Return to the magical world created by the brilliant mind of Jim Henson with The Power of the Dark Crystal, which is both the graphic novelization and sequel to the 1982 film, The Dark Crystal. The sequel takes place a hundred years after the original movie. Our heroes, Jen and Kira, have become leaders but have faded into the background. Their complacency has caused some members of their group to become corrupt. The crystal’s light is dying and the other inhabitants are becoming afflicted with something called the blight. Meanwhile, a Fireling, named Thurma discovers her world is also dying and she needs to steal a piece of the crystal in order to restore it.
At the conclusion of the first volume, Thurma fails to get Jen and Kira to give her a piece of the crystal. She makes friends with another Gefling named Kensho. With his help she is able to steal a piece of the crystal and flees to save her world. In volume 2, Kensho follows Thurma with Jen and his army not far behind. Jen manages to catch up with Kensho and tries to reason with him. Kensho questions if Jen has become complacent in his leadership role leading to corruption and the spreading of the blight illness. Jen comes to realize there must be a solution that will save his world and Thurma’s.
Meanwhile, the imprisoned Skeksis, the vulture-like villains of the series, sway a Gefling official into helping them by promising him power. The official stares into the Dark Crystal, and becomes corrupted by it. He is persuaded into releasing the Skeksis from their confinement. With Jen and his army away, it is up to Kira to defend the castle from being taken over.
The one thing that stood out about the Dark Crystal world is all the different creatures that spring out of the artist’s mind. Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal features old favorites like Fizzgig, Kira’s round furry pet. Also, the Garthim, which are large beetle creatures that the Skeksis controlled. A new addition is the tumbeloth, which looks similar to a turtle, but has tentacles that spring forth from its shell. It is a bit mischievous and likes to snatch shiny objects such as when it takes the shard from the crystal and hides it in its shell. The colors of the background are vibrant and alive. The artist doesn’t stick to one palate, but uses a wide array of colors. In one section you can have grey, brown, and reds. In another section, it can be in a purple, pink, and blue. I found the change in colors to be very striking.
Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal is appropriate for a teen audience, but adults with nostalgia for the series will enjoy it as well. The colors and vibrant details are pleasing to the eye, while the integration of the old characters and new are seamless. The setup established in volume 1 took a long time, and bogged down the story; however volume 2 raises the stakes. It leaves us with a clear arc for the rest of the series, and one that I’m interested in seeing how it will play out.
Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal, vol. 2
by Simon Spurrier and Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by Kelly and Nichole Matthews
Publisher Age Rating: Teen