Get Started In DARK CRYSTAL

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated Jun 2019

Although receiving a mixed review when released in 1982, Jim Henson's THE DARK CRYSTAL live-action fantasy film has met with increased reception as it has aged as one of Henson's best animatronic films. THE DARK CRYSTAL is the story of Jen, the last of his Gelfling race, sent unprepared on a prophesized mission to find a missing shard to repair the Dark Crystal. A rich and vivid fantasy world is revealed as Jen sets about his hero's mission. The unproduced screenplay for a sequel was turned into the 12-issue maxi-series from Boom Studios, THE POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017], and Netflix is developing a live-action prequel series for release in 2019, THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE. Marvel adapted the original movie in comics in 1983, and the world of the Dark Crystal has been explored sporadically in books and novels and other miscellaneous media over the decades with all of the material seemingly in canon.

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Current Series

This is a curated list of the most current series to help you get started with Dark Crystal comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

Boom! Studios has been exploring the time after the original film with two maxi-series, POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017] and BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018].

PublisherFrequencySeries 
BOOM! STUDIOSLimited (12)BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018](sequel maxi-series to POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017], which are both sequels to the film)
BOOM! STUDIOSLimited (12)DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE [2019](official prequel to the Netflix series)

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Dark Crystal. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Dark Crystal.

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL #9
Quick View
May 2019BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018] #9   (Part 9 of 12)UNAVAILABLE$3.39
BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL #10
Quick View
Jun 2019BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018] #10   (Part 10 of 12)UNAVAILABLE$3.39
BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL #11
Quick View
Jul 2019BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018] #11   (Part 11 of 12)UNAVAILABLE$3.39
BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL #12Quick ViewAug 2019BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018] #12   (Part 12 of 12 (maxi-series end))UNAVAILABLE$3.39
      
DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE #1
Quick View
Sep 2019DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 12 (maxi-series beginning))PRE-SALE$3.99
$3.79
DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE #2
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Oct 2019DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 12)UNAVAILABLE$3.39
DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE #3
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Nov 2019DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 12)PRE-ORDER$3.99
$3.39

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Dark Crystal comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Dark Crystal. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

Our suggested reading order is simply the chronological publication order, even though the material may jump around on a grand story timeline. Boom! Studios' sequel stories were first compiled exclusively in hardcover, but are beginning to appear in softcover.

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS VOL 01Quick ViewFeb 2015DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS [2015-SC] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS VOL 02Quick ViewApr 2016DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS [2015-SC] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS VOL 03Quick ViewOct 2016DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS [2015-SC] VOL 03
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 01Quick ViewJan 2019POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 02Quick ViewAug 2019POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017-TPB] VOL 02
  
UNAVAILABLE$14.44
      
POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 01Quick ViewNov 2017POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017-HC] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 02Quick ViewApr 2018POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017-HC] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 03Quick ViewAug 2018POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017-HC] VOL 03
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 01Quick ViewMar 2019BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018-HC] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL VOL 02Quick ViewJun 2019BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018-HC] VOL 02
  
UNAVAILABLE$21.24

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Dark Crystal, if it's within your budget. Marvel adapted the original film in issue #24 of MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] and later released the adaptation as a 2-issue mini-series. Released coincidentally with the traditionally stapled magazine format MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #24, there exists a softcover version of the magazine published by Marvel Books (does not say "A MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL" on cover). The exact timing of which came first is open for debate. With nearly identical covers, many would understandably consider them just variants of each other, but they are noticeably different formats.

  • MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #24  (1st appearance of Dark Crystal)

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. The 'origin' of a superhero is typically the event or circumstances surrounding how they gained their powers and/or began fighting crime. But, the Dark Crystal is an epic fantasy, not a superhero story. The original film was adapted in comics by Marvel in 1982 (see other sections of this guide for further details).

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Dark Crystal comic books. The Dark Crystal has had a sporadic publishing history in multiple formats, but everything is seemingly in the same canon/continuity. The most recent licensee, Boom Studios, has produced the most material set in the sequel timeframe.

  • MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #24   (official comic book adaptation)
  • DARK CRYSTAL [1982-SC]    (softcover edition of MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #24 from Marvel Books)
  • DARK CRYSTAL [1983] #1-2   (reprint of the adaptation as a 2-issue standard comic book mini-series
  • LEGENDS OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2007-DIG] #1-2   (original US manga series set hundreds of years before the film before the Gelfling extermination; third volume canceled with its story incorporated into VOL 02)
  • MOUSE GUARD: THE TALE OF THE WISE WEAVER/DARK CRYSTAL: PREVIEW [2011]    
  • DARK CRYSTAL: CREATION MYTHS [2015-SC] #1-3   (another comic book prequel)
  • POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017] #1-12   (adaptation of the unproduced screenplay sequel)
  • BENEATH THE DARK CRYSTAL [2018] #1-12   (continuation of the sequel storyline)
  • DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE [2019] #1-12   (official prequel to the Netflix series)

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Dark Crystal, any one of which can be a good place to get started. However, there are only a few comic book stories in the Dark Crystal franchise. See the Main Publication History section of this guide for all of the Dark Crystal stories. Also, stories that are still in print as compilations may appear in the Compilations section of this guide.

Media Source Material

Media source material cover for DARK CRYSTAL

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Dark Crystal, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. However, with the Dark Crystal, movies and other media are not created from comic book source material. The original film was adapted in comic books by Marvel in 1982, and an unproduced screenplay for a sequel movie was adapted in 2017 by Boom Studios as POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017]. All of the different media (film, books, comics) in the Dark Crystal franchise are seemingly part of one canon/continuity with very little--if any--overlap.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Dark Crystal, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

Key Issue cover 1 for DARK CRYSTALKey Issue cover 2 for DARK CRYSTALKey Issue cover 3 for DARK CRYSTALKey Issue cover 4 for DARK CRYSTAL
  • MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL [1978-MAG] #24   (1st appearance of Dark Crystal; movie adaptation)
  • DARK CRYSTAL [1983] #1   (movie adaptation, Part 1 of 2)
  • DARK CRYSTAL [1983] #2   (movie adaptation, Part 2 of 2)
  • POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL [2017] #1   (1st issue of this series)