Horror or the grotesque often tinged the original television episodes of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller. That spirit remains in the fourth installment of Boom’s latest miniseries resurrection, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller Ghosts, released via the Archaia imprint. But it’s horror with an underpinning of spiritual uplift .
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With art and story by Ver, “The Promise” is a bit milder than earlier issues such as No. 1’s “The Myling” from Mark Laszlo. That tale served up a horrific infant spirit from Scandinavia. Michael Walsh’s “The Last Lullaby” delivered a hideous, bleeding-eyed something in a dark forest.
Yet “The Promise” offers its own, unique experience, a subtle, eerie journey with some ghostly panels punctuated with arresting and creepy images and a horned iteration of a death figure who also looms on the main release cover by Walsh. The figure really permeates the tale as well.
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As always, the story draws on lesser known myths and legends. Here, the story includes the Slavic Zdusze, “wicked mindless things in the darkest night.” Think a cross between zombies and Gollum. They bear down on the protagonist, an old woman roaming a cold, dark landscape, hoping to fulfill a promise to family and loved ones regardless of consequences.
Cool blues and soft golds tint this tale and complement the story’s tone with a wintry feel and an otherworldliness that’s a good fit as well.
As with many properties rolling out these days, it’s hard to say when it was crafted, but its congruity to this moment of quarantine and families separated from loved ones as death looms seems poignant and prescient. That’s especially true with the framing moments from our familiar storytelling host and his companion hound, who has a perfect contribution with his thoughts this time around.
As with other issues, this installment of Ghosts is a complete, stand-alone story, so if you like quiet horror, it’s not a bad entry point to snatch up on the stands or have added to your pull box. It’s available starting August 5th.