Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Coronation #10 from BOOM! Studios is in stores this week and as ths series nears its conclusion, the action has never been so intense.
It starts out in the present day with an angry Jareth confronting Beetleglum on his treachery, claiming that he can no longer be trusted. As he watches Sarah continue to persevere in his crystal spheres, the Goblin King starts to worry that the young heroine and her friends might actually succeed in rescuing the child. In an act of concern, Jareth orders one of his goblin soldiers to hide Toby away and then sends the rest of his forces to the castle gates to stop Sarah and her companions.
Meanwhile back in 1797, Maria and her companions Cibil, Tangle, and Sir Skubbain are also nearing the end of their journey to the castle to save her son from the Owl King. There are only two hours remaining before the Owl King will be able to drain the poor child of its essence and use it to prolong his own life to continue his reign over the Labyrinth. Beetleglum, desperate to do good and save the child from that sinister fate, forges a note pretending to be the Owl King commanding his army to leave Maria alone. Beetleglum sends a fairy to deliver the note to the general, but the moment it is safely on its way the night troll Septimus steps out from the shadows, having discovered the goblin’s treachery, and charges after him.
Back on the battlefield all seems lost as wave after wave of goblin forces rush the heroes holding them back as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight. It is in this moment of desperation that Ciblel and Maria get inspired and reach out to the goblin army, giving them a rousing speech and convincing them to join the rebellion and stand up against the tyranny of the Owl King. With the way now clear of opposition and just minutes left to save her son, Maria arrives at the gates of the castle only to find that they are barricaded shut with no way to enter.
The issue concludes in 1986 with Sarah having finally made it to the castle to find Beetleglum sitting between two doors saddened over his situation with Jareth. Sarah begs him to tell her which door leads to Jareth and Toby. Beetleglum tells her to take the door on the right and Sarah makes her way through to her final confrontation with the Goblin King.
The writing on this installment is wonderful. The way that Simon Spurrier builds the drama and action adds such an intense sense of urgency, leaving the reader captivated with every turn of the page. As both heroines move closer to their final showdown with their respective villains and save the ones they love, the parallels and similarities between the hardships they have endured, the companions that have helped them through it, and what they have learned about themselves along the way becomes even more clear and seamless. Although the circumstances and obvious outcome may be different, it is love and true friendship that has motivated them to overcome the perils of the Labyrinth. Spurrier uses these themes to link Maria’s story to that of Sarah’s from the film masterfully.
The artwork that Daniel Bayliss lays upon the page is on point with every frame. His flawless grasp on the look and feel of this world as well as the characters that inhabit it totally immerses the reader into the story. The action sequences are intense and dramatic, yet Bayliss always makes it a point to keep it whimsical and fantastic. He has used this juxtaposition between the hardships of the Labyrinth and its wondrous beauty since issue #1 and has carried it through the entire series this far. It truly is what helps tie it all in perfectly to the film and he does this even more brilliantly on this issue. It is exciting and gorgeous to look at and Joana Lafuente tops it all off and seals the deal with her vibrant and emotional use of color, adding an even deeper level of warmth, beauty, and emotion to Bayliss’s visuals.
This entire series has been crafted masterfully with careful attention in remaining true to the source material while also expanding upon it. This particular issue is no exception to that idea and, with only two more issues remaining in the series, really amps up the drama and intensity both and its story and visuals. It is obvious that this is a labor of love for its creators. I highly recommend this issue to anyone collecting this series or interested in it. It is pivotal to the overall story and the crescendo to what is sure to be a very intense and emotional ending to this wondrous tale.
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