Jim Henson’s Labrynth – Under The Spell #1

Labrynth Under The Spell #1 Cover

The Eternal Tournament

Written by S.M.Vidaurri

Penciled by Sarah Webb

Lettered by Jim Campbell

En Guard!

Written by Sina Grace

Pencilled by Boya Sun

Lettered by Jim Campbell

NO!

Written and Pencilled by Michael Dialynas

Lettered by Jim Campbell

Publisher : BOOM!

Back to the eighties when all genius fantasy movies were made! (Except for that other guy that also told stories involving goblins) BOOM! takes us back to the world of 1986 Labrynth. Goblin King’s world is spreading out before us, the readers, in this anthology of three prequel stories. The series will run for 12 issues. Unlike the cover, this book centers around the supporting cast.

The cover doesn’t have much to do with the interior of this book. I really wanted to find Rebekah Isaac’s rendering of the Froud designs from Henson/Lucasfilm because that’s lovely work. Sadly, the majority of the pages do not boast the look I wanted to find. On the upside, Sarah Webb does lend some lovely storybook style.

Each of the three stories is drawn with very different styles and I actually would have left it on the shelf if The Eternal Tournament was among the only pages I looked at. Page layout is executed like a storybook without straight or strong lines or definitive inks. One big peeve I had was Sir Didymus doesn’t have clearly drawn eyes. If you look into Froud’s sketches, they always focus on eyes first during construction.

Flipside, it is great for taking us into the world of that adorable character. The story is totally heartwarming and I am hooked. Colors are warm, as is the structure and the pay-off.

En Guard! is an adorable introduction to Hoggle and what was his job again? Hang on. You have to read the story! I am not going to give away the details on this one. The art stands up wonderfully under very different styling. What book could hold it’s own without an appearance by Hoggle!

Then there is NO! This story winds around familiar-looking goblins and the art is brilliant! I will add this piece left me with a feel of Moebius storytelling and that rich style of Froud. It is just plain fun and has a strong Muppet feel.

All three deal with the theme of occupation. Do we get more occupational stories with additional cast members in the next issue? I could live with that but I really want to see more of the world. I wouldn’t shy away from some pockets of that one sci-fi series in some panels. Universes do that sometimes.

I was surprised that the three prequels were so similarly paced and told that I would have thought they had been written by the same author. With very little knitting these pages could have interleaved together in a single script. The stories treat the kingdom as a non-dream world. Mostly the world is comfortably nestled in place right alongside the movie.

Of the added elements, the Goblin King seems to have different character traits so we might see a nice, fleshed out world from the series. This book does the eyes of the Goblin King no justice and I hope that gets a tweak in later issues. Expect pleasant surprises from the well written vignettes.

Is this a Terry Jones-worthy story? No. Or rather, not yet. I want to see more of the world and more of the writers. At the end of issue 1, I don’t know anything new about the spell. Are we under the spell? Is the world? Are the characters? I expect to discover more in the series although I was disappointed the subtitle has little meaning.

While I find details to cry over, I’m calling it a hopeful buy. Completely recommended for any audience.

4 stars of 5

If you’re interested in purchasing this book check out Boom-studios’ website

Main Cover | Variant Cover

Lonnie Webb

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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