Heroes & Villains: ‘Dark Crystal’ Gets A Run and ‘Bloodshot’ Returns

This week in Heroes & Villains we have two new first issues that couldn’t be any more different from one another if they tried! All part of the wonderfulness of comics!

Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance #1
Nicole Andelfinger (W)
Matias Basla (A)

One of the earliest movies I remember seeing was The Dark Crystal. No doubt my mother saw the Henson name attached to it and deemed it acceptable for her then preschool-aged child to see (the same logic applied to  Labyrinth a few years later, I’m sure). I wasn’t freaked out by the movie, but it was definitely something that stuck with me for years and years after that first viewing. 

I was amazed to hear that The Dark Crystal was getting a prequel on Netflix (apparently, I had missed that Henson family memo) and was cautiously optimistic. The idea of a sequel, The Power of the Dark Crystal, had been floated out there several years ago. None other than Genndy Tartakovsky was attached to it, but that fizzled out.

What we ended up getting was well worth the wait, in my opinion. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was one of those Netflix shows I had to make sure to pace myself with. The allure of the fully-formed fantasy world it presented wasn’t meant to be binged, so I took my time in viewing it. Of course, when it was over I wanted more.

Thankfully, Archaia was able to get Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on stands right as I was finishing up with the Netflix show! I’ve said time and time again that I don’t normally go all-in on the fantasy genre as I tend to lean more towards the sci-fi side of thing. The Dark Crystal is a notable exception. This first issue is, as they say, more of a good thing. The original film does provide a set endpoint for things but the storytelling potential for what has come before is positively limitless. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another season of the show and more tie-in comics like this one.

Bloodshot #1
Tim Seeley (W)
Brett Booth (A)

One of the things I miss from the comics boom of the 1990s is chromium variant covers. Nobody, and I mean nobody, produced chromium covers like Valiant did back then. They were just so…shiny. I have very vivid memories of going to track down a copy of the very first Bloodshot #1 when it hit since it was the very first comic to have a chromium cover. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I knew it was going to be worth a boatload of money one day and that I’d be able to retire before I was thirty. The irresponsible speculation that came along with the 1990’s comics boom made for some pretty epic shared delusions. 

Out today from Valiant is a new Bloodshot miniseries and it’s pretty cool! There are few artists that can pull off the level of action this book requires and, lucky for us, Brett Booth is one of them. I feel a little guilty that I didn’t call special attention to his work in last week’s Flash Forward #1 (seriously, he’s one of my favorite Flash artists out there) but I can rectify that right now by lavishing him with praise for Bloodshot! As I mentioned above, the action in the book is top-notch and amazing to look at.

If, like me, you’re a relative newcomer to what Valiant is doing these days, don’t worry. Bloodshot #1 is a good jumping-on point. The exposition that catches the reader up is folded seamlessly into the story while establishing a new direction for the character over the next five issues. If you’re after a good, old-fashioned action book, Bloodshot is what you’re after.

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