Narrator – “This it was given to me to know: that many worlds have been enslaved by The Beast and his army, The Slayers.And this too was given me to know: The Beast would come to our world, the world of Krull, and burning villages would darken the sky, and the cries of the dying would echo through deserted valleys.”
The decade that brought the World electro pop, shoulder pads and strange hairstyles also had a bit of a thing for fantasy films.From Conan the Barbarian (1982) to Willow (1988), the 80s loved a good adventure and the movie Krull (1983) was no exception.Packed with a magician, a Cyclops and a quest to save a princess, Krull became a fantasy cult classic that mixed a bit of sci-fi with a lot of good old fashioned sword play.Of course every good movie classic needed a comic adaptation and so Marvel jumped in and provided readers with a way to experience the story at the newsstands.
Spread across two issues the movie adaptation of Krull pretty much covered everything the film had to offer, which told the story of Prince Colwyn’s adventure on the planet Krull, as he battled the deadly Slayers to fight his way to the Black Fortress to rescue the kidnapped Princess Lyssa.Along the way he amassed a gang of comrades to help him on his journey, wielded a magical weapon called the Glaive and eventually managed to slay the big-bad of the whole tale - The Beast.The story was epic, action packed and full of fantasy and although it was an adaptation as opposed to an original story, the comic-book suited the adventure perfectly.Whereas the movie brought the action to life in a literal sense, the comic was able to invoke the real feel of a dangerous and deadly situation such as the one Prince Colwyn faced, thanks to the creepy use of pencils applied to the piece.
From the silhouetted Slayers as they approached the imminent wedding of Colwyn and Lyssa, to the Princess’s nightmarish imprisonment in the Black Fortress as she ran from walls that were clawing for her, there was no escaping the depiction of monstrous events surrounding the characters.The comic managed to capture the sprawling adventure, without losing any of the excitement in translation to the printed page.Take for instance the death of the Emerald Seer, the blind prophet who aided Colwyn to the Black Fortress, whose departure from the mortal coil was particularly gruesome.After being killed off by a Slayer, he was of no further use, so his body was tossed into a bog and as it sunk his head barely visible above the water looked like something straight out of an EC horror comic.The Seer had become a victim of the deadly Slayers during their continual pursuit of Colwyn’s gang of heroes and the subsequent revelation that a Slayer was posing as the deceased Emerald Seer also produced a striking image.What appeared to be a helpless blind old man suddenly changed into a menacing figure with jagged teeth and clawed fingers, the likes of which were the stuff of nightmares.
The adaptation certainly wasn’t ground breaking stuff, but what it did make clear was that the world of Krull was ripe for a comic-book adventure and if it had been given a chance could have easily continued into a regular book.Sword and sorcery has always managed to find an audience because it’s so damn imaginative and Krull was no exception, offering a place where anything was possible.He-man proved that there was plenty of life in fantastical worlds with terrifying inhabitants, so it was a shame that Krull hadn’t quite managed to convince anyone that it could do the same.Still there will always be those two issues which allow readers to escape into a world where the good really do prevail.
KRULL, KRULL WORLD: *The DVD release of the Krull movie came with a 38 minute ‘Comic Book’ amongst the special features.Similar to a motion comic, this digital version took images from the comic and set them to dialogue and effects from the film.
*As well as a comic adaptation a novelization of Krull was also published, written by Alan Dean Foster.As a well known author Foster has also written novelizations of the first three Alien movies, the original Clash of the Titans, both Transformers movies and the rebooted Star Trek film amongst others.
*The cast of the movie Krull featured an eclectic mix of actors which included Robbie Coltrane, Liam Neeson, Alun Armstrong, Bernard Bresslaw and former Eastender Todd Carty.