Review: Things Are Spooky as Always in Hawkins in ‘Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot’

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Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics.

It’s the spookiest time of the year, and what better way to ring in the imminent arrival of Halloween than with a creepy story from the Stranger Things kids? Forget about the Demogorgon, it’s time to talk about the Child Eater of Hawkins.

Out today from Dark Horse Comics is Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot, a story set just six days before season 1 of the Stranger Things Netflix series. Written by Michael Moreci, this comic features artwork by Todor Hristov, coloring by Chris O’Halloran, letting by Nate Piekos, and a cover by Francesco Francavilla.

It’s Halloween night in Hawkins, Indiana and Will, Mike, Lucas and Dustin gather in Castle Byers to eat candy and scare each other with a spooky story, revealing the quaint town’s deepest kept secret: the Child Eater of Hawkins.

It always felt ironic that, given the nature of the show itself, the first season of Stranger Things skipped right over Halloween and instead began a week after. So Moreci really grabbed a fun opportunity with this comic to insert a quick snapshot in the lives of the boys before everything was flipped upside down … literally. This foursome group of friends — Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin — has been in such nonstop turmoil since the first episode up until now, and it’s enjoyable to take a peek into the dynamics of their friendship during a time that we as fans really don’t know as much about. And not to knock their Ghostbusters costumes in the second season, but their group Star Wars costumes are excellent.

Moreci’s storytelling is greatly accentuated by Hristov’s artwork, which blends wonderfully with O’Halloran’s coloring. As this comic takes place in both the 80s and sometime in the 60s, the art style, the textures, and the colors subtly convey the time periods. O’Halloran’s use of bold reds and ominous blues is a particular standout as well.

Overall, Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot is a quick, entertaining, and delightfully creepy read for fans of the show. Though the events that take place in the comic are limited to what can be canonically inserted into the timeline, the story promises to leave behind a chillingly ironic conclusion. After all, it has to look pretty suspicious for your friend to go missing a week after telling a spooky story about the town’s urban legend that just so happens to eat children. Yikes!

Stranger Things Halloween Special One-Shot is now available. Visit your local comic shop to pick up your copy, or order it online!

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By Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about Star Wars, Marvel, anime, or Ted Lasso. Contact:
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