For a hundred years, a stone has restored a world from darkness and into the light. A land of misery has been transformed to a place of healing and worship. The struggle to survive against wicked creatures looking to steal your soul evaporated once two heroes placed a broken shard back into the crystal, making it whole again. Life became a “happily ever after” wonder, and never would such heartache return to this world. Or would it?
Writer Simon Spurrier and artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews continue the adventure of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. Archaia, a division of BOOM! Studios, introduces the first in a twelve-part series that explains what has taken place since the dark days of the original screenplay. Spurrier begins this journey, The Power of the Dark Crystal, by exploring the murky history behind this new series, defining the hope built up from what has been left behind – “a place where the Skeksis ruled.” The Skeksis were grimy, oddly-shaped bodies and vulture-like beaks, with gangly fingers with sharp edges used to pierce their food. For a story you might assume would describe some kind of redemption, the reader soon realizes that a new way of doing things very well may endure the same kind of punishment.
Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews illustrate The Power of the Dark Crystal with an amazing blend of light and dark colors throughout all of the pages. Within each panel, the darker shades contrast against the bright colors in such a way that flames of white, yellow, orange, and red seem that much more vibrant. The fierce glow this technique generates is astounding as you take in all of the characters, new and old, as well as the colorful backgrounds, creatures, and the “Castle of the Crystal,” where post-dark world offerings pay tribute to worship the giant stone, in the hopes of having prayers answered or wishes fulfilled.
During the course of this first issue, Spurrier creates a fresh look at the land of Thra, showing how people have survived since the Dark Crystal became whole again, while including both a sense of mercilessness and hope originally found in the movie. There are so many additional characters that the reader soon wonders what’s happened with the main characters from the film, Jen and Kira? Are they a part of this new series? If so, what role have they played in the new life of those traveling great distances to pay worship to the Crystal? The focus of this story follows Thurma, a Fireling who has come to save her world by obtaining “only a sliver of the great light.” Would this light be from the Crystal? Would those worshiping it allow any of it to be taken? The first chapter of this sequel sets the stage for what appears to be a creative twist to a classic tale.
Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal #1 will be available on Wednesday, February 22, in print and digital form.