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Comic Book / Life Is Strange

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Life Is Strange is a comic series which takes its cues from the "Sacrifice Arcadia Bay" ending of Life Is Strange, essentially acting as a Sequel in Another Medium for that ending (albeit in a What If? one not to be taken as definitively canon, as stated in the foreword). The series is written by Emma Vieceli with artwork by Claudia Leonardi and colors by Andrea Izzo. It is published by Titan Comics.

One year after the end of the first game, where Arcadia Bay was destroyed, Max and Chloe have moved to Seattle and are living normal lives. However, things start to go wrong after Max sees a television report about Arcadia Bay, causing her to lose control of her powers. Chloe decides to take Max back to Arcadia Bay in the hopes of solving this mystery.

The comic is released roughly once a month, every four issues comprising one story arc. The first arc, Dust, began on November 14, 2018. The second arc, Waves, began on May 28, 2019. The third arc, Strings, began on October 15, 2019. The series ended with issue twelve, but was directly continued in a Sequel Series titled Life is Strange: Partners in Time, which started on October 14, 2020. Coming Home and Settling Dust then closed the series.


  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Chloe seems to have turned her life around in the timeline (Waves arc) where she and Rachel are together for the most part, she works at an auto-repair shop and doesn't seem to engage in any of the behavior she did in the original game, Rachel also seems to be a lot nicer. (Granted, she was pretty nice to begin with but she did have her moments where she was destructive and vindictive, even a little manipulative) but some of these behaviors seem to have changed in this timeline. She may still be easily angered though according to some dialogue with Chloe when Max had an outburst.
  • All There in the Manual: The issue 1 recap in the second issue mentions that Max and Chloe are living with Max's parents in Seattle.
  • Art Shift: A subtle one in issues 2 and 3 — the alternate realities in issue 2 have brown lineart instead of the main universe's black, and the reality in issue 3 with Rachel alive and still at Blackwell has gray lineart.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Chloe kisses Max near the end of issue 4, shortly before Max allows herself to be pulled from Chloe's reality because she doesn't belong there...or so she thinks.
  • The Cameo/Canon Welding: Brody, a supporting character from Life Is Strange 2, makes a cameo in the fourth arc of the comics.
    • Steph Gingrich makes an appearance in the final arc of the comic, referencing events from Before the Storm.
  • Caretaker Reversal: In the game (depending on the playthrough), Max is usually the one who tries to calm Chloe down whenever her emotions or impulsiveness leads to trouble. Here, with Max's literal grip on reality shifting around due to her displacement in the multiverse, Chloe is the one who snaps her out of it, usually telling her that she should not take responsibility over the world's problems just because she has powers.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Though the franchise is already known for its LGBTQ+ rep from the games, the comics really take it up a notch, with almost every main character either openly in a same-sex romantic relationship or at the very least strongly hinted to be interested in someone of the same gender (or, in Dex's case, strongly hinted to be trans).
  • Censor Steam: In her Out-of-Clothes Experience, the one time Max is shown from an angle that would reveal something, a cloud of mist obscures her features.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In later arcs of the comic, two versions of Chloe are regularly seen in each universe. The Chloe that Max left behind has dyed her a hair a shade of green, contrasting the blue hair dye of the Chloe from Rachel's timeline.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The alternate versions of Max's friends in the new universe just happen to know Rachel and come to LA in issue six.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: As mentioned above, the comic looks to be set after the "Sacrifice Arcadia Bay" ending. Additionally, Chloe mentions how Kate's life was almost destroyed, implying that Max was able to save her. However, the comics creators have made clear that it is only one possibility from that ending.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of Issue 4, Max is forced to abandon the Chloe she knows because she doesn't belong in her reality, but is able to join another Chloe in a reality where Rachel Amber never died and the two of them successfully left Arcadia to go to Los Angeles.
    • In the Settling Dust arc, Max is able to harness the power of the storm with the help of Tristan and Pixie to return to her original reality. Not only does she reunite with Chloe, but Tristan gets a chance to live when his fate was previously sealed in other timelines.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Subverted: as the existence of The Multiverse is set up from the beginning of the story, the comic isn't beholden to any other material. For instance, Life Is Strange 2 shows Arcadia Bay is still in ruins three years after the game, but when Chloe and Max visit it here, repairs are well underway.
    • Played Straight: Max comes back into her original timeline, and she and Chloe are back together by the time Life Is Strange 2 occurs, meaning that fans can still regard the comics as a part of a single timeline with the games if they're so inclined.
  • I Will Find You: The end of Issue 4. As the Max we've been following leaves for another timeline, Chloe promises to find the Max who actually belongs in her world. The fact that she still knows the band The High Seas confirms her Max is out there somewhere. It later turns out that her Max was the original all along, and Chloe does everything she can to find out how to bring her back.
  • Internal Reveal: Max reveals her past and powers to Chloe and Rachel in issue 9.
  • Ironic Echo: In the second issue, Chloe snapping at Max, telling her that not everything is about her, is reminiscent of Rachel saying the same thing to Chloe in Before the Storm.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Chloe decides to take Max back to Arcadia Bay when it becomes clear Max can't control her powers, since that's the only common connection they know of.
  • Karma Houdini: The Prescotts pinned the death of their son on the storm and hid any evidence of his involvement with Jefferson. The foundation to rebuild the town is set up in his name.
  • Killed Offscreen: Everyone who took refuge in the Two Whales Diner at the end of the first game is implicitly dead, evidently having been killed in an explosion. Joyce and Warren are confirmed to be dead. It is also implied that Dana, and most, if not all the students at Blackwell were also killed.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: An odd variant: Alex Chen appears on the cover of the Free Comic Book Day 2021 issue to promote the upcoming True Colors game, but doesn't actually appear anywhere in the comic itself.
    • Alex has her own sections of the comic in later issues, featuring vignettes of people on her bus ride to Haven Springs.
  • Mr. Exposition: An alternate reality version of Warren, this one having survived the storm with Max, explains the nature of her "flickers" between universes. She's been swapping with other versions of herself.
  • The Multiverse: The preamble describes the events of the comic as but one possibility of how events might have unfolded. This factors into the plot when Max starts unintentionally jumping between realities.
  • Mythology Gag: Max, Chloe, and Rachel live together in Santa Monica in the "Los Angeles" universe. This is very likely a reference to the somber song Chloe listens to in the original game, "Santa Monica Dream", mourning the fact that her dream to move there with Rachel just couldn't be.
  • No Antagonist: There's no Big Bad to speak of in the entire series. The closest equivalent is the storm, just as powerful as the one that destroyed Arcadia Bay, that appears in the final arc; Max and Tristan have to drain it away with their powers in order to open a portal between realities.
  • Oh, Crap!: In issue 7, Tristan finds an open backpack with a tray of sushi in it. But then he finds that there's also baggies of drugs and a gun...
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In issue 6, Max snaps at Chloe and Rachel because she can't explain to them why she thinks the strange boy (Tristan) being Invisible to Normals is more than him just being Beneath Notice to everyone, which both are surprised by because she had never shown such emotion before that.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: Max experiences this in her vision at the beginning of issue 4, as she sees all the different realities she's connected to, and again at the end.
  • Perception Filter: Tristan has the power to make everyone around him incapable of noticing him, which he uses to steal what he needs with impunity. Max is able to see through it, and it takes him some effort to block her.
  • Playing Card Motifs: The cover of Issue #9 shows Chloe as the Queen of Spades, Max as Queen of Diamonds and Rachel as the Queen of Hearts.
  • Plot Hole: The finale opens up a few thanks to its Canon Welding with Life Is Strange 2:
    • Chloe has been living in and helping to rebuild Arcadia Bay while Max has been universe-hopping, and they continue to live there together for at least another year. Life Is Strange 2 establishes that they're living in New York (the comic tries to retcon this as visiting New York, but it still doesn't quite gel), and Arcadia Bay is still a ruin after the events of the comics supposedly take place. Doubles as a Continuity Snarl.
    • Max reacts with surprise to learn that Alyssa survived the storm and is now working at the reconstructed Two Whales diner. But Max and Chloe spent a whole year living together in Seattle trying to process what happened before Max started universe-hopping. Under those circumstances, it seems particularly odd that Max never looked into or even learned in passing which of her friends made it out alive.
  • Power Trio: Rachel, Max and Chloe when Max gets to the reality where Rachel never died.
  • Power Incontinence: Max starts jumping between alternate realities, such as one where Chloe's mother and father both survived and one where Chloe died. When they return to Arcadia Bay, the shifts get more potent, causing Max to experience them for longer at greater harm to herself.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: In the second issue, Max passes out after staying in one of her jumps for an extended period to tell an alternate Joyce goodbye on Chloe's behalf (Chloe was shot by Nathan in that iteration of reality).
  • Psychic Nosebleed:
    • The comic opens with Max sitting on a cliff-side narrating about the butterfly effect. When the angle changes to show Max's face, she's suffering from a nosebleed.
    • In the present, Max suffers a nosebleed after her second unintentional reality jump, and it gets really bad after the third one in the club.
    • In Issue 5, Tristan has one of these after he hides from Max upon realizing she can see him.
  • Retcon: In Issue 4, it was heavily implied that Victoria was one of the casualties of the storm. Issue 13 reveals that said character is alive and well in the "Save Chloe" timeline.note 
    • In 4.3, Alyssa also survived and works at the rebuilt Two Whales.
  • Sequel Hook: Each arc ends with "This action will have consequences."
  • Shout-Out: In Issue 10, Chloe wears a shirt that bears the Remember Me logo.
  • Time Skip: The story begins in 2014, one year after the destruction of Arcadia Bay. Issue 5 picks up two years after Max enters the Waves timeline and shows that she's been living with Chloe and Rachel ever since.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn just what caused Max to flicker and be forced to cross timelines in the first place. Max initially speculates that she somehow got transported to a universe where she doesn't belong and that the flickers are the original Max trying to return, but later issues indicate that isn't the case, as Max was missing from the Dust timeline for two years with no sign of any other version replacing her. Tristan later theorizes that the activation of his powers caused her to be pulled from her native timeline into his, as the discovery of his powers coincided with the day that Max was pulled into the Waves timeline, but we never get a definite answer.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Transect is described as this, being a realm in between all the various timelines Max can perceive.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Issue 4 ends with Max entering a new timeline, which has her encounter Chloe and Rachel Amber on the beach.
    • Issue 7 ends on Max using her rewind power for the first time in three years after seeing Tristan getting shot by a couple of drug dealers.
  • Willfully Weak: At the end of issue 4, after having dealt with her Power Incontinence, Max ponders if she still possesses her original powers, only to decide against testing them because she no longer needs them. At the end of issue 7, she reflexively uses them to rescue Tristan from some drug dealers. After that, she's hesitant to use them because she knows what the consequences of doing so are.