Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal just turned 35 last year, and Boom! Studios has been extending the celebration into 2018 with some brilliant comic book adaptations set in the mystical lands of the planet Thra.
Starting this month, Boom! is spreading out a summer banquet of illuminating fantasy storytelling set in the same universe dreamed up by Henson, existing in the aftermath of last year's Simon Spurrier-written The Power of The Dark Crystal.
Venturing beyond the traditional traversed lands of The Dark Crystal, a new 12-issue series titled Jim Henson's Beneath The Dark Crystal emerges on Wednesday, July 4, penned by Adam Smith (Jim Henson's Labyrinth 2017 Special) and paired with evocative art by newcomer Alexandria Huntington (Avengers Origins). This transporting tale treks far into the mysterious subterranean kingdom of Mithra with the endearing characters of Thurma and Kensho embarking on a momentous new adventure.
Back in April, SYFY WIRE premiered one of the fiery variant covers by Ramon Perez for the debut issue from Boom!'s Archaia imprint, and now we're proud to present an exclusive 8-page peek at their spellbinding fantasy series.
In this fresh continuation of the mythological saga, Kensho arrives at the Crystal Castle and is urged to embrace the heavy responsibility as the leader of Thra. Sins of the past prevent him from immediately taking on the role. Below, in the kingdom of Mithra, the newly crowned Ember Queen Thurma forges a fresh beginning for her land's future prosperity, but another Fireling arrives to make a legitimate claim as the throne's true heir.
Jim Henson's Beneath The Dark Crystal #1 appears in comic shops on July 4 with a main cover by Benjamin Dewey (Autumnlands), alongside a vivid variety of variant covers by Eisner Award-winning artists David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Ramón K. Pérez (Jane), and the acclaimed Dave McKean (Arkham Asylum, Sandman).
SYFY WIRE spoke with writer Adam Smith on his inspirations for the series, his close associations with The Dark Crystal source material, his favorite character in the kingdom, and where exactly readers can expect to explore in this magically expansive sequel.
Were you a Dark Crystal fan before joining the book? What attracted you to Henson's strange world?
Adam Smith: I was a HUGE fan of the movie and the universe as a whole. There's a sense of mythology that is so beautiful in this world. All the creators before us have managed to take that mythology and make it feel at once both completely human and almost ethereal. Words like "exciting, overwhelming, humbling" sort of fail to describe how it really feels to make something in The Dark Crystal universe.
Who were your favorite characters when you started working on the book? Has any of that changed as you've delved deeper into it?
Aughra, Aughra, Aughra. I adore that character SO much. More than just within the Dark Crystal world, they're up there in my pantheon of most loved characters, period. After starting the script, the character that surprised me most writing was The Narrator. Just typing, "Another World, Another Time" puts that voice in your head and changes your cadence as you write.
What can readers expect in the rest of the mystical new series?
So much world-building. Working with The Jim Henson Company has been amazing in building the world of Mithra beneath Thra. We are also exploring both these worlds after the Great Quests have been finished. Thra has been saved, the Crystal has been restored, what does that mean for the people that live there? That's an idea in fantasy that I love, how these great ordeals continue to impact both the heroes and those in the peripheral. In exploring those people on the outskirts, we get to see the outskirts of these worlds as well. I hope readers join us as we continue to explore more of Thra and the Gelfling and Firelings within.