Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation, Volume 1 by Simon Spurrier is a prequel to the movie Labyrinth and gives us insight into how Jareth became the goblin king.The story begins with Jareth’s parents Lord Albert Tyton and Countess Maria, as they enjoy a dance around the ballroom, unaware of the goblins ready to take their child. Albert is haunted by the goblins who are asking for him to return to the throne, and is ready to run from his problems and abandon his wife and child. Maria takes the child and flees the palace while Albert makes a deal with the goblins to take the child and make HIM the king. Maria falls and the Owl King takes the child from her arms. Maria returns to beg Albert to undo the deal with the goblins. He refuses, so Maria cries for her child back and the Owl King appears and offers her a deal. She has 13 hours to solve the labyrinth or she will become his slave forever. 

Misadventures abound and our heroine is plunged into danger right away. What appears to be a beautiful mermaid turns out to be an aquatic goblin ready to feed Maria to her babies. She is snatched from the jaws of death by Sir Skubbin, who proves to be a shifty character as he takes the opportunity to rob her. Maria later hunts him down to retrieve her stolen items and tells him the sob story of how she ended up in the labyrinth. Maria’s story cuts back and forth between illustrated scenes from the movie. We get to see things from Jareth’s perspective as he tries to impede Sarah from solving the labyrinth. He’s bitter, cruel, and angry about the circumstances that led him to be the Goblin King.

Readers will find the artwork delightful with scenes from the film reinterpreted in graphic novel form. Jareth’s minions, the goblins maintain their mischievous, child-like antics. Each one has a unique look with big noses, shifty eyes, and odd-shaped helmets. The Owl King comes across as menacing, draped in a long cloak and antlers encircling his head. He has a spear-like nose and jagged teeth. I was hoping for more creatures to appear. I count the worm, Sir Didymus, and Ludo among my favorites from the film. I expected more action in the labyrinth. Instead, scenes take place in homes, underground tunnels, and ships. Hopefully, future volumes will feature more exciting settings and characters.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation, Volume 1 gets the prequel off to the right start. You can see the parallels between Sara and Maria’s journeys to recover a child. The story features Easter eggs from the movie, so pay close attention to the panels. There was one that delighted me, and I’m interested in how it will pay off. I recommend this series for purchase as I think it’s entertaining and very imaginative. I think tweens and above would find it enjoyable and marvel at the fantasy world of the labyrinth.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation, Volume 1
By Simon Spurrier
Art by Daniel Bayliss
ISBN: 9781684155033
Archaia, Year 2020
Publisher Age Rating: T for Teens
Series Reading OrderTitle Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18), Teen (13-16)
Related to…: Movie to Comic

  • Tanya

    | She/Her

    Tanya work as a librarian at a maximum security prison in Northern California. She runs a weekly book club which changes themes and genres on a quarterly basis. Her favorite book club moment was watching her book club members perform a play in front of an audience and getting a warm ovation. Tanya is a long-time lover of Manga and animes. Her favorites include anything by Clamp, Fullmetal Alchemist, Wolf Children, Pandora Hearts and Dawn of the Arcana. In her spare time enjoys trying out new recipes from Pinterest.

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