• Uncategorised
  • 0

Labyrinth: Coronation Is a Worthy Prequel


The origin of the babe with the power.

Prior to David Bowie’s untimely death, I would have happily paid money to see a new Labyrinth movie. But these days, not so much. At this point, better the saga be continued in another medium where Bowie’s absence isn’t so strongly felt.

Labyrinth: Coronation successfully recaptures the tone of that film even as it steps back to examine the tragic origins of the man who grew to become Jareth the Goblin King. Writer Si Spurrier and artist Daniel Bayliss use the setting of the original movie as a framing device, with Jareth regaling baby Toby with a tale that quickly becomes obvious is his own origin story. The result is a Labyrinth prequel that takes place as much in the real world as the Labyrinth itself (for now, at least).

That might sound like a questionable storytelling decision, but it works. It helps that the real world portions are set in 18th Century Vienna, so there’s still an air of the fantastical and ostentatious to the narrative. Spurrier is clearly an ideal choice to transition the franchise from film to print.

His work is marked by a strong, sardonic sense of humor. And while the darker edges of his writing are smoothed over for this relatively more all-ages setting, there’s a clear self-aware quality to the writing as Spurrier pokes fun at Jareth’s excesses and penchant for theatricality. At the same time, the same sense of quiet tragedy that made Jareth such a compelling antagonist remains in full effect.

He’s become both protagonist and narrator now and any fears that this is an origin story not worth telling are quickly put to rest.

Labyrinth: Coronation Is a Worthy Prequel

For the most part, Bayliss succeeds in replicating the distinctive look and feel of the film. Jareth himself immediately evokes images of Bowie without the book becoming so hung up on photo-realism that the storytelling suffers. The eclectic goblin designs are also a feast for the eyes.

Bayliss’ environments don’t make quite as strong an impression, with some panels suffering from a general lack of background details. But for the most part, this book does a fine job of paying tribute to a lavishly designed film. The question this issue doesn’t really address is whether Coronation is a story that needs a full 12 issues to be told.

It’s tough to know exactly what to expect over the long haul given how little time is spent inside the Labyrinth in this opening chapter. Still, the creative team have earned my good will after this solid start, and I’m willing to stick around to see where this prequel saga is headed. The Verdict

Time will tell if that long-gestating Labyrinth sequel ever comes to fruition, much less lives up to the original.

But at least fans can rest easy knowing that The Labyrinth: Coronation is a worthy comic book offshoot.

The first issue successfully translates the look and tone of the film, building a sad yet whimsical look at the early days of the man who became the Goblin King.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *