REVIEW: ‘Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal,’ Issue #10

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Beneath The Dark Crystal

Just a few days ago, we received an otherworldly trailer for the upcoming show The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance on Netflix, and now we have the release of Beneath The Dark Crystal #10. What a time to be alive! Thank the Crystal!

Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal #10 is published by Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, written by Adam Smith, illustrated by Alexandria Huntington, and lettered by Jim Campbell.

In the previous issues, both Kensho and Thurma spent much of their time questioning their purpose and contemplating how to evolve into the leaders their peoples need. This burden of becoming the savior for their land has weighed heavily upon them.

Kensho has been a prisoner of his own insecurities for too long. Not only did the Crystal choose him, but he was thrust into the spotlight, thrown into a leadership role without having wanted it in the first place. His scar serves as a physical reminder of what happened to him, a wound, a weakness, a reminder that he feels broken. For too long he has wallowed in his own self-doubt, and in issue ten we see him rise above it for the first time in the series. He is finally realizing his purpose thanks to a timely pep talk from Thurma in issue nine. Thra needs him, and the time is now.

It’s these moments of inner conflict for Kensho when he feels so relatable. The task at hand is daunting for him. You can feel his self-doubt through his choice of words, and his trepidation to act. He palpably desires to fade into the background. Within issue ten however, and through the writing of Smith, his words choices have changed, there’s a level of acceptance now. The illustrations from Huntington blend perfectly as we see Kensho’s features match exactly the message in his voice.

Thurma, on the other hand, has always been passionately driven in the prosperity and safety of Mithra. Her recent arc, however, presents her a question of conscience. The emergence of Nita and her lineage and the fire that stays has thrown everything into doubt. Where Kensho has been physically and mentally tortured, Thurma has been challenged by those around her, to become more. As we read, “We can always become more” (see issue nine for this beautifully delivered rhetoric.) Where Thurma once acted and made choices out of entitlement, now she makes choices for the good of her people and for the survival of the land.

In the fire that stays though, there lies a formidable opponent. He has been planning for this moment for centuries, committed to the devastation he seeks to enact upon the Firelings.

One of the most enticing parts of this issue is Huntington’s masterful illustration. It moves swiftly between Thra, and Mithra with the change of colors from the deep burning family of fire reds of the Firelings, to the deep cool blues of the Gelfling and the Podlings. The final page highlights the symbiosis of the land, while also reinforcing the contrasting nature between the two.

Each land also has a point of contrast that catches your eye, making it stand out above all else. In Thra that contrasting color is in the drowned spear, something that so obviously seems foreign to the land, dangerous to the inhabitants with that cool blue razors edge. In Mithra the literal darkness of the Skeksis metal, left behind after their fall, is depicted as physical manifestation of what is affecting the land and the people. The thick, dark, burning smog that pours out of every orifice of its victims.

Jim Campbell takes his chance to shine here as the lettering for those who have been infected by the metal captures the dark essence of greed pouring out of them.

There are so many facets to love about this comic, this series, and it’s evident that the creative team are in sync in trying to provide the truest representation of the lives of those that inhabit the lands we immersed ourselves with all those years ago. Only two more issues remain, and it feels like we’re building to something truly impactful.

Jim Henson’s: Beneath The Dark Crystal #10 is available now everywhere comic books are sold.

Beneath The Dark Crystal #10
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TL;DR

There are so many facets to love about this comic, this series, and it’s evident that the creative team are in sync in trying to provide the truest representation of the lives of those that inhabit the lands we immersed ourselves with all those years ago.