Review: Dustin And Suzie To The Rescue In ‘Stranger Things: Science Camp’ #4
by Brendan M. Allen
‘The science-focused summer camp Dustin is attending has been besieged by a sinister figure wearing a menacing Einstein mask. While the camp counselors themselves debate what to do to keep the kids safe, Dustin and Suzie round up a crew of kids to get to the bottom of the mystery and protect themselves!’
Dustin’s time away at summer camp was a running theme in season three of the Netflix Stranger Things series. There are some things in Stranger Things: Science Camp that track with everything we already saw in the show, and some things that just don’t.
The way he met Suzie, the summer girlfriend none of his regular crew believed existed, works really well. Dustin coming out of his shell and rising up as a leader among his ridiculously smart peers also hits the right chord. This whole mystery of the Einstein masked camp counselor killer? Somehow, that just isn’t quite landing for me.
Jodie Houser wraps up most of the loose ends really nicely in this fourth installment. She’s obviously comfortable with the kids from Hawkins, having already penned scripts for several of the Stranger Things comics series. Dustin’s character really comes through in his first solo flight, even if the big mystery falls a little flat in the end.
Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, and Marissa Louise nailed the art on this series. The likenesses are fantastic. The period, genre, and general flavor of the show come through really well. The cabins, the uniforms, the goofy hair… all spot on. I still have a couple issues with masked killer scenes, but those are the same issues I have with the script, so I don’t think it really falls on the art team.
Stranger Things: Science Camp exists to bridge the gap between seasons two and three of the Netflix series. Dustin was away at camp, met a girl, and came back with stories. Just not THIS story. Initially, I was going with it, thinking maybe he didn’t talk about his time away because he didn’t think his friends would listen. They didn’t believe Suzie even existed. Why would they listen about the camp counselor killer?
Then, we got to this last chapter, and I’m just not buying it. The way the killer thing worked out was just so bizarre, there’s no way Dustin would keep this story to himself. The whole thing was relegated to subplot that could probably have been left out altogether, and this book would have been just as strong, if not stronger.
Stranger Things: Science Camp #4, Dark Horse Comics, 30 December 2020. Written by Jody Houser, pencils by Edgar Salazar, inks by Keith Champagne, color by Marissa Louise, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot.
Stranger Things: Science Camp #4 ties up most of the loose ends in this mini-series finale, even if the big mystery falls a little flat in the end.