Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #10
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artists: Daniel Bayliss, Irene Flores
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Review by Melissa Prange
Maria, Cible, and the merry gang finally arrive in the Owl King’s city. An army, unfortunately, stands between them and the king’s castle. The time for a showdown has arrived, and, with it, Cible’s moment to shine. Leading her band of goblins into battle, Cible seizes the chance to fulfill her prophecy while the others try to fight their way through to the castle. However, they must hurry. Time is running out and the Owl King gets impatient to use the baby.
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #10 is surprisingly Cible and Beetlegum’s story. Maria has tender moments with each of her friends, but she does little to move the plot along. Cible, meanwhile, fights and leads and learns about herself while Beetlegum is forced to make a decision between loyalty and love. Both characters finally have climatic moments, and that’s where this issue truly shines. Cible is such a weird, little character, but her passion and struggles make her lovable. Occasionally, it can be difficult to see Labyrinth: Coronation as Maria’s story because, from the moment Cible arrived, she has been such a force in this comic. Similarly, Beetlegum transforms from being storyteller to being active participant in this issue. He has truly courageous moments in both the past and in the present, finally giving him a hero status of his own.
Unfortunately, the issue as a whole is not so strong. The art in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #10 is lovely as always, but it lacks the standout images of the other issues. The panels which stand out most are the close-ups of Tangle. The detail on its leaves, thorns, and branches is impressive, and it is amazing how Daniel Bayliss manages to make a character without features so alive. A more curious addition to this issue, however, is the Owl King’s soldiers, who look alarmingly like Nigel Thornberry. It is distracting but not necessarily in a bad way.
The direction Labyrinth: Coronation #10’s plot takes is also a tad concerning. For once, the issue focuses a decent amount on Jareth, showing his increasing concern that Sarah will be reunited with her brother. On the whole, the Labyrinth comics haven’t focused much on Jareth, and judging by this issue, that might have been for the best. It’s not that he’s written poorly. It’s simply that, as a character, he functions better as the mysterious overlord of the Labyrinth. The backstory Labyrinth: Coronation provides for him and Maria is interesting, but if the comic continues on its current path, I’m not certain the revelations about Jareth are going to be satisfying so much as aggravating.
Tie-in comics always have the difficult task of telling new stories while not completely rewriting the beloved original. At this point, I’m not entirely certainly Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation is going to succeed at that. Hints to a big twist are being sprinkled throughout the pages, and, if the big twist goes in any of the directions I suspect, the last two issues of this comic could be rough.
The Verdict: Buy it.
The art is still fantastic and the new characters still endearing in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #10. If the plot goes completely wonky in the last two issues, at least Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation introduced Cible and Tangle to the world. All in all, we’ve come this far. We might as well stick with it until the very end.