Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Coronation #4

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Daniel Bayliss and Irene Flores
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Archaia

A review by Melissa Prange

With Jareth off frustrating Sarah and Hoggle, Beetlegum picks up Maria’s story where he left off. Currently imprisoned on a floating ship (fairy-powered, of course), Maria attempts escape. She doesn’t know yet that the Owl King has sent Septimus to hunt her down, but it won’t be long before she’ll have to deal with him and the other problems standing between herself and her son. As she’s become more accustomed to the ways of the Labyrinth, Maria has learned to use wits rather than her heart to get through the maze. It’s working, but even her wits only get her so far. We’re merely a third of the way through her story. Things cannot be going too smoothly for her yet!

Issue Four expands on the mythology of the Labyrinth and introduces the series’ most delightful character to date: Tangle. Tangle is a sentient rose bush with a spotty memory. The lettering for Tangle’s dialogue perfectly adds to its characterization as its words shrink and grow with the rose bush’s fluctuating confusion. Tangle reflects the oddness of the Labyrinth film in a way that many of the characters in this series haven’t. It’s a charming, little rose bush, and I hope it sticks around for the remaining issues.

Oddly, there were points in Issue Four that reminded me strongly of the film Stardust (floating ships, the bickering between our two leads, the general aesthetic, etc.) and that made me realize how much less grimy the world of the comic series is from Labyrinth film. While Jareth and the goblins have been perfectly (if cartoonishly) recreated, the world surrounding them is very different. It’s much cleaner and crisper. (I could not imagine the trash lady showing up.) This issue, surprisingly, gives an explanation for that phenomenon and makes me appreciate the twisted version of the maze we are seeing even more.

The storybook nature of the artwork continues to be fantastic and I cannot get over the lovely the character designs. While the backgrounds occasionally tend toward simplicity, the detail in the goblins, human characters, and Tangle more than make up for it. 

The Verdict: Buy It.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Coronation continues to be a delight. If you’re a fan of the film and want to know more about Jareth and the Labyrinth, this prequel series will not disappoint. The characters are endearing and the world is just as topsy-turvy as ever. On top of that, you’ll definitely be invested in seeing how Maria’s story continues to play out.

Melissa Prange

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