Review: Adventure Time - Vol 4. TPB

Adventure Time Vol. 4 has really out done itself; this was probably the most entertaining trade yet. I have read and reviewed quite a few of the Adventure Time miniseries but there is nothing quite like the original. You gotta love the little commentary at the bottom of each page by the author; I mean little touches like that just adds the overall connection between creator and reader. First, let me just shed some light on what Adventure Time is all about for some of you who may be first timers. The story revolves around a human (the last human) Finn and his magical dog named Jake; they are adventurers in the land of Ooo and with the help of their friends Princess Bubblegum, BMO, Ice King, Lumpy Space Princess and Marceline the Vampire Queen, to name a few keep Ooo a place of chaotic harmony. Before really diving into the heart of the review, can we just commend our creative for this one? Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, Brandan Lamb, Lisa Moore, Steve Wands and of course the creator Pendleton Ward, seriously you guys have a made a masterpiece; gods among mere mortals.

AdventureTime_V4_rev_1So in this volume we see a few various stories take place from royal tea parties, crazy one-eyed sea monsters hoarding secret treasure to the return of the Lich. There’s just so much in this volume and I don’t want to spoil too much but Volume Four should win every award ever. Amidst all the pandemonium Finn and Jake are as always good-humored and nothing can tear apart their broship.  If you are following the TV series then you know about Ice King’s past and Simon does makes an appearance in this volume. The fandom is probably just eating this up. Those scenes are revealing and so redeeming of our Ice-King. I think what sets apart Adventure Time from other children’s cartoons is the complexity of the characters like we see in Ice King and specifically this volume really encompasses those human emotions and character development.

I just want to take a moment and talk about one of my all-time favorite characters, Princess Bubblegum. I feel really connected to PB, I know it sounds weird but growing up with a scientist princess character would have done wonders for my self-esteem.  So, I know PB has been analyzed and criticized for playing god and has been compared to Dr. Frankenstein but when do see you a female lead in the field of science? It’s pretty damn rare.  She’s the only character that I can recall that isn’t ostracized or mocked for being a science enthusiast but she’s actually revered for it.  That’s something that has really resonated with me, growing up I pretended Bill Nye was my dad and yeah, I did get teased but now PB is advocating for science and making it appealing for kids. She’s fucking brilliant at what she does and no one questions her ability or knowledge. She’s a unique and empowering character; I’m really happy to see young girls be able to align themselves with a character like Pebbles.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Ryan North Artists: Shelli Paroline and Branden Lamb Publisher: Kaboom/Boom Studios Price: $14.99 Release date: 2/12/14