Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 Review: Pretty but a Bit Dull

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Kensho is seeking alone time with the Dark Crystal when he is recognized and lauded by children. They are driven off by the arrival of Bohrtog, who has a woman named Toolah in tow. Aughra arrives soon after. This trio of Kensho, Toolah, and Aughra go to the council of the Gelfling, whom are trying to determine a new leadership.

Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 cover by Benjamin Dewey
Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 cover by Benjamin Dewey

Meanwhile, Therma seeks a way to reconnect with the other world, though Fiola keeps interrupting. Their people are also dealing with a leadership crisis, though Therma has an easy solution.

Dark Crystal is another one of my franchise blind spots. I've never known much about this property, and this is my first introduction into the comics.

Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 is a slow introduction into the world. It doesn't establish how everything works, but it makes the conflict clear. There was a recent cataclysm, important figures in both worlds are trying to discern what to do now, and both peoples need a leader.

That's not a bad setup, and there is a tension in their attempts to stave off desolation. The characters are decently established too. You can glean a lot about Kensho, Toolah, Aughra, and Therma from what we're given.

The comic's main problem is being a bit slow and unexciting. There is tension, but it's in the background and not urgent enough to really grab the reader.

Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 art by Alexandria Huntington
Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 art by Alexandria Huntington

Alexandria Huntington plays with the visuals of the film and its off-shoots well (or at least what I've seen of it, Google Image Search helps). There is a playfulness and fluidity to the style which capitalizes on the surrealism of the world. The colors are soft and unoppressive too. The comic looks quite good on the whole.

Beneath the Dark Crystal #1 is a slow burn of a comic. It establishes its character and conflict fairly well, but there isn't a lot of humor, action, or genuine emotional interaction to the keep the book interesting. If you're a fan of Dark Crystal, this will probably work for you. Otherwise, this doesn't seem like the best way to get into the franchise.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.