As I sit here, writing this review, I find myself legitimately disappointed. I find myself able to write only haltingly, I am so distracted. You see, for all those who read my review of Adventure Time #2, you know I was reasonably stoked on that book. It is clear to me that I will not be able to match the enthusiasm I had for that book, simply by virtue of it being the first in the series I reviewed. This is disappointing to me because Adventure Time #3 is fantastic.
Everything that was true of the previous issue is true here. There is a main comic followed by two shorter ones. Each have their own writers and artists and each is fantastic in its own way. I suppose the smart thing to do would be to go over each of these in turn. In fact, that was such a good idea, I just sold myself on it. Let us proceed.
The main story has art from Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb that effectively echoes the style of the show. Not only is the visual storytelling effective, but there are some great sight gags in both the foreground and the background. Jet Jake needs to be seen. Writing is done by Ryan North, of "Dinosaur Comics" fame. Saying this dude is hilarious would be something of an understatement. Not only was I laughing on every page, but he also knows how to write these characters. One or the other would be impressive enough in its own right, but, with the one-two combo we’ve got going here, North is clearly the man for the job.
Finn and Jake’s epic battle against the Lich King continues after they were sucked out of the villain’s magic back last time. After an entertaining ruse, the action gets under way. It quickly becomes apparent that Finn, Jake, Ice King, and some princesses will need to team up to take down the skeletal terror. The manner in which they attempt to do so is fun, suitably triumphant, and involves Finn and Marceline rapping. I don’t understand how this could be better. What I really like about this issue over the last one is how much more effectively it progresses. Last time, it seemed like the script was focused on getting these characters all in the same place so they could move things forward. It effectively made the proceedings seem more like a series of skits than one cohesive tale. Here, everyone is together, interacting and focused on one goal. As such, the plot moves along more cohesively, without sacrificing the comedy. Before moving on, I need to make mention of North’s commentary. Look close at the bottom of the pages if you want to see the neon green text on white that offers commentary on the main page. These extras remind me a great deal of the self-referential style of "Dinosaur Comics." They also remind me of the hilarity of "Dinosaur Comics." All this sharing of beneficial qualities, you’d think we were reading some sort of awesome comic here.
Mini-comic “Bacon Fields” is written and drawn by Michael DeForge, a prop and effects designer for the Adventure Time show. Each panel is a uniform square, which sits in direct contrast to the round, wiggly, and brightly colored art found in the panels. Super close-ups of Lumpy Space Princess as she gives make-overs to breakfast food creatures are simultaneously funny and disturbing and funny because of how disturbing they are. LSP is a fan favorite character and it is a lot of fun to see her get this side story that highlights just how strange she is in the already incredibly strange land of Ooo. Just make sure to read all her lines in that sexy Pen Ward voice.
Finally, just as in the previous issue, we end on a one page comic, written and drawn by Zac Gorman. In fairness, the “Bubblegum and Marceline are friends” strip we got last time was a much bigger hit with me. The one shot character of Sir Slicer is entertaining in that he is an incorrigible jerk, but that he has nothing better to do is pitiful. Basically, he is the cartoon knight of internet trolls. So, that is still pretty funny.
I may not be able to show the same enthusiasm this time as I did in my previous review, but, rest assured, I am reasonably enthused. Honestly, with the exception of the Gorman strip, the overall quality of this book is even better than last time. I love it. I dig the art, the story is legitimately interesting, and it is so funny, you guys. Seriously, though. So funny. Hah. I’m going to go laugh at it some more now. See you there.