JIM HENSON'S LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1 by Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss, and Dan Jackson
Characterization
Art
Plot
Summary
JIM HENSON'S LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1 finds a new and exciting way into a story so many people already love. The artwork and writing expertly twist darkness with humor and heartbreak with adventure.
98 %
Gripping and Nostalgic

Since 1986, Jim Henson’s LABYRINTH has been striking fear and wonder into the hearts of children. In the movie, Sarah travels through an ever-changing labyrinth. She has to save her baby brother from the strangely alluring Goblin King Jareth. JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: CORONATION is a new series that explores what happens when children don’t escape the labyrinth. Author Simon Spurrier, illustrator Daniel Bayliss, and colorist Dan Jackson crack this dark fantasy world wide open.

A Deeper Look

JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1 cleverly uses the original movie storyline as a framing device. Gently, this guides readers into the new story through their own comfortable familiarity. Then, the comic fleshes out the backstory of the iconic Goblin King. Jareth tells a story which explains his belief that Sarah will never rescue her brother. It’s the story of the first child who fell victim to the labyrinth.

LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1
Image courtesy of Archaia.

Jareth’s story starts in the Republic of Venice in 1797. Maria is a woman who defies the quiet expectations of society. However, her husband Albert is a selfish man who has gotten himself into legal and social trouble. The goblins take an interest in Albert. Many years later, they will take the same interest in Sarah. Desperate for a king, these creatures whisper to him and promise to grant his desires. He wishes his own child away, breaking Maria’s heart in the process.

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The thought of learning about Jareth’s origins excites me. It may seem clear how this twelve-part series must end. Yet the journey is still interesting. However, this first issue starts off a bit slow. I’m greedy for just a little more information.

Strength of Tone

A major strength of JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1 is that it perfectly captures the tone of this world. This comic is so aware of its source material, especially in the humor. Spurrier pokes fun at both the drama of the Goblin King and the casual nature of song moments. Furthermore, there’s a great throwback to the film. Jareth still fails to remember the names of any of his minions.

LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1
Image courtesy of Archaia.

In contrast, the darkness of the world is always there as well. Though Jareth’s story merely gives us a small peek at the labyrinth’s horror, it’s a thrilling tale. And yet, it’s the darkness which comes from humans that’s most memorable in this issue. In the movie, Sarah’s wish is a childish mistake. Meanwhile, the comic frames Albert’s wish as pure heartless greed. I’m interested to see how the combination of human evil and monstrous evil will unfold.

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Alluring Artwork

The artwork by Daniel Bayliss and coloring by Dan Jackson is perfect for this world. There’s a sweetness that still has an edge. The art does a wonderful job of making us understand exactly why such a place is irresistible. Even as the visuals seem to warn the reader away, they still manage to be welcoming.

I love the luxuriousness of the Republic of Venice and the coldness of the Goblin City. My favorite part is the way the goblins spill over the page as they whisper to Albert. Honestly, there is emotion, danger, and magic in every line and shade of this comic.

LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1
Image courtesy of Archaia.

Final Thoughts on JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1

This comic is perfect for anyone who loves the movie. Often, comic spinoffs rest too heavily on the movies they’re based on. There are too many old jokes and old plot points. I don’t see that in JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: CORONATION #1. Rather than heavy-handed, the callbacks to the source material are delightful. That’s because there’s enough fresh material in the comic.

I’m beyond excited to see where the next issue takes this story. How far will Maria go before she fails? Will Albert continue to interfere with the child? Will we see a new side of Jareth as he weaves this tale? I can’t wait to find out.

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