695532._SX1280_QL80_TTD_Beneath the Dark Crystal #1

Archaia

Written by Adam Smith

Art by Alexandria Huntington

Letters by Jim Campbell

The crystal shines its light across the land and its power has even reached beneath the surface. In the chamber of the crystal, Kensho stands among the tributes as two small children tell him the tales they heard about his death and resurrection from the crystal itself. As he spends time with the children, he contemplates that mistakes that he made and how he must find a way to fix them.

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As he begins to get asked questions he can’t answer, a familiar creature enters the chamber with a stranger who needs to speak to the hero. Their conversation is interrupted by the presence of Aughra who has her own reasons to speak to Kensho. Having Aughra return helps the narrative tie into the original story and her presence works as the classic trope of the wise wizard/witch who sends the hero on his/her journey. She obviously knows more than she’s willing to say and that is evident when the scene shifts to another young adventurer.

Thurma is remembering her adventures in the world above and documenting what she’s seen as she discusses with her sister the decision to stay behind and help her people rebuild their kingdom. At the same time, Aughra tries to help the scared Gelflings deal with their sense of loss at the disappearance of Jen and Kira. She makes a decision that the Gelflings need a new leader and her decision is a shock to Kensho. As Thurma presents herself for a ceremony that will crown her queen, she is interrupted by another who is staking her claim.

This first issue is visually beautiful. The art is great and there is a brilliant contrast visually between the upper and lower worlds. The dialogue and story are interesting, but there are comparatively low stakes presented in this first issue and no real conflict to be determined. The issue seemed to serve more as a visual work than the beginning of an interesting story. Hopefully, the conflicts that shape this series will be introduced in the next issue.

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