Review – Jim Henson’s Beneath The Dark Crystal #2 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios (Archaia Imprint)
Writer: Adam Smith
Artwork: Alexandria Huntington
Lettering: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 15th August 2018

Picking up from the events of the first issue, Nita presses her claim as rightful heir to the throne of Mithra throwing Thurma’s crowning ceremony into chaos, while Kensho and Toolah begin their journey to restore balance to Thra and bring much-needed help to the people.

Based on what’s happening here, I think we’re going to see a lot of changes in the characters we’ve met in previous Dark Crystal story arcs, and I’m not convinced it’s for the better.

Kensho seems much more naïve than I would have expected given what he’s been through and I think this is going to lead him into a lot of trouble. He has always been an idealist but there’s no thought going into what he wants to do here, he just seems to think that turning up and throwing money at poor people will fix all their problems. Thurma also seems to be a weaker character and seems to lack the confidence she has formerly displayed. The attack on her sovereignty has her appearing more rash and petulant than she really should in this situation, and like Kensho her decisions are made with little thought and are guaranteed to have repercussions that will affect the world she has fought so hard to save.

I’m not sure what the grand plan is in Adam Smith’s story arc but we already have established characters in Kensho and Thurma that have gone through great hardship and trials and come out the other side stronger, wiser and as the saviours of Thra and Mithra. These are not those characters. It’s almost like starting the sequel to a game where all your character’s skills and attributes have been reset to zero.

In the first issue the artwork was what really made it shine.  And whilst Alexandra Huntingdon’s artwork is undeniably beautiful, and the Art Deco approach really suits this story, it seems like a lot less care has been taken over the layout and style in this issue. The layout has reverted in the main to simple rectangular panels where the first issue had flowing frames that made each page feel like a standalone piece of art.

I thought the first issue showed a lot of promise but having read the second issue I think there’s going to be too many cases of me shouting “why are you doing that?” at the pages for my liking. Fundamentally I think this is a problem that is repeated too often with these licensed releases. The creative teams change over every time a new story arc is released and the material previously released gets lost in translation.

The writing isn’t bad in itself; Adam Smith is a good writer and I think this has the potential to be a really good epic tale, but in my opinion he either needed to introduce a new set of protagonists or he needed to pay more attention to the characters’ development in their previous adventures.

Rating: 2/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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