REVIEW: ‘Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Power of the Dark Crystal Volume 1 is from publisher Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, and creative team, writer Simon Spurrier, illustrators Kelly and Nichole Mathews, lettering by Jim Campbell and additional chapter break art from Sana Takeda. The book is an intriguing reintroduction to the world of Thra and its history while introducing new elements and setting up a new story beyond the age of wonder.

The story acts a sequel to the original movie as a hundred years have passed since the events of the classic 1982 film, The Dark Crystal, and we are quickly caught up with what has transpired in the interim years. Jen and Kira still watch over the sacred Crystal, though through the years they have grown old and slumber for long periods while others manage the day to day affairs of the world. Subsequently, a religion sprouting up around the Crystal and an oppressive system of offerings being required to gain access to the Crystal.

The book introduces a few new characters including Thurma who serves as our viewpoint into this new version of Thra and how it seems to be going very astray. Thurma is forced to make an extremely difficult choice to save her people. The story also introduces to the sympathetic gelfling Kensho, who is caught up in the events that surround him, and provides a positive, to the point of naive, outlook on the world he lives in, which serves as a counterpoint to Thurma’s view from the outside looking in.

Spurrier’s presentation of the book, especially in the writing of the introduction, perfectly captures the feel I wanted. Though the first several pages are spent filling the reader in on what has transpired in the hundred-year time lapse, it is done with such style and care that I could hear the narrator’s voice from the movie and it left me smiling.

The art style of the Mathews is vibrant and does an excellent job of making the important elements of each panel stand out. Thurma’s design, in particular, helps to highlight how out of place she is within the Crystal Castle. Also, this collection includes some absolutely gorgeous images between each book highlighting Jen, Kira, and Aughra respectively. These images show a love for the source material that takes the breath away.

The only spot where some might struggle is a few elements of the story that just have to be accepted as what they are. Namely the gelflings being back and a force in the world. Having been hunted to virtual extinction by the Skesis prior to the original movie, how they have returned isn’t really explained. However, given all the other fantasy elements present doesn’t feel like too big of a jump to ask readers to take.

This was an excellent read that I feel is a great fit for longtime fans of the source material. It also provides a solid jumping on point for new readers. The look and feel of the world, through its colorful art and unique character designs, make it stand out and dares you not be swayed by the Power of the Dark Crystal. 

The Power of the Dark Crystal Volume 1 will be available in comic stores and digital comic retailers everywhere January 2, 2019

Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal
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TL;DR

The Power of the Dark Crystal Volume 1 was an excellent read that I feel is a great fit for longtime fans of the source material. It also provides a solid jumping on point for new readers. The look and feel of the world, through its colorful art and unique character designs, make it stand out and dares you not be swayed by the Power of the Dark Crystal.