Review: Power of the Dark Crystal #1

Melissa Dalton – DarkCrystal4.jpgIt’s been thirty-five years since creative genius Jim Henson introduced us to a mystical place called Thra, where a broken crystal held the fate of its world in the balance. For a thousand years, the crystal was cracked and darkened, and the terrible Skeksis ruled over the land. Under the Skeksis rule, Thra’s inhabitants withered and the land became barren—until finally a race called Gelfling was all but destroyed. But on the eve of the next Great Conjunction, the last two Gelfling souls came together on a harrowing adventure to heal the broken crystal and restore the land to its true splendor. Little did they know that it would also restore the Skeksis to their true form and merge them back into the urSkeks they originally had been.

A hundred years after the crystal was healed, Thra has indeed been restored to its natural beauty, and the land is teeming with new life and prosperity. The Gelflings who saved the world have become the keepers of the Great Crystal and have ruled over it ever since. Every day, pilgrims travel from far and wide to pay homage to this Great Crystal and, if they’re deemed worthy, feel its healing powers. All is well—that is, until a new creature called a Fireling appears and requests a shard of the Great Crystal to heal her own dying world.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Power of the Dark Crystal issue #1 yet, you’re missing out! Based on the sequel’s original screenplay by David Odell, PotDC has been converted into a twelve-part comic series that will transport fans back to the movie and fandom they knew and loved so many years ago. Simon Spurrier has taken the helm for writing each issue, and so far has done an amazing job of honoring the classic Jim Henson film while bringing some new characters into the world based on character designs by Brian Froud.

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In my opinion, Spurrier has done an excellent job of staying true to the original feel of the Dark Crystal, using classic quotes like, “But today, the ritual gives no comfort,” which Dark Crystal movie fans will quickly recognize, and by following the original style and feel of the narrative.

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Art team Kelly and Nicole Matthews have created some incredible imagery that bring Thra to life once more, from its breathtaking backdrop to tiny creatures scurrying through the undergrowth to the Podlings, Firelings, Gelflings, and some other familiar faces fans will immediately recognize. Even the background images, such as the walls of the Crystal Castle, are carefully detailed, revealing etchings of Thra’s history during the time of the Skesis’ rule.

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Overall, it’s clear that a lot of love has gone into creating this Dark Crystal sequel, and fans will not be disappointed with this first issue. The Henson Company has done an amazing job of reviving the fandom in the last few years through the amazing Dark Crystal fan site to the author quest and other contests, and I have no doubt that the next few issues of Power of the Dark Crystal will be epic. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, be sure to visit your local comic book shop and grab one today!

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