Written By: Jody Houser
Penciller: Edgar Salazar
Inker: Keith Champagne
Lettering By: Nate Piekos
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Cover Artist: Aleksi Briclot
Published By: Dark Horse Comics
If you have watched Stranger Things and are finding the waiting tough until Season 4, then you are going to love these comics. Six, is a four issue mini series that takes place before the show, following a girl called Francine, who has uncontrolled visions of the future. It follows Francine from the time her powers emerged, to her parents abusing her gift and then her time in Hawkins Laboratory. What secrets do we uncover about the facility and Dr. Brenner’s experiments.
Now I am just going to do an overall review of this mini series, as I just read it all at once. So I have only just finished watching Stranger Things in the last week, so it’s all still fairly fresh in my mind. Throughout the show, I have always wondered who the other children in Hawkins Laboratory were if El’s number was Eleven. Well this mini series introduces us to a few more, seeing as we already met Eight in Season Two. These comics are from Francine’s (Six) point of view, how she struggled against her parents after her powers were revealed, to being welcomed into a place that wanted to protect her and help guide her to control her gift. Within a matter of months, Francine meets her boyfriend once more but under very different circumstances. With more children introduced, a glimpse into their pasts and an introduction to their powers, it’s a shame this was only a four issue series.
We don’t know anything about Francine’s life prior to her mother discovering her gift. From there on though she was pressured into using her powers to predict lottery numbers, in order for her parents to collect the winnings. She found some solace however in the boy next door, fleeing to his house each time she needed an escape from the immense pressure she had at home. Whilst in the Hawkins Laboratory they cross paths again. With plenty to discuss, mostly the vast betrayal Francine feels. There are also two other children introduced to us. 9 and 9.5, a set of twins who have lived in the facility since they were very young. After a number of months living in the lab, Francine experiences a number of visions of a future filled with monsters and violence. The events echo what we see in the TV series. As well as knowing a life outside these walls, Francine sees her time here as imprisonment and wants to escape, as well as freeing the children that are there with her, who day in and day out are put through strict schedules and dangerous tests.
This is a great insight into the events that lead up to the show, which also connects with an event that involves Elevens’ mother storming the Lab. The main aspect that I am enjoying so much, is that we actually get to see a few of the other children, as well as a glimpse of their powers. I would love to see if some of the children we meet turn up again, perhaps in another story arc release or in Season 4. As there is still so much that could be adapted from these unexplored storylines.
So for those of you that haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet with this Netflix show, Stranger Things is a science fiction show set in a small town in 1980’s America. It follows the lives of four young boys who hold weekly Dungeons and Dragons sessions. Little do they know there is a secret government facility in their town, which exploits and develops special mental abilities in select children. Through their tests, they have opened the gate to a world known as the Upside Down. A gate that has now given access to our World, where demonic creatures can now escape into. One such child from this facility makes her escape, only to come across the four boys who do their best to help her & keep her safe. A series not for the squeamish or faint hearted, but well worth a watch if you love these comics.
You can either buy these four issues separately, with Issue 4 out shortly on August 28th, or you could own them collectively on November 26th in the Stranger Things Volume 2: Six TPB from Dark Horse Comics.