Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story: Jordan Hueko
Artist: Erin Kubo
Letters: Jim Campbell
Spot Illustration: Sonny Liew
Cover: Peach Momoko
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Trickers #2 returns to the familiar abode of The Storyteller and his faithful dog. A knock on the door introduces a visitor seeking refuge from a storm and a story offered as payment.
Positives — Singing Stories
The pure joy of the old man who tells stories is priceless. Visitors are so rare. And it makes the dog bark.
Now, barking dogs are annoying. Nothing unsettles a stranger like a woof that won’t stop. This stranger suggests that the dog is right to bark. After all, even the stranger knows she is a stranger. The Storyteller doesn’t know for sure if she is a friend or foe.
Introductions are extremely effective. This one sets a playful tone that unsettles the host and his dog. It is in this setting that The Storyteller is reminded of a story. Before he can begin the visitor has a story she would like to share. Even the dog looks shocked. Protocol traditionally defers to the guest and The Storyteller is a polite host.
The story is a wonderful gift. First, is the call and response singing that invite the old man and his dog into the story. It starts with the visitor intoning, “What is a God?” that is answered by “Singer you will tell us.”
The narrating description points out that these lyrics are sung off-key. The non-verbal expressions of the old man and his dog suggest that they are earnest despite a tone-deaf delivery. The visitor continues. “A heh, I will not tell a lie. What is a story?” “A heart that beats forever.” “Good, now hear my heart.”
The darkened shadows of The Storyteller’s home come to life with the flames from the fire. Erin Kubo captures the orange light of the fire on the faces of the characters and the wonderful shades of purple that shade the world of the Orishas with expert detail.
Positives — Pantheon
Jordan Hueko has a firm grasp on the pantheon introduced in this story. The characters are wonderfully familiar and mysterious. Things get infinitely more interesting when the deities get bored.
Oloduamare is the master of the universe. He breathed time into being and created his godling offspring called Orishas. In the beginning, the people believed the Orishas were predictable, like the brands they use to claim individuals when they reach adulthood.
That all changes with the arrival of Eshu. He is a god of deception and bored with the responsibility of delivering prayers to the other gods. Everything changes when he meets a young woman who challenges him.
This woman takes advantage of the aging cycles of the gods. The Orishas are constantly being reborn. Their life cycle moves more quickly than humans but the process of rebirth and aging can cause amnesia. It is here that the new trickster finds leverage over Eshu.
The only negative is that the series is only four issues long. Stories like this make it easier to want more.
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters #2 is a perfect second chapter in the four-issue limited series. The tricksters are wonderfully clever and flawed. Eshu is so arrogant he can’t believe that someone could be turning the tables on him. The whimsical audacity of one woman to beguile a trickster is a delight to read.
Hueko and Kubo are an immaculate duo. The story and art are seamless and wonderfully interwoven. This reviewer plans to keep an eye out for future projects that feature their talents.