot of exposure to what Will was going through. Now that changes, as you can see by the covers for the third issue of the series, which GameSpot is exclusively debuting below.
"The story is basically Will's perspective on the events of season one, so we're seeing how he survived in the Upside Down," writer Jody Houser tells GameSpot. "You know, those encounters that his mother had with him and his friends, hearing his voice, where he actually was and what he was doing during those moments. It's really sort of getting to see Will, who was much more a minor character in the first season. So this is his story."
His story is a key missing component in Season 1 and should give fans plenty more insight about what exactly the Upside Down is and what about it was so drawn to Will. More importantly, though, it should help those that watched the first two seasons have a better understanding of Who Will is.
"I think we're going to learn that maybe he's a lot stronger than people would give him credit for," Houser teases. "He's gone for a very long time, and yet he's the one that comes out alive in the end. Spoilers for people who haven't seen Season 1 yet. You know, so there's definitely an inner strength to him to be able to navigate such a hellish world for so long, so we're really going to get to see examples of that in the comic."
For Houser, getting to tell these stories set in the worlds of fan-favorite properties is one of the favorite parts of her job. With comics based on Orphan Black, Doctor Who, and Star Wars, just to name a few, she's made quite a name for herself in expanding upon these universes. "I love being able to add to these properties that people are just really into and really digging and give sort of like an added value to what they've already seen, and I've done a lot of licensed books before this, so this sort of feels a little bit old hat to me, but you know, in the right way," she says. "I feel like I have a good grasp on how to bring new things into the story without disrupting future plans."
And future plans are incredibly important. After all, as previously noted, Stranger Things Season 3 is currently in production. Whatever she writes has to fit within the framework that the Duffer brothers are building for the Netflix series. Luckily, she's been able to consult with the duo to make sure her comics fit within the overall story being told. "It's very much getting guidance from the people who best know the world and making sure that what you're doing fits everything that they're trying to do," she explains.
In the end, this Stranger Things comic should give you a much better understanding of a Season 1 character that didn't get much time to shine. As for whether you'll find out what about him the Upside Down is drawn too, though, Houser says, "Maybe. You'll have to read and see."
The first issue of Dark Horse's Stranger Things comic book releases on September 26.