BOOM! Studios revealed a Christian Ward variant cover for the debut issue of its The Dark Crystal prequel series, published through its Archaia imprint, and which shares a name with the Netflix show debuting Friday. The comic will explore Thra in the years before Netflix’s Age of Resistance picks up, expanding on the Gelfling culture that’s explored on the show.

Ward’s variant cover depicts a Skeksis with the form of the Crystal of Truth, after the Darkening, glowing from inside its chest. Wires seem to protrude from the Skeksis’ back and power radiates from the Crystal. The illustration is a colorful exploration of the dependency of the Skeksis on the Crystal, from which they draw their power and immortality. In the original film, the Skeksis have slaughtered all of the Gelfling to circumvent a prophecy that claims a Gelfling will end Skeksis rule on Thra by healing the Crystal to return it to its former state.

The Dark Crystal prequel series — both comics and TV — explore the culture of these ill-fated creatures before the genocide. But that doesn’t mean this story is without hope; according to the show’s writers, audiences shouldn’t make assumptions going into the Age of Resistance.

Check out the Christian Ward variant cover for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance #1 below. You can also check out a longer preview of the issue; it hits shelves September 25, 2019.

Meet Maudra Vala of the Stonewood Clan, mother of young rebel Maudra Fara, and a Gelfling leader trying to save her people from complete destruction. The terrifying Arathim, giant spiders and the Gelfling’s sworn enemies, have swarmed the land, wreaking destruction and chaos everywhere between Gelfling clans and Arathim as they battle for dominance over the forests and caves of Thra. Maudra Vala sends her greatest warrior, Ordon, to the Tomb of Relics to retrieve a mythical weapon that could be the key to winning the war. But the path to the legendary relic is riddled with secret traps and hidden dangers. Will even Ordon, greatest of Gelfling warriors, be able to make his way alone to the Stonewood Clan’s last hope for survival?

The Dark Crystal prequel series

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