Stranger Things 4 Premiere Episode Title References Classic X-Men Villains

The writers room at Stranger Things is already hard at work on the fourth season of the popular series, and now we have our first look at the series premiere. The show is once again teasing its episode titles, which are usually a mix of '80s references as well as nerdy deep cuts that sci-fi and fantasy fans will likely recognize. The premiere of Stranger Things 4 seems to be pointing toward a secret society of some sort, but fans of Marvel's X-Men franchise might believe it's pointing toward a group of nefarious villains made famous by their impact in "The Dark Phoenix Saga."

The first episode of Stranger Things 4 appears to be titled "The Hellfire Club," though it's possible that could change in the coming months as production continues.

"Chapter One: The Hellfire Club" is written by series creators Ross and Matt Duffer, who have frequently gone on the record about their nerdy influences. In the very first episode of the series, Dustin and Will race on their bikes under the agreement that Will would get a copy of Uncanny X-Men 134 if he wins, and this comic is significant because it is the beginning of "The Dark Phoenix Saga."

In the comic storyline, The Hellfire Club — led by Sebastian Shaw — attempts to manipulate Jean Grey in order to take control of the Phoenix Force that resides inside of her.

It's unclear if the series will be referencing the comic villains specifically or if it will instead put a spotlight on the elite secret society that existed in the real world.

Netflix is eager to get Stranger Things 4 on the streaming service, and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos expressed his excitement to see the series continue.

"The Duffer Brothers have captivated viewers around the world with Stranger Things and we're thrilled to expand our relationship with them to bring their vivid imaginations to other film and series projects our members will love," said Sarandos. "We can't wait to see what The Duffer Brothers have in store when they step outside the world of The Upside Down."


The Duffer Brothers added in a statement, "We are absolutely thrilled to continue our relationship with Netflix. Ted Sarandos, Cindy Holland, Brian Wright, and Matt Thunell took a huge chance on us and our show -- and forever changed our lives. From our first pitch meeting to the release of Stranger Things 3, the entire team at Netflix has been nothing short of sensational, providing us with the kind of support, guidance, and creative freedom we always dreamed about. We can't wait to tell many more stories together -- beginning, of course, with a return trip to Hawkins!"

There's no word yet on when Stranger Things 4 will be released on the streaming service.