STRANGER THINGS Season 4's Premiere Episode Title Appears To Reference Classic X-Men Villain Group

The title for the premiere episode of Stranger Things Season 4 appears to reference The Hellfire Club, which serves as both a cultural reference to X-Men Dark Phoenix and a possible hint at what's to come.

Netflix and the creative team behind the hit sci-fi show Stranger Things celebrated "Stranger Things Day" (November 6; the day Will Byers went missing) with an assortment of posts on social media ranging from blooper reels to, most notably, a first look at the script of the premiere episode of Season 4.

The Stranger Things Writers' Room Twitter account posted a photo of the title page of the first episode of Season 4, revealing the title of the episode (#401) to be called "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club."

For those unfamiliar, the Hellfire Club dates all the way back to the 18th century and refers to several exclusive elite social clubs in which its members, often involved in politics, would join if they wished to take part in socially perceived immoral acts. With so much government cover ups and conspiracies running rampant within the world of Stranger Things, the title of the episode very much fits with these clubs.

However, Marvel fans are probably more familiar with the Hellfire Club from the X-Men comics, which was essentially based on these real-life social clubs. And given that Stranger Things is rooted in the 80s, it's quite likely that the Duffer Brothers are also paying homage to "The Dark Phoenix Saga." Stranger Things often makes cultural references, some of which have thematic significance.

The Duffer Brothers have spoken about their love for nerd culture and its influence on the series, and this wouldn't be the first time the series has referenced X-Men either. If you recall, the very first episode of the series sees Dustin and Will racing on their bikes to get a copy of Uncanny X-Men #134. In the X-Men comics, The Hellfire Club attempts to manipulate Jean Grey in order to harness and control the power of the Phoenix Force within her. Perhaps this is symbolic of some government agency attempting to control Eleven's powers? She did have a very Dark Phoenix-like moment at the end of second season.

Stranger Things Season 4 was officially announced by Netflix in September. The new season will reportedly consist of eight episodes and is expected to take the story well outside the town of Hawkins, Indiana. Filming isn't expected to wrap until next August, so it'll be quite some time before we get any sort of hints as to what The Hellfire Club could be references.
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