Synopsis: With Will ”the Wise” rescued from the Upside Down, the party is finally back together again, but each kid has been affected by their struggle to save their town from real monsters. Mike strives to get Will and the others back into Dungeons & Dragons with the hope that they can find some normalcy in playing their favorite game.
Having told the story of how the boys discovered Dungeons & Dragons. This issue explores how the boys got back into D&D after Will’s return from the upside-down. Furthermore, it explores the friendships and Mike’s efforts to try and help his friend. But finding normalcy is proving to be a massive challenge. As Mike battles the dragon of frustration of coming up with a game scenario that can help Will feel better.
The art team does a great job on this issue. The character likenesses are bang on. As are the different locations. I particularly enjoyed the sequence of panels where Mike was devising the game in his attic. The level of detail made it very much feel like the attic that we saw in the very first episode of the TV show. Likewise, I also liked the final few pages where the boys are playing D&D and we see the ominous shadow of the monsters from the upside-down appear on the wall. This was a wonderful visual bit of foreshadowing.
Writers Jody Houser and Jim Zub have penned a great story, which fits nicely between season one and the start of season two. I really enjoyed Mike’s narration as he documents his thoughts and worries about getting the group back into the game. Furthermore, we get a really nice few panels in which Mike tries to explain the technicalities of Dungeons & Dragons to his sister Nancy. The dialogue between Nancy and Mike was rather funny as Nancy asks what a Hydra is, but doesn’t really need that information from him in order to help her little brother out. This was a really nice character moment that we may not have got to see in the show.
Overall. A really enjoyable issue that explores some aspects of the characters that we may not see in the actual TV show.