clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stranger Things #1 is full of Dungeons and Dragons

Dark Horse Comics’ inside look of Will Byers’ time in the Upside Down is out Sept. 26

Stefano Martino / Dark Horse Comics
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

The Stranger Things comic series from Dark Horse kicked off this week. The first issue takes place right after the opening scene of the show — Will Byers making his way home from an exciting Dungeons & Dragons session, only the be sucked into the twisted world of the Upside Down.

As Will navigates through the Upside Down, he treats the whole escapade like a particularly hard D&D campaign, trying to apply what he’d do in the game in this weird, wacky world. Will plays a Cleric in D&D, but he doesn’t have a protection spell in real life. So he makes use of rifle from an abandoned shed, yelling “Fireball!” when he aims it at the bloodthirsty Demogorgon.

As he rallies himself through the Upside Down, Will’s journey through the Upside Down is juxtaposed with his drawings of his friends’ DnD campaign. It’s how he tries to make sense of what is going on: He’s separated from his party, and Will knows an adventurer on their own is an easy picking for hungry monsters.

Stefano Martino / Dark Horse Comics

Will and the Demogorgon aren’t alone in the Upside Down, though. As Will explores the Mirkwood and looks for a way back to the real world, he stumbles upon the spectral-looking figure in the woods — Eleven. We know she’s probably crossing between worlds in whatever twisted experiments Dr. Brenner has forced her to endure, but Will sees the shimmering girl in the woods and immediately equates to a benevolent NPC in a campaign.

Unfortunately, before he can make contact with her, Eleven disappears.

The issue leaves off with Will’s first contact with his mother through the static-y walkie-talkie, just as the Demogorgon swoops in.

Stranger Things #1 is out now.