If your eyes have begun to glaze over from binging the series again before the new season, but you still need that sweet, sweet retro fix, we’ve got you covered. *SPOILER WARNING* Some descriptions below reference events after Season 1.
The show that started it all. In 1983, Will Byers vanishes on his way home from a day of Dungeons & Dragons with his friends. While looking for him against the police chief’s wishes, his friends stumble across a girl in a hospital gown. Turns out she has telekinetic powers, and a lot of other secrets about the town’s “power and light” company that might help them find Will.
Halloween 1984. Will is back, at least physically. The trauma from his time in The Upside Down comes back in flashes when he least expects it. Mike still uses the walkie-talkie to contact Eleven every night with no luck. Lucas and Dustin are interested in the new girl and just how she managed to beat Dustin’s high score in Dig Dug, while her brother bullies his way to the top of Hawkins High School. While the town gears up for Halloween, the Hawkins National Laboratory, under new leadership, works on closing the gate to The Upside Down, but without telekinetic powers of their own, it has become quite the task.
Taking place just after Season 2, in 1984, Chief Jim Hopper has no choice but to open up to a curious Eleven about his past after she finds some boxes tucked away in storage. In Season 1, we witnessed some of Hop’s backstory through flashbacks regarding his daughter’s passing from cancer, but this dives even deeper.
The summer of 1969 changed Terry Ives’s life forever. This prequel to the events of Stranger Things explores the events that left Eleven’s mother traumatized. At the hands of Dr. Martin Brenner, the Hawkins National Laboratory, and the MKULTRA project as a whole, Terry and several other test subjects uncover a conspiracy they may never recover from.
This novel explores Mad Max Mayfield’s life in California before her family moved to Hawkins, Indiana. Besides the good, the bad, and the Billy, it’s an interesting look into a character we haven’t known from the very beginning of the show. Reading an account of finding her place in her new home gives us a glimpse into the part of her life the show doesn’t.
The entire premise of Season 1 was to find Will Byers and rescue him from a place that came to be known as The Upside Down—a dark and twisted version of our world. As the season unfolds, we learn more about The Upside Down, but not from Will’s point-of-view. This graphic novel changes that and takes readers into Will Byers’ terrifying week trapped in The Upside Down.
Francine, a teenager with precognitive abilities, has seemingly found her place among other gifted children at Hawkins National Laboratory. At least until her visions grow increasingly horrific. Not only does she have to reckon with the accuracy of her visions, as the future is ever-changing, but she has to figure out a way to save the other kids if it’s true. Under the supervision of Dr. Brenner, the story of Six showcases just how ruthless he is.
This short graphic novel doesn’t add much to the show’s canon, but it’s a fun look at how being known as “Zombie Boy,” during Season 2, affected Will Byers. Despite the plot revolving around heavier topics like trauma and bullying, it’s enjoyable reading about the boys making a zombie movie with a new friend and having fun together.
This yearbook is a fun supplement to the show, specifically, Season 3, which takes place during the summer 1985. Inside, readers will find class pictures, notes, lists, and more fun odds and ends in both Mike and Nancy Wheeler’s respective 1985 yearbooks.
Enjoy your curiosity voyage wherever it takes you and be sure to keep an eye out for another trailer with a release date!