The 6 comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4

The 6 comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4

Have you seen Stranger Things 4 and, once you finished watching the final episode, did you feel a sense of emptiness and bewilderment? Like when you turn the last page of an exciting book and ask yourself "what will I do now?", It could also have happened to those who, after the fourth season of the Netflix TV series ended, felt that they were left hanging on the edge of a path too exciting and pressing to be able to stop (we know that some of you have also started a complete rewatch of all seasons, do not be shy to admit it). What to do, then, to find yourself at least a little longer among the thrilling, adventurous, dark and mysterious atmospheres of Stranger Things?

If you find yourself in the ranks of those spectators who have loved Stranger Things 4 and they never have enough, you could also find quality titles in the comic world with characteristics similar to the Duffer Brothers product: memorable plots in which alternate dimensions, monstrous creatures, secrets to reveal and, sometimes, even young protagonists engaged in dangerous adventures, they alternate between the pages, creating atmospheres that lovers of Stranger Things will not be able to but appreciate. We therefore propose a list of comics that could make the time span that separates us from the already announced fifth and final season of Stranger Things pass faster: happy reading!

Comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4

Paper Girls Gideon Falls Pluto Joe the Barbarian Proctor Valley Road 20th Century Boys

Paper Girls

A group of teenagers on bicycles who, from the streets of their own town, are thrown into another dimension (or rather, into another time)? Check. An intriguing science fiction mystery to solve? Check. Eighties setting and tributes to pop culture? Check. One of the comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4 is definitely Paper Girls, a series created by Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y the Last Man) and Cliff Chiang (Catwoman: Lonely City, Wonder Woman) which landed in 2016 in Italy through BAO Publishing and whose television adaptation will make its debut on Amazon Prime Video on July 29th. Paper Girls has been defined by Cliff Chiang himself as a "Stand by Me that meets The War of the Worlds", where the aesthetics of the 1980s fluorescent meets an alien danger that shakes and subverts that peaceful everyday life where, in reality, anxieties boil underground. A strong tribute to a historical period whose fascination still reverberates overwhelmingly, for its stylistic code and its contradictions hidden in plain sight under lacquer and neon.

Click here to buy Paper Girls vol. 1 on Amazon

Gideon Falls

Scary, disturbing, dark, often psychedelic: it's Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino who from Image Comics made his debut in Italy in 2019 with BAO Publishing, through a publication that this year has reached its sixth and last volume. Jeff Lemire is one of those visionary authors who, in addition to famous works at Marvel and DC, has managed over the years to create his own titles more or less characterized by weird, eerie, disturbing drifts, where human everyday life meets mystery, the bizarre, the grotesque or, as in this case, the sinister. For example, his are Sweet Tooth, Black Hammer, Royal City, Descender and the subsequent Ascender. Shaping his horror vision in Gideon Falls is Andrea Sorrentino, another solid name in the comic world whose illustrations can be found in several issues of X-Men, Green Arrow, Old Man Logan: his is an art almost photographic, which in Gideon Falls takes on dreamlike, anguished, lysergic forms, deconstructing the tables in shocking visions.

Click here to buy Gideon Falls - The Black Barn vol. 1 on Amazon


What better turning point in the transition from childhood to adulthood than the one in which a bitter awareness takes place, marking a sudden maturation? This is what Jeff Lemire wonders about, which we also find here in Pluto, a comic created together with illustrator Emi Lenox, translated and published in 2016 by BAO Publishing. Pluto is the story of feelings, insecurities, the search for foundations during adolescence, but also the story of how this can fade in a short time if naivety is supplanted by brutal realization. However, in our opinion, it is also one of the comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4: not only for the analogy that can be traced in the conflicting existences of the young protagonists, outlined here with an Asian touch by Emi Lenox, but also for the atmosphere of mystery that one breathes with the discovery that they make and which forms the basis of the entire narrative structure.

Pluto is the strongest superheroine among those who defend Metro City, but apparently even the most powerful superheroes cannot escape death. This is made by the bitter observation by five teenagers who one day, in a wood near their school, make a macabre discovery by finding the lifeless body of Pluto. Five young people who daily deal with themselves and those around them, such as the girl who does not feel adequate because of her body, or the nerd who is bullied. And that now, they will also have to learn how to metabolize a bitter life lesson…

Click here to buy Pluto on Amazon

Joe the Barbarian

Two more brilliant artists, for our roundup of comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4: in this case we are talking about Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy who sign Joe the Barbarian, 2010 comic that this year Panini Comics has brought back to the fore inside of the DC Black Label necklace. Here we deviate a little from the genre that characterizes Stranger Things and we cross over into the world of fantasy, but we do not completely abandon the path of adventure, of other and mysterious worlds, of dangers experienced by courageous young people in spite of their suffered experiences. An exciting and tight roallercoaster that Grant Morrison skillfully narrates demonstrating once again a great talent in writing stories of the most disparate genres, in a game of quotes and references to the most famous characters of pop culture. Joe the Barbarian is a rich and pressing fantasy, in which reality and imagination become indistinguishable from each other, thanks also to the beautiful tables by Sean Murphy (Batman, Chrononauts, Tokyo Ghost) with sharp, restless, vibrant bows.

The comic by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy tells of Joe, an eleven-year-old boy with a fervent imagination and a great talent for drawing, but whose life is not exactly carefree. His father died in the war leaving him and his mother penniless, soon both will have to leave the house they live in due to missed payments and the bullies torment him. Joe also suffers from diabetes and cannot afford to miss a single meal. It is the sudden lack of insulin, one day, that causes him vivid hallucinations that lead him to another realm, where he is accompanied by his mouse Jack in the guise of a mighty warrior fighting against King Death. But is it really just this or does the world Joe is catapulted into really exist?

Click here to buy Joe the Barbarian on Amazon

Proctor Valley Road

Also Grant Morrison doubles up, in our list of comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4, with Proctor Valley Road (of which you can find our review here), co-signed with Alex Child, who assists Morrison in the writing, Naomi Franquiz in the illustrations and Tamran Bonvillain to colors. And here we return to the narrative styles that see the group of teenagers involved in spite of themselves in frightening and dangerous events as the protagonist, although we find ourselves within a different frame: that belonging to the 70s of a gender discrimination stronger and more pulsating than ever. , of the tensions caused by that senseless Vietnam War which sparked protests and riots of rebellion so much, of the psychedelic mix of music and drugs. Proctor Valley Road thus describes the turmoil in a society in turmoil through the "colorful" adolescent anxieties of the young and rebellious protagonists (girls with no money, with dreams, ambitions and crushes). But not only.

August, Rylee, Cora and Jennie in fact discover that in the town of Chula Vista in which they live, urban legends are not just “legends”. Subversive, determined, stubborn, the four girls are eager to participate in the upcoming Janis Joplin concert, but there is a problem: they don't have a penny in their pocket. However, during an evening at the amusement park, a quick and easy solution seems to present itself. Some local young people approach them hoping to arrive at a "closer" approach, but the four make them a proposal: to go together in the dark heart of Proctor Valley Road, a road on which frightening rumors hover. Of course, the tour requires payment. But not being able to go to Janis' concert will be the least of their problems for the young protagonists, when the boys who have entered Proctor Valley Road are captured by a monstrous creature and never return…

Click here to buy Proctor Valley Road on Amazon

20 th Century Boys

In our roundup of comics to read if you liked Stranger Things 4, there is also a place for the manga 20 th Century Boys of Naoki Urasawa (Monster, Pluto): a small masterpiece that cleverly mixes thriller and science fiction, past and present, the play of some children and the threatening reality of those who have become adults. 20 th Century Boys was released for the first time in 1999 (in 2002 in Italy) and has recently been reissued in an Ultimate Deluxe Edition by Panini Comics; Urasawa's manga has also earned several praises, thanks to the prizes awarded to the Eisner, Kodansha, Shogakukan Manga Award and to the International Festival de la banda dessinée d'Angoulême.

A work science fiction and dystopian, mysterious and often disturbing, which begins in 1969. At the time, a group of children find themselves in their hiding place fantasizing about stories that are collected in a notebook, called the Book of Prophecies, concerning apocalyptic scenarios of where they are the protagonists, saviors of the world against a wicked secret organization. In 1997 the children became adults. Kenji, in particular, leads a normal life running a 24-hour convenience store, until he learns of the existence of a sect headed by an individual who poses as a messiah and calls himself "the Friend": a dangerous organization that is putting the events gathered years earlier in the Book of Prophecies, now used as a Bible, and which are turning some children's play into a worldwide catastrophe.

Click here to buy 20th Century Boys vol. 1 on Amazon

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