Adventure Time the comic is a lot like Adventure Time the show: It’s short, it’s sweet, and it leaves a smile on my face. I have not seen any episode of the show that I have not liked at all and the same is true of the comic. No matter what, if bombastic characters, bright colors, and a world full of adventure are your thing, then you are going to find Adventure Time a worthy read. However, even with this blanket statement being all broad and generalizationy, some books are going to be better than others.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me start breaking this down; starting with the story. The epic battle with the Lich King is over. Bad guy’s gone, epic alliance is dissolved, and everything sucked into the bag is back out, again. Unfortunately, that includes the desert that was present in the bag before the Lick King started sucking up the Land of Ooo at the start of all this. Without a place to go, the sand covers everything indiscriminately, which is way gross for the Breakfast Kingdom, among others. Our final adventure in this story arc begins: cleaning up sand!
Yeah, honestly, it is a little bit of a bummer. After the previous books revolved around fighting a lich, escaping from a magic bag, and fighting a lich again but with strategy and teamwork and cool battle phrases, cleaning up a bunch of sand is just not as interesting. Of course, most of us know the value in Adventure Time comes less from the plot and more from the humor.
Adventure Time #4 is very funny. The way certain situations or lines of dialogue are overly dramatized. The way genre conventions of heroes and adventure stories are defied in favor of self-referentialism and modern colloquialisms. Sight gags. Describing humor feels weird. Truth be told, I can’t really sell anyone on it here. Laughs happen in the moment, yo. If any of that made sense to you though, then maybe you will chuckle probably some. Honestly though, as funny as I found this book to be, I did not find it as funny as the previous issues I’ve reviewed. Perhaps that is due to the jokes no longer juxtaposing themselves against such high stakes. More likely, it might be due to the sparseness of author Ryan North’s little green comments that I have come to love so much. Funny is a funny thing though. Which is to say, funny is a subjective thing, but saying funny was a funny thing seemed funnier to me. Regardless, the important thing is that the book made me smile. Your mileage may vary, as it is wont to do.
Art is still provided by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. They continue to do a fantastic job of not only making the comic look just like the show, but supplying the sight gags and the whimsy and the sometimes terrifying visages that make Adventure Time what it is. There are some really impressive images here, as well as some really subtle ones; both of which are supremely effective to the comic as whole. Finn smooching a gigantic pair of sandy lips has to be my favorite thing here.
There is, as always, a couple extra comics after the main one. One is just a page of Marceline a thousand years ago and a splash page of Marceline now. This comes form the same people who made the main comic, so it seems more like a couple extra pages than another comic. It’s cute and a little bittersweet. I like it, because I like Marceline and because I like to see hints of what happened before the Earth became Ooo, but there is not much of a story being told here. The other comic, “Ultimate Party Dip,” is written and illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos and it stars leader of the bears, Party Pat. He goes on an adventure to collect ingredients for dip so the bears can have an even sweeter party. I like how colorful and silly the art is here, but the story is about as interesting as that sounds. It is more like a montage.
All of these things continue to make Adventure Time a stand out comic. While this book does not quite measure up to the previous issues, in my opinion, that does not hold it back from being well worth any fan’s time and money.