REVIEW: ‘Jim Henson’s Beneath the Dark Crystal,’ Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal #6

Jim Henson’s Beneath the Dark Crystal #6 is published by Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios. It is written by Adam Smith, illustrated by Alexandria Huntington, colored by Laura Langston, and lettered by Jim Campbell.

With Kensho in chains, being held hostage and tortured for his light by The Trunk and Thurma continuing her struggles to become capable of building the glass castle,  the struggles of our duel protagonists feel as if they are approaching a tipping point as we cross the halfway point of another adventure through the land of Thra.

While Dihnmor distracts The Trunks guards with his talents as a song teller influencing the people and stirring them to finally take action against the oppressive regime, Toolah with the twins, attempt to break into the prison to rescue Kensho from his torture. While Kensho struggles, his mind slips between this world and another and has visitors that may yet illuminate his path.

Meanwhile, The Fire That Stays continues to forge Thurma and Nita as they are challenged relentlessly to push themselves to become stronger in their pursuit of the ability to forge the glass castle. Though Thurma finds comfort with an old friend, even as doubts begin to grow within her.

New elements and aspects of our heroes journey are on full display in this issue as we are reminded that the world of Thra will always be full of new surprises. These elements flow together fluidly as the story weaves back and forth between its twin stories even as the two mirror each other in a harmonious way that manages to remove any sense of jarring or disjointedness the reader might expect to experience bouncing back and forth.

The only thing flowing more smoothly than the narrative itself is the dialogue. Smith keeps all the characters talking in a way that always feels real and sincere as each voice feels unique to the character it belongs to. Campbell’s lettering helps put a little extra force behind some particular characters making their dialog, in particular, to stand out with the weight of their words to the reader as well as those characters around them.

The art continues to impress me from all of Boom’s Dark Crystal books. The vibrant colors provided by Langston continue to allow elements to pop and help draw the eye from image to image. Perhaps though my favorite aspect of the art here is in how creatively elements in the images are used to create borders between frames during some sequences allowing these parts of the book to have a more seamless feeling than the classic boxed border layout and also serve to impart the feeling of a passage of time, much akin to a movie montage.

The only struggle this issue has is that it is, while well crafted, a mid-point that promises much but might leave some readers antsy for more immediacy. While these pages are certainly important they may contain a little too much zen for readers eager to get into the action. This issue serves as an excellent connective tissue for the story as the reader is left with the feeling that things will begin to speed up from here as revelations seem to be close at hand and the journey will enter its final stage in the issues to come.

Jim Henson’s Beneath the Dark Crystal #6 is available in comic stores and digital retailers now.

Beneath the Dark Crystal #6
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TL;DR

This issue serves as an excellent connective tissue for the story as the reader is left with the feeling that things will begin to speed up from here as revelations seem to be close at hand and the journey will enter its final stage in the issues to come.