A prequel to the new Dark Crystal Netflix series comes to you in graphic novel form: Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: The Quest for the Dual Glaive by Nicole Andelfinger starts us off right before the Netflix series begins.

The story opens up with an attack on a village by a group of Arathim. Arathims are spider-like creatures, but in this incarnation, they are called the Ascendancy. The Ascendancy is a combination of many different Arathim together, which makes them more powerful and can spew out venom. The scene shifts to one of the main warriors in the next village, Ordon. Ordon is offered a position as a Captain of the Skeksis’ army. He is mulling it over when an injured gelfling approaches him. He asks to speak to the Maudra Vala, and warn her of the incoming attack. In the prequel series, the Maudra serves as the matriarchal rulers of the various gelfling clans. It is suggested that the Ascendancy is too powerful for normal weapons and that the ultimate weapon known as the Dual Glaive must be retrieved.

Ordon volunteers to go on the quest, but there is another who wants to join in on the quest. Her name is Fara and she is Maudra Vala’s daughter. Ordon quickly dismisses her help and her mother tells her it is too dangerous. Ordon says a good-bye to his wife and heads off on his search for the Dual Glaive. He encounters one of the Ascendancies and is poisoned by the creature. What he doesn’t know is Fara has secretly tagged along and comes to his aid. She can distract the creature long enough for Ordon to kill it. Fara continues to argue that she would be useful to the quest and seeks to join Ordon. Ordon again dismisses her help and continues on his way.

As a fan of the original Dark Crystal, the one thing I like that the prequel series has brought is an expanded role for females in the stories. Not only do female gelflings have head leadership roles in their society, but some display warrior spirit and go on quests. Fara comes across as an extremely likely heroine who wants to be of service to her clan. Ordon has a hard time seeing her as anything but a youngster who would just get in the way. The story gives her a chance to prove herself and for Ordon to see how wrong he is in easily dismissing her. Fans of the mystics and landstriders will be happy to know they make an appearance in this story.

Any Jim Henson project never fails to amaze with artwork and creativity. The homes of the gelflings reminded me a lot of the hovels in Lord of the Rings. The houses are tiny, made out of stone with hand-carved furniture–homey, but sparse in decoration. Earth tones adorn not only the home but the costuming of the gelfling. When we visit with a Mystic later on in the story, luminescent blues are featured to exemplify magic and soothsaying.

I recommend Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: The Quest for the Dual Glaive not only for the gorgeous artwork but for giving us memorable stories and characters. Freya is a welcome addition to the universe and for parents seeking strong heroines, this is the perfect choice for them. Most of the violence is in the battle sequences between the Ascendency and Ordon. Nothing too graphic that a tween couldn’t handle.

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: The Quest for the Dual Glaive
By Nicole Andelfinger
Art by Matias Basla
ISBN: 9781684155620
Archaia, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: T for Teens

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NFNT Age Recommendation: Tween (10-13), Teen (13-16), Older Teen (16-18)
Related to…: TV to Comic

  • Tanya

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    Tanya work as a librarian at a maximum security prison in Northern California. She runs a weekly book club which changes themes and genres on a quarterly basis. Her favorite book club moment was watching her book club members perform a play in front of an audience and getting a warm ovation. Tanya is a long-time lover of Manga and animes. Her favorites include anything by Clamp, Fullmetal Alchemist, Wolf Children, Pandora Hearts and Dawn of the Arcana. In her spare time enjoys trying out new recipes from Pinterest.

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