Sticking Close to the Source Material in Labyrinth Coronation 2

By Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

In this site’s Best Writers of 2017 list, we praised Simon Spurrier as one of the best — if not the best — world-builders in comics today. So it’s not that Labyrinth Chronicles 2 is bad or boring or otherwise deficient, it’s just that it feels like a waste of Spurrier’s considerable talents. At this point, the world of Labyrinth Chronicles is defined by the movie on which it’s based, and even though there is some opportunity for invention (The Owl King and Sir Skubbin are original creations), Spurrier seems boxed in by the creative choices of a film made over 30 years ago.

But within those confines, Spurrier and artist Daniel Bayliss (with colors by Dan Jackson and letters by Jim Campbell) acquit themselves well. The issue’s framing device, with Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie’s character from the film) recounting the story of how his own mother journeyed into the Labyrinth to save him, is an effective entry point for those with even a passing knowledge of the source material. And even though we don’t see anything particularly new from the Labyrinth this issue, the future promises more. Once you get beyond the immediate parallels between the film’s plot and the comic’s — woman enters Labyrinth to save baby from evil king — the fact that we know Jareth’s mother’s quest must end in failure (otherwise he wouldn’t be relaying this story under these circumstances), means the story must deviate from the familiar at some point.

And it’s that potential for Spurrier to really let loose in the future with something new that interests me most. It’s admittedly unfair, but my expectation when reading a Spurrier-penned story is that I’m going to be wowed. It’s slightly disappointing, then, when he merely entertains.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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