As far as American manga is concerned, Legends of the Dark Crystal (I speak for both book 1 and 2 of this mini-series) is the best example of it to date. The art and the story was brilliant and i enjoyed it immensely. Its a far cry from the other series Tokyopop released for another Jim Henson creation, Labyrinth, which disappointed me greatly for its poor art and lackluster story. This one though, is polished, professional and is exactly what i envisioned a story from The Dark Crystal to be. A lot of care was put into this book and i would recommend it to any fan of The Dark Crystal movie.
Long story short, this is book #2 of the two part legends storyline that is based on the late Jim Henson's fantasy movie classic, "The Dark Crystal".
At first I thought "Trial by Fire" would never be made. The gap between first book and this one was roughly 3 years! When I finally got it and finished the book I was kind of a little peeved and glad. I heard in a interview that they had enough ideas for this book series to reach 12 volumes, but it seems they had to rush and finish up Lahr and Neffi's storyline in one book. (Which I am happy for, there is nothing worse than an unfinished story).I blame Tokyo Pop and the Henson Co. for not marketing these books enough to get them across to mainstream comic book readers. (more sales means more volumes, yes?)
All in all, this is a fun miniseries that no Dark Crystal fan should miss out on.
Before reading this 2007 TokyoPop two book offering I highly recommend the 3–volume “Creation Myths” released last year by Archaia. “Legends” does take place before the events depicted in the 1982 movie but Creation Myths takes you back to the very beginning, and I mean VERY beginning.
But that’s only a suggestion. These books were released by two different companies and one narrative does not hinge upon the other. Conversely, they don’t really interfere with each other either which can easily happen. The prequel Legends concerns one particular skirmish whereas Creation Myths is an epic origin story.
These Legends are graphic novels, and though I’ve read more than my share of these, they are “Manga” which I’m not so familiar with. If there is one downside, they are small 5.0” x 7.5” books. Combine this with completely black & white illustrations and the images are not as distinct as they could have been.
Ultimately, they provided a couple pleasant afternoons of light reading, added to the world of Thra, and didn’t negate the value of each through contradictions. The back cover of Trial by Fire! reads; ------ “At long last, the adventure that began in The Garthim Wars comes to its thrilling conclusion in a deadly Trial by Fire!”
“Although initially unprepared for the savagery unleashed upon them by the wicked Skeksis, the village of gentle Gelflings somehow managed to turn back the onslaught of terrifying Garthim. But the victory came with a price. Now Lehr and Neffi, the two who inspired these peaceful creatures to stand up against all odds, are about to go where no Gelfling has ever returned from – the dark and twisted halls of the Crystal Castle!” ------ PS – Archaia is releasing 3 more hardcover volumes entitled “Shadows of the Dark Crystal” starting this June. ISBN-13: 978-0448482897
Great book, wonderful series. I have been a fan of the dark crystal ever since I first watched it when I was only 4 years old. I'm in my 30's today. Thi books are beyond that of what my expectations we're! They help boost the movie, the artwork is splendid. The story plot is Perfect. A must have for any good fan of the movie. I can't wait for power of the dark crystal (new movie) to be.completed & hope it's as good as the tokyopop series & original movie.
I loved the first volume in this series. It was essentially a remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, with a hero teaching villagers to defend themselves. Volume 2 continues right from Volume 1. However, I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the first one.
The story loses a bit of its epic flavor. It's not a simple tale of survival, but rather Lahr goes to the Skeksis castle to rescue his Gelfling friends. A large portion of the story follows the Skeksis' internal politics. While it's sometimes neat to see more of the Skeksis and how they behave, it didn't feel like Dark Crystal anymore. Dark Crystal is a fantasy epic and Dark Crystal stories work best when they tell big, epic stories. Too often this comic seems bogged in the minutiae of Skeksis politics or it convoluted plots. Also, the outcome seems a bit inconsistent with the movie.
I still do like the characters of Lahr and Neffi. The Gelfling villagers make a good ensemble cast. There are definitely parts of this comic that are a fun read. Overall, I'd give it 3.5 stars.
I like this book better than the first one. I like more Skeksis action. And Chamberlain was more concentrated on. He's my fave Skeksis, and he even looked a lot like his movie creation look. The other Skeksis, hardly looked like their movie looks.
The Gelflings were all there for each other. Great friends. And it was cute how the two main characters were asking each other to be married at the end. I wonder, if they were Jen's parents. Jen looks like his dad then.
But the Gelflings better enjoy their time while they got it. But I felt sorry for them that they were such a peaceful race, and were all killed all because of a prophecy. Course I know some other species that have the same problems here on Earth from us humans.
This takes you back if you've never seen the film and really broadens the story for anyone. In the film, you become familiar with the Skeksis and how they wiped out the Gelfings (or so they thought), but you never really get a full grasp of what the Gelflings went through during those times. This one and number 1 of the graphic novels take care of that for you. My only real complaint is the lack of consistency between the body structure of the Gelflings in the film versus how they are depicted in these novels. If you were familiar with the film before the novel, you might find it odd that the Gelfings look so humanesque. Other than that, a very fun set.
I've this book today,and I love it! The Skeksis are great ( even if some of them are a bit different from their looks on the film)!.We can see Aughra and some Mystics here too. It's a pity they aren't to make 3 volumes at it was planned !
I purchased this book as a present for my girlfriend. We are both Dark Crystal fans. The artwork is amazing and the story is very interesting however, if you are looking for books that follows the movie you might want to look elsewhere.
This was a better read than I thought it was going to be. My biggest complaint was the lack of color. I didn't know this existed until recently. I only hope the movie when it finally comes out is close to as good as this is.