Story by: Jeffrey Addiss & Will Matthews
Written by: Adam Cesare
Illustrated by: French Carlomango
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
I was beyond ecstatic when it was announced there was a prequel to The Dark Crystal arriving on Netflix. Henson and his creations have held a special place in my heart since my youth. One thing that I always felt was the Dark Crystal was incomplete. I don’t know if you have ever felt that way about a story. Rather than take us forward with familiar characters the Netflix series presented new and refreshing characters to the mythos of Thea. One of characters presented was an immediate favorite for me and I am excited to see him getting some time in this comic book that adds to the adventures laid out in the Netflix series.
Hup is a podding. Those who didn’t watch the movie or series may not be familiar with the races of Thea. A poddling is considered more of the working class. They are found in service to the Gelflings. And since Gelflings are in servitude to the Skeksis, you see how life would be for Hup. But, now Hup finds himself a squire to Barfinnious who is a paladin.
After traveling for some time paladin and squire find themselves upon a town, happy to great the two heroes. The elder greets them both and calls for a celebration in their honor. Barfinnious, also quite the bard, takes the opportunity to celebrate his favorite topic himself.
I found myself captivated by how every detail was captured on each page. It amazes me how the essence of the movies was perfectly brought to print. I get the feeling I’m peering at some unused sketchboards, the final renderings that just didn’t make the film.
As for the story, anyone familiar with The Dark Crystal will tell you it’s heavy on theme and so is this issue. Asking questions of honor and valor a tale is being written. It presents the challenge of what it means to be a hero? When is it time to be a hero? Of loss? One that if the title suggests may be put to tune and thus become a ballad.