From blood-sucking fire demons to fox-women, Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Shapeshifters gathers a diverse range of artists to collaborate on a number of shapeshifter myths and legends.

Shapeshifters are a recurring theme in world mythology and folklore, just as dragons, ghosts, and trickster figures are. A few of these stories are portrayed in the most recent Jim Henson's The Storyteller anthology miniseries, which focuses on shapeshifters for the first time.

Shapeshifters may appear to be all-powerful, yet their roles might differ considerably throughout stories and cultures, as this series demonstrates during four wide-ranging problems.

Shapeshifters, like previous Storyteller anthologies, beautifully capture a broad range of emotions, cultures, and creators in a small volume. I'm personally looking forward to what comes next.

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Title: Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Shapeshifters

Pages: 112 pages
Published: November 29, 2022
Publisher: Archaia
Language: English
Appropriate for ages: All ages


Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #1

The first story, “Children of Lir”:

Previously in the Storyteller, the Storyteller returns to tell his loyal companion new stories. This Ringo Award-winning series gives you unique views on old myths that you may not have heard before!

The Storyteller: Shapeshifter's #1 opens with a dog delivering his master a diary to chronicle the tale. He refuses, and the reason is explained in a myth. Lir had four children who were recently widowed by their mother. His father demonstrates his love for him by devoting himself entirely to his job and putting his confidence in his advisor and brother Dain.

Fionna is the eldest of the siblings, and she frequently sits in meetings, but Uncle Dain has come to take them out today. Dain puts a spell on the children, turning them into doves that can only be stopped by a foreign song and a holy man.

Despite the difficulties, Fionna wants revenge, but her desire for vengeance takes a backseat to her responsibility to her brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, it poured down pouring rain one day, and Fionna's siblings drowned in the river.

Fionna only survives thanks to a priest who nurses her back to health. Fionna then begins to sing, which radiates throughout the Kingdom. Dain, in the form of a colossal boar, is attracted by this song.

As the children battle Dain, the priest rings her bell to play a strange song and break the curse. Fionna, now human again, destroys Dain's wand, leaving him trapped forever in the form of a boar! Fionna and her brothers set out to sing across Ireland after leaving the Realm of Men.

I've been a fan of The Storyteller comics for quite some time, and the new series, The Storyteller: Shapeshifter #1, is no exception. We're incredibly innovative and interesting in how we re-imagine ancient themes and send them to a contemporary audience.

However, there is something more. The truth here is crucial. Do not do things just to make money or increase your reputation; rather, spend time with your family. There's no amount of money or fame that compensates for the loss of one's family.

This is a lesson that Fionna learns. She was, fortunately, able to survive long enough to be reunited with her siblings before repeating the same mistakes as her father. The screenwriting team did a magnificent job of interpreting this narrative. It's a basic narrative delivered effectively.

I appreciate the consistency of this name. I enjoy reading each issue of The Storyteller, and I can share it with my children. Furthermore, we see a variety of distinct cultures in these tales, which is a welcome change of pace. Shapeshifters #1 by Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Shapeshifters is a good 4 out of 5 in my opinion, and I'll be reading it again in the future.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #2

The second story, “The Dancers”:

Previously in The Storyteller: This comic, which was previously a TV series from Jim Henson, now tells the same story in the comic format. Join the Storyteller and his loyal canine companion as they tell another thrilling tale!

In the opening of Shapeshifters: The Storyteller, an observation by the dog about the plants dancing in the wind is noted. This reminds the Storyteller of the Reed People. He recites a story about Rose, an Apache girl who adored dancing.

Rose became friends with the Reed family who resided by a river, but they only revealed themselves to Rose and none of the others. Rose grew up and made it to the top of her profession as a ballerina.

When she returned to her home, she studied the Reed People's traditional dance. She noticed that people were developing on the site where she had spoken with the Reed People and assumed they'd misplaced it.

Rose is taken to a facility for the elderly when she reencounters the Reed people at last. They invite her out to the countryside to dance for eternity.

I picked up this book because it sounded interesting and I'm a sucker for anything historical. The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #2 is the second issue in a series that has made me think and reflect. There are many subtle messages here.

Rose is a victim of subtle racism, typically in the form of questions as to why the old routines were abandoned and whether she was "not principal dancer" material. It's so little that you'd be unlikely to notice it if you weren't looking for it.

But for me, it was so prevalent in all three of my read-throughs that I was just a little melancholy. I have keenly felt the cultural dysphoria in my own Chinese background, and Darcie's comic does a wonderful job capturing it. Darcie produces excellent, conscious artwork here.

However, let's go back to the narrative. Rose grows up in the comic, going through four distinct periods of her life that are always centred on her passion for dancing and her heritage. This is a fantastic portrayal of a character who has both good and bad experiences, as well as how she decides to react. It was incredible to read this on the page, and it's great to see an entire narrative in just one book.

This is the finest comic book I've read in a long time. The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #2 features smart writing and stunning art. The emotions on people's faces, as well as the distinctions between characters as they get older, are obvious.

This book is much more than a throwaway joke. It brings to light an issue that isn't given nearly enough attention. This comic is a 4.5 out of 5 and a must-read book, in my humble viewpoint.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #3

The third story, “Come and Sleep”:

Em's father also tells stories. As a child, Em finds these tales to be particularly inspirational and is especially inspired by the tale of Kitsune.

The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #3 begins when the Storyteller scolds his loyal dog for being nice to a passing fox while feeding him mochi. This piques his interest, so he tells a narrative about a guy who met a woman by a river. They developed a liking for one another over time, and they planned to marry.

However, the woman's family never showed up, while the man's family became suspicious because the dogs appeared to despise her. The woman was bitten by dogs in her village after their marriage. To flee, she transformed into a fox. The father was devastated, especially since his daughter had been left on his doorstep.

The man waited for his wife all the time, but he raised his daughter with care and kindness. In his later years, he journeyed to the place in the river where he had met his wife, only to be assaulted by bears. Fortunately, he is saved by a fox! He begs her to “come and sleep,” and they have a sad reunion. Then the Storyteller informs his dog that "come and sleep" means kitsune in Japanese.

The Remaining: Shifters, Book 3 is a straightforward tale with significant depth and meaning. And something lovely about its simplicity. The drama and action sequences were fast and to the point, and we spent much of the film demonstrating the man's devotion to his wife.

The reader is drawn into the narrative and affected by it. In terms of writing and art, Em Niwa performs exceptionally. And he demonstrates tremendous sensitivity in communicating such a basic tale.

I'm interested in kitsune, and I'd like to learn more about them. I believe that pop culture has a certain image of this folklore, and it's the only one I'm familiar with from my Chinese background. Em did an excellent job interpreting.

Shapeshifters #3 isn't a comic about which you'll be riveted by awe-inspiring action sequences and tear-jerking events. It's the tale of a man who's waiting for his wife. The best thing about this narrative is that the characters' little behaviours have a significant impact on them. 4.5 out of 5 stars for this one.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #4

The final tale, “Ole Heg”:

In the previous chapter, we met The Storyteller, a TV character from the 1980s who tells fascinating tales to his devoted dog. These tales come from all around the world and feature myths and stories!

The dog hears a strange flicker outside in the opening of Shapeshifters #4, recalling the tale to the Storyteller. In addition, Ruth and her mother worked in a rice paddy. However, there is a new employee, an older lady who must pick up any rice grain that has fallen on the ground. Ruth is terrified of her, and she is especially afraid after her mother recounts Ole Heg's tale.

The Ole Heg spirit is a pure flame one, and if anyone opens the door for them, they drain blood. Then, without warning, Ruth makes another blunder. She opens the door and immediately shuts it again. Even if she slammed the door shut, the Spirit was able to freely enter the home since she initially opened it.

The spirit of this person begins to drain the blood from Ruth's mother, and the elderly woman working in the rice paddy ages. Ruth remains up, attempting to prevent the Spirit from happening, but with no success. The mother's health declines as a result of this spirit.

Ruth goes looking for the Spirit, but she only finds him speaking to a tree. The tree exposes the Spirit's vulnerability: salt and the sun. The Spirit is also afflicted with being compelled to gather rice grains off the floor.

Ruth flees, with the Spirit pursuing her, and drops a sack of rice on the ground. In an attempt to collect the rice, the Spirit is unable to do so in time and is burnt to death!

The Storyteller: Shapeshifters #4 has a different sort of vampiric spirit tale about it. What stood out to me was the fact that this is a dark and gloomy narrative. Like the previous instalments, there are a number of thematic elements in this book.

Ruth's mother is dying because Ole Heg consumed her blood. The narrative does not describe the events in detail, although I'm not sure whether I'd give this particular issue to my children. When I was a kid, something like this would have terrified me for a while. As a result, this problem feels misplaced in the context of the rest of the series.

The theme of the comic, on the other hand, is outstanding. Nobody believed Ruth, yet she went above and above to rescue her mother. Sometimes all you can do is act despite being doubted by others. I don't want to encourage my children to take hasty action, but I believe it is important to listen to their instincts.

The fourth issue of The Storyteller: Shapeshifters is a fantastic tale, but it feels thematically misplaced from the others. So, despite my reservations about the artwork and other aspects of this book, I still believe it's a fantastic read. For a great comic with a solid series, I give it four out of five stars.