The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance #3 (Review)

Ordon and Fara’s quest for the Dual Glaive continues in issue #3 of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

When we last left our heroes, they had just been rescued from drowning in an underground lake by a Mystic who we learn in this issue is named urLii. We are also introduced to Maudra Argot of the Grottan. As it turns out, the cavern that Ordon and Fara fell into is part of the Caves of Grot and near to the legendary Tomb of Relics, resting place of the Dual Glaive. Fara is astonished to see a live Mystic and to learn that the Grottan clan had not all died out, as rumor had reported.

Nicole Andelfinger’s writing remains on-point as she deftly balances the drama, action, and humor. Indeed issue #3 was the funniest yet. UrLii in particular has several lines that made me chuckle. He reminds me a lot of Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back. Both Ordon and Fara get significant character development in this issue. Their shared narrative arc finally comes to a climax here with a very satisfying payoff. My admiration for Matias Basla’s illustrations and Miquel Meurto’s colors continues to grow.

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At first, I wasn’t impressed by this cover. But upon closer inspection I realized that the stylized cave-painting design contains a visual synopsis of the plot of the issue!

***Skip to the final paragraph to avoid SPOILERS for issue #3***

UrLii is revealed to be the Keeper of the Tomb, and although he restores Ordon with his healing arts, he refuses to tell the stern and argumentative Gelfling warrior where the Glaive may be found. UrLii claims that the weapon is merely an object of metal and wood, without intrinsic value. Frustrated, Ordon stomps off in a huff. Fara, sensing that a different approach is in order, offers urLii her most valued possession: a stone that symbolizes “the passion, imagination, and fierceness that any good maudra needs.” Impressed with Fara’s gift that has “value in spirit,” urLii agrees to take them to the Glaive. Fara passed the test, where Ordon did not. His misplaced emotions blinded him to what truly has value. Throughout the previous issues he has consistently failed to see the value of Fara’s contributions to the quest.

At the Tomb of Relics, urLii reveals that the Dual Glaive can only be reached by navigating a series of deadly hazards. Ordon still doesn’t seem to have learned his lesson and refuses to let Fara help him. The dangers of the Tomb reminded me very much of a dungeon from a videogame like The Legend of Zelda. The dangers Ordon must avoid include swinging blades, bottomless pits, and guardian automatons. Fara refuses to be left out and goes in after Ordon who ends up being caught by one of the various booby traps. I like that how this sequence highlights the differing and complementary personalities of the two characters. Instead of trying to muscle her way through all the challenges like Ordon did, Fara thinks her way through and discovers a hidden passage that allows her to simply bypass all the traps! She rescues Ordon, who finally acknowledges her value. As is turns out, it takes two people to retrieve the Dual Glaive; a single person cannot reach far enough to grab both pieces of the weapon simultaneously. As Ordon and Fara bask in the triumph of success the Arathim, led by the Ascendancy, close in on Stone-in-the-Wood.

This was the most entertaining and most significant issue yet of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance! It’s full of heroic fantasy action, significant character development for our two heroes, and just the right amount of humor sprinkled in. This four-issue story arc will be wrapping up in the next issue, which promises to be even more action-packed. Stay tuned for my upcoming review of issue #4 to see whether the conclusion to this epic tale of adventure lives up to expectations.

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