Terror Strikes At Camp Know Where: Reviewing ‘Stranger Things- Science Camp’ #2
by Brendan M. Allen
‘Terror has struck Camp Know Where! A camp counselor has disappeared in the night with no clue but a distant scream. Suspicions arise, and as Dustin inadvertently passes the acid test to become the cool kid at camp, he must balance his newfound popularity with the rising tensions and try not to get his wires crossed with other campers.’
In Stranger Things: Science Camp #2, one counselor has already disappeared, and no one in charge really thinks it all that strange that a teenager bailed in the middle of the night leaving just a three word note. The kids are a little creeped out by it, because camp legends are the best, right? Dustin is still a step ahead of his bullies, as long as he can keep the promise of an epic D&D adventure alive.
Also, he’s met Suzie, who ends up doing the thing at the end of season three of the show. Yes. Still bitter. Leave me alone.
Jody Houser is giving us a side of Dustin that he doesn’t really get an opportunity to show in the Netflix series. It fits with what we know and what we’ve already seen, but the dude gets to open up a lot here, where he blends in a little more in the show’s group setting.
The fact that he hardly mentioned anything about this experience to the group when he returned actually fits into canon, and speaks more about the other kids than it does about him. He told them the bits they’d be interested in, when he was able to get his piece in. They also barely believed he was dating an actual, living, breathing female, so where would they have landed on the Camp Know Where disappearances?
Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, and Marissa Louise do an excellent job of bringing the tone and flavor of the show to these pages. The likenesses are fantastic. Dustin is the star here, but the other kids make cameos in his memories and flashbacks.
Stranger Things: Science Camp is chock full of eighties horror tropes, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t. In my review of the first chapter, I compared the series to a toned down Friday the 13th, the main difference being that the focus here is split between the counselors and the kids.
If I had a complaint, it’s that this story is building VERY slowly. This is a mini, isn’t it? Scheduled for just the four chapters. While this is only the second installment, it’s also the antepenultimate issue. Seems like all the pieces are there in the main story, and even a little side action, but the payoff feels really far out.
Stranger Things: Science Camp #2, Dark Horse Comics, 28 October 2020. Written by Jody Houser, Pencils by Edgar Salazar, Inks by Keith Champagne, color by Marissa Louise, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Viktor Kalvachev, variant covers by Tula Lotay and Eric Nguyen.
A camp counselor has disappeared in the night with no clue but a distant scream. Suspicions arise, and as Dustin inadvertently passes the acid test to become the cool kid at camp, he must balance his newfound popularity with the rising tensions.