Stranger Things Season 4 Kicks Off With An X-Men Reference

The Hellfire Club is looking for new members, but what does that mean for El and her friends?

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Stranger Things Season 4 is coming. We may not have any real idea when, unfortunately, but it has been announced and, based on a tweet sent out by the official writer's room twitter account, some level of production or pre-production has officially started. And in true Stranger Things fashion, the first episode of Season 4 is an 80s-flavored pop culture reference: A nod to the classic X-Men villains, The Hellfire Club.

For the uninitiated, The Hellfire Club was introduced in 1980 as part of Chris Claremont and John Byrne's now-legendary run on the main X-Men title. A secret society of mutants, the Hellfire Club's goals are usually economic and political. They function somewhat like a mutant Illuminati, with membership passed down through generations of the wealthy elite, working in the shadows to extend their influence and power. Famously, they worked to kidnap Jean Grey, a powerful psychic (who's story bears some pretty obvious connections to Eleven) only to have their plans blow up in their faces upon the revelation that Jean was, in fact, the human conduit for The Phoenix, an uncontrollable cosmic entity.

Of course, there's no real way to be absolutely certain if the actual comic book Hellfire Club will have any bearing on Season 4, given how things were left off in Season 3. We've still got to deal with Hopper's "death" and subsequent (or at least, probable) abduction by the Russians and the fact that El's apparently lost her powers and moved out of Hawkins with the Byers family.

Whatever happens, given how little we know right now, it seems like investigating the X-Men angle is as good a call as any. Time to dust off your comics and start spinning up some theories while we anxiously await more news.

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