It continues to be strange for me to review these comics, which so closely match the show in art direction and dialogue that if you get immersed enough into the comic (and its Adventure Time so if you’re like me, you will) it almost feels like you’re actually watching the show... almost. What’s different is interesting though, for all the stuff that the jump into comics feels weird on; it does some cool things too. I feel like because the audience reading a comic is likely to be a bit older because it’d take more effort to search them out and for a casual watcher or even know they existed it feels like they’re able to tackle a little bit edgier jokes.
Funny bits of dialogue about topics like Phonology and a line in particular delivered by Princess Bubblegum later on, “That’s for me to know and you to obsess about for years until it eats you up inside” feel like Ryan North got a little more wiggle room than the Cartoon Network writers on joke content, and he’s able to be more outright then veiling or sugar coating some of the darker or more brainy material.
Also cool as the liberal use of anything and everything from the show’s canon. In this issue alone we get Tandem War Elephants, “Plural!” Magic Man and pretty much every princess the shows ever introduced. And oh yeah, the Jake Suit (Ryan North loves the Jakes suit, but who can blame him?) So getting to see all those elements that fans love of the show thrown together is a good time. Also worth mentioning is the author`s omniscient text in the bottom margins of the panels which add a fresh, off the wall touch to it all.
In this issue Magic Man (the embodiment of D&D`s chaotic evil), goes on a rampage at the princesses high tea (innuendo? You tell me) party just for the hell of it. Finn and Jake get caught in the crossfire and because of it spend the issue talking in emoticons until they’re able to convince him to restore their voices via Muscle Princess punching holes in his newly tiled roof. Its standard Adventure Time stuff, but it was silly and dare I say kind of cute at times. Especially during the last couple panels to see Finn and Jake communicate in shorthand symbols and led to some pretty funny paraphrasing of their thoughts.
The “post-comics” after every issue’s conclusion continue to be a strong point for me. They tend to have very little to no setup, particularly in this issue, and always have art that if it’s not outstanding is interesting and allows for some crazy situations even by AT standards. BMO super-novaing? Why the hell not I guess? It’s a fun and a unique departure from the strait-from-the-cartoon approach of the main story.
Art is pure Adventure Time which is to say clean, simple and colorful and good. Good just like the whole comic. As similar as the books are to the show they sets themselves apart and continues to earn, for me (even if I don’t prefer it to the cartoon) a place in this fan’s cannon. For whatever that’s worth to you guys.
Writer: Ryan North
Artists: Shelli Paroline and Branden Lamb
Publisher: Kaboom and Boom Studios
Release Date: 4/17/13