January 14, 2010

Princess Powerful Attacks: Marvel Super Special #40: Labyrinth

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The Labyrinth was a 1986 movie directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas.  The film starred David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah.

The story revolved around Sarah, who loves reading and acting out fairy tales.  Sarah misses her mother, who recently divorced her father.  Her father remarries to another woman and they have a baby together.  Sarah reluctantly agrees to baby sit her half-brother, Toby, while her parents go out for dinner.  In a spout of anger, she wishes for the Goblin King to take her brother away.  When Toby turns up missing, Jareth the Goblin King appears before Sarah to explain that he did what she wished him to do.  She begs to take back her wish back, but he refuses.  Jareth makes a deal with her; if Sarah solves his Labyrinth maze within 13 hours, then she can have Toby back.  Sarah, along with her new found  friends, must find Toby before it’s too late.

Although the Labyrinth was a box office failure, it gained an audience over the years to become a cult movie favorite.  The film has been referenced in other series, like in The Venture Brothers or The Muppet Babies.

In 1986, Marvel Comics Group published a comic book adaptation of Labyrinth in Marvel Super Special # 40.

Title: Marvel Super Special #40: Labyrinth
Writer: Sid Jacobson
Pencils: John Buscema
Inker: Romeo Tanghal
Color: Julianna Ferriter & Bob Sharen
Letter: Joe Rosen
Cover: Ted Coconis
Issue: #40
Pages: 68
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Price: $2.50
Release Date: October 1986

Side Notes: The Labyrinth was first published as a limited three issue comic book adaptation and later reprinted in Marvel Super Special #40.  It is available for purchase through auction sites, like eBay, or through a search online.

Marvel Super Special #40 was written in an abridged version of  Labyrinth.  The writing was decent, and the artwork looked great.  However, I wished that characters emoted their expressions better from panel to panel.

Each actor’s characterization translated wonderfully for the comic adaptation.  Unfortunately, Jareth’s face didn’t capture the essence of his character like the rest of the cast.  He looked like an awkward and unattractive mysterious figure, which paled in comparison with his movie version.  My favorite drawings in the comic book were of the landscapes and the Muppets.

In 2006, Tokyopop published a manga called Return to Labyrinth, that continued the story of Labyrinth.

The story takes place over a decade after Toby was taken by Jareth the Goblin King.  As Toby grew up, any wishes or gifts he requested always came true.  Once he became a teenager, he started to question who was completing his requests.  As it turns out, The Goblin King has been watching Toby since he was a baby.  Jareth intends to have him become his heir.  Toby is lured back into the Labyrinth, where his adventure begins.

The Labyrinth was an under rated film from the 1980’s.  It became a cult movie favorite that produced merchandise in response to its growing fan base.  Marvel Super Special #40 would be a great gift for any Labyrinth fan.

“Everything I've done, I've done for you. I move the stars for no one.” (Dreamy sigh)


Princess Powerful



  1. Great article here PP! I loved this film and had no clue a sequel comic existed, so thanks for spreading the word!

  2. Drew

    What?!?!?! This is amazing, I never knew this existed. Tokyopop’s Amerimanga ‘Return To The Labyrinth’ isn’t bad and honestly is one of the better Amerimangas out there.

  3. InfiniteSpeech

    News to me as well! Nice!

  4. DecapitatedDan

    MMMM Jennifer Connelly. Loved the movie, Ziggy Stardust rocks out, and now I must get the comic

  5. Tokyopop is publishing an American graphic novel (as a “manga”) called Return to Labyrinth, that takes place after the film. The art is pretty bad (except the covers, which are gorgeous…and are drawn by someone other than the inside artist; false advertising!). The story is…well, it could be interesting if it were better executed. It’s really not that great. 🙁 Sadly, I’m a big fan of the film, so I bought it anyway. The final volume (4) is taking AGES to come out, though.

  6. Oh, sorry. You actually mentioned the book! I admit I just sort of glanced over your article there, lol. My mistake.

  7. Drew

    @Kristin: I didn’t totally mind Tokyopop’s sequel 🙁 I mean most American comics trying to be manga are pretty bad as a rule of thumb (the art looks half-hearted in many cases and can tell its just not manga and writing always varies like any comic). I love the movie and of course a comic sequel cannot capture the same magic, maybe I was just to excited to see something official for the Labyrnith to come out after all these years.

  8. Boy, do I ever agree with Dan.

    And Ted CoConis always did great work in the mainstream.

  9. billy

    I could never make it through this entire movie. Oh well. lol. Good article though!

  10. Kelly

    I loved this movie. Jareth was super-dreamy, and I always wanted to hit Sarah for saying no to him. I think we have the comic books (it took some searching!) I checked out the manga sequel, but the art was too bad, so i never got into it. Great article, PP!

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