Trollhunters: The Secret History of Trollkind Review
Script by: Marc Guggenheim & Richard Hamilton
Art by: Timothy Green II
Colouring by: Wes Dzioba
Lettering by: Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Cover by: Bill Sienkiewicz
Published by: Dark Horse Books
A Review by Laura Forsey
Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia is a tie-in to the Netflix original animated show Trollhunters. The comic expands on the history of the show’s world. Blinky explains to Jim, Toby and Clare how the evil troll Gunmar was initially defeated, why Aaarrrgghh!!! changed from a fierce warrior to a gentle pacifist, and how the mantle of Trollhunter passed to Jim’s predecessor Kanjigar. The story follows both familiar and unfamiliar characters after the Battle of Killahead Bridge, and details the trolls’ journey from Europe to California to found the underground city of Trollmarket.
Despite the fantasy elements, ultimately this story is about immigration and looking for a place to call home. When the previous Trollhunter, Deya the Deliverer, sacrifices herself to let her people escape to the New World, Kanjigar is forced to become their leader. From Jim’s perspective, Kanjigar has always been a wise and commanding leader whose legacy he struggles to live up to. The story of the trolls’ journey across the American continent shows Kanjigar as an imperfect person who had to find his own way, just as Jim has, and brings depth to the character. And there’s plenty of jokes at Blinky’s expense as well.
For the most part, the art is a decent adaptation from 3-dimensional animation to 2-dimensional illustrations. The only exception is the human faces, which verge on the uncanny valley and do distract somewhat from the story. Fortunately, the human characters are only in a small portion of the story, and the troll faces are already strange enough that the problem isn’t noticeable.
The colours are excellent, and do a perfect job of shifting the mood of the story as required from grim battle to the warmth of Blinky’s storytelling in the present day, and more. The landscapes are also beautiful, showing off some of the best of pre-colonial America over the course of the trolls’ voyage. Even when some of that landscape turns out to be more treacherous than expected, you can’t help but admire the view.
Verdict: Buy it.
If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Trollhunters, you’ll definitely enjoy all 70 pages of this book. Maybe just don’t look too closely at the faces.