Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation issue #3 hits comic book stores this week and continues the story that Jareth tells Toby and Beetleglum as they wait for Sarah to either complete Labyrinth or give up trying.
This issue starts off with Maria lost and frustrated. She has not been in the Labyrinth long and has already had a mermaid try to feed her to its young only to be rescued by Sir Skubbin of the Garderobe, who then robs her. Maria continues through the Labyrinth and runs into the knight again while he is practicing his bandit techniques on a living tile floor. She confronts him and soon discovers that he is actually cursed with a noble heart which makes him the worst goblin ever by Goblin standards. In the Labyrinth anything seems possible and nothing is what it seems. Sir Skubbin is proof of this and only robbed Maria to prove to the Bandit Hordes that he was worthy to join their ranks outside the walls of the Labyrinth.
After some revelations, Maria and the knight decide to part ways as friends and she allows him to keep the chalk that he stole from her fair and square as a symbol of his bandit skills. Sir Skubbin in return gifts Maria with a red ring as a symbol of their friendship and a means to pay a Gondolier for direct passage to the castle. As they leave, Maria shows him the way out of the Labyrinth and then makes her way to find the Gondolier. Along the way Maria meets another character who continually asks her if she is Bundarghast the Invincible. Maria repeatedly tells the Goblin that she is not who he is looking for and heads out across some bridges to try and find her ride. She suddenly realizes that the goblin she’d been talking to is burning the bridges behind her.
When confronted, the Goblin explains that these are in fact the Burning Bridges, meant for those who don’t look back until it’s too late. He then asks her again if she is Bunderghast the Invincible, and his time Maria decides to claim that she is in fact the one he is looking for. With this news the Goblin grabs her by the hand and tells her that she is under arrest then pulls her up into the air taking her prisoner. We are then taken to the Owl King in his chambers alongside Beetleglum and what we assume is baby Jareth as they watch Maria get arrested. We also get a reveal of the mysterious Septimus from issue 1 who took the child from Maria when she first entered the Labyrinth. The issue ends with the Owl King ordering Septimus to kill Maria since she has the mysterious red ring that was given to her by the noble knight.
Simon Spurrier continues to do a magnificent job with the story of this series. Each issue answers a few questions from the previous ones, only to raise even more questions for the reader to wait for the following issues to answers.
The way the characters are written and their interactions with each other feel very similar to the way Sarah interacted with creatures from the Labyrinth in the film. One moment a friend may turn into a villain, and the next someone that seemed villainous may end up being the truest ally. Such is the way in the Labyrinth and Spurrier captures this spirit flawlessly. This particular issue does feel a bit thinner than the previous ones as far as story content and depth, but it is still written very well and continues to push the reader further along in the story with anticipation and wonder. The use of Beetleglum as the one constant thread throughout both timelines is clever and it will be interesting to see how this character develops in further issues.
The artwork continues to be nothing short of breathtaking. Daniel Bayless does such a wonderful job of making this look and feel like the world of Labyrinth. The composition of each page tells a story in itself. Issue after issue the action leaps right off the page. It looks great and it is very exciting and imaginative. The colors that Dan Jackson uses really bring everything together so brilliantly. The atmosphere that these two artists have created is beautiful and full of wonderment, yet slightly dark and sinister like a fable.
Overall this is another great installment in this 12 part limited series. It is slightly lacking compared to the first two issues, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. I would highly recommend this issue to anyone looking to collect the series because there are some fun twists and surprises at the end, especially the visual reveal of Septimus.
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