Advance Review: Synergy Rules In `Stranger Things: Kamchatka’ #3

by Tom Smithyman


Aside from the title and some great images of a demigorgon, this series doesn’t have much to do with the streaming series Stranger Things. Still, it’s an interesting Cold War-era tale that will leave you nostalgic for the days of New Coke and Cabbage Patch Kids.


Nothing like a bit of corporate synergy to boost a franchise.

Stanger Things: Kamchatka seems to have been created for the express purpose of drumming up excitement for the new season of the Netflix blockbuster. The comic book series is even set in Russia to tie into some of the streamer’s events. But aside from the name and a KGB-controlled demigorgon, the comic series doesn’t share any DNA with its better-known cousin.

Writer Michael Moreci tells an interesting story nonetheless. A Soviet double agent is on the run from the KGB accompanies by two precocious kids (unfortunately not Mike Wheeler or Dustin Henderson). The kids have their dead father’s machine that can control the monster that Soviet scientists captured from the Upside Down – and the ruthless KGB will stop at nothing to get it. It’s pure 1980’s Cold War stuff. The with the streaming series, anyone who grew up in that era will be taken back to the good ol’ days.

Artist Todor Hristov‘s distinct pencil work clearly portrays the double agent Semenov as a young man with a weary face in flashbacks. In the story’s main timeline, he is clearly wearing a map of the world on his face. Each character is meticulously drawn, so there is no confusion over who is who.

But, of course, it’s Stranger Things, so what we really want to see is the demigorgon. And while there can never be enough of this monster, Hristov delivers the terror and the gore to sustain readers for one more issue.

This limited series concludes with the next issue, and there are plenty of plotlines to tie up. Hopefully the creative team will have time to give each character their due – and perhaps provide a closer tie-in to the Netflix series.

Stranger Things: Kamchatka #3 will be available for purchase on June 1, 2022.

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