REVIEW: ‘Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Beneath the Dark Crystal #9

Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal #9 is published by BOOM! Studios‘ imprint Archaia, written by Adam Smith, illustrated by Alexandria Huntington, and lettered by Jim Campbell. When last we were in the lands of Thra and Mithra, in issue eight, our heroes had hit some of their lowest points yet for the series. Kensho’s band of misfits had finally discovered his true identity. Kensho is the lightborn, of the Crystal Castle, and the leader of the Gelflings. For all of his efforts in trying to rebuild his race, return the offerings back to his people, and restore the land, he had lied to those closest to him and that lie had struck them deeply.

Meanwhile in the depths of the Firelands lies the subterranean Kingdom of Mithra where Thurma and Nita had uncovered an awful truth of their own. The fire that stays had been manipulating the Ember Queens for his own personal gain and he seeks to extinguish all of the firelings and from the ashes rebuild a new era. Now, both of our heroes seek solace in the fire, as they search for answers and direction. Just as they are feeling completely alone, an unknown force brings them together.

A lot of time has passed since Kensho and Thurma have been together, but they are finally reunited in Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal #9. The two have not crossed paths since the climatic ending of The Power of the Dark Crystal. Neither of them understand where they are, nor do they care, as long as the can share the space with each other. Last we saw Kensho he was physically in the home of the Mystics in Thra and Thurma was on a quest to become Ember Queen and relight the fire for her people. Yet, here the two stand embracing each other as projections in some sort of astral plane.

The entire issue unifies to the two major plots of Beneath the Dark Crystal. It is also here where the story that Smith presents really has to stand tall, because there’s nowhere else to hide, which it does pretty successfully. The tone resonated for me personally, showing the two protagonists in vulnerable states with a person they trust and opening up. The issue is successful in highlighting our two leaders’ battles with self-doubt, insecurities, and the post-traumatic stress wrought by the Skeksis. Just as the two are at their lowest, they find the words and the strength for their significant other. This for me echoed the same themes from The Dark Crystal movie that captured my imagination and heart as a child.

The artwork by Huntington in this issue really lifts up the story also. Each panel is surrounded by a fluid lighter board, every one different from the last. The illustrations really driving home the impact of the two sharing space in this ethereal plane. There is a real change in the story here as both Kensho and Thurma reach a state of clarity. The issue ends, and I didn’t want it to stop.

Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal #9 is available in shops now.

Jim Henson's: Beneath The Dark Crystal Issue #9
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TL;DR

The issue #9 unifies two major plots of Beneath the Dark Crystal. It is also here where the story that Smith presents really has to stand tall, because there’s nowhere else to hide, which it does pretty successfully. The issue ends, and I didn’t want it to stop.