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Review: Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake #1

Adventure Time is a cartoon series that is popular with both boys and girls. In its third season they did a one-off episode that gender-swapped all the characters, which surprisingly became one of their most popular episodes. I know my kids loved it. When we went to Wondercon last year, there was a lot of Fionna cosplay, and at the Adventure Time panel, there were a lot of questions about if/when Fionna and Cake would return to the series. I think the biggest surprise is that it took so long for them to get a comic series.

Adventure Time With Fionna and Cake #1
By Natasha Allegri
All Ages
Boom! Studios; January 2013
22 pgs; $3.99

Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake takes place shortly after their cartoon appearance. The comic consists of two tales, the beginning of the main story and a self-contained short story. The issue starts during the monsoon season, with Cake telling Fionna a bedtime story. Then from over the hill come baby fire lions running away from Ice Queen, who is attacking them. Fionna and Cake rush out to stop her. Meanwhile, a boy of fire tries to stop Ice Queen as well but is defeated by her, just as Fionna and Cake arrive just in the nick of time to save him. In “Sweater Bandit,” it’s just cool enough to wear sweaters, but someone has stolen Fionna and Cake’s sweaters! While tracking the sweater lint trail, they run into Prince Gumball and Marshall Lee. Together they go after the Sweater Bandit.

If I had any complaint about this first issue of Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake, it’s that it felt too short. The main story opens with a beautiful fairy-tale like story of how volcanoes came to be. It’s wonderfully bittersweet. The story subtly ties in with their cartoon episode and gives an opportunity for a funny moment with Cake unveiling her collection of swords she made just for Fionna, including a kitty litter sword! (Cat poo not included). We don’t get to see any of Fionna’s kick-butt-ery, as the story ends just as she and Cake arrive, but there’s hope for some in the next issue. “The Sweater Bandit” short story was really fun too. Fionna wearing Cake like a sweater was great, and it was funny to see Marshall Lee getting dragged around by Fionna. He did look good in his sweater, even if he doesn’t need it. Vampires don’t get cold.

You don’t have to know anything about Fionna and Cake’s TV episode to enjoy this issue, but there are layers for those who do. What I really like about this issue, and the whole gender-swap itself, is that the creator, Natasha Allegri, really did it right. Fionna is not just Finn with long hair and a skirt. Yes, Fionna likes to swing a sword and kick butt, but she is still a girl. She may have wanted more action in Cake’s bedtime story, but she also loved how Cake decorated her boots. Fionna and Cake have real personalities of their own, and that’s what makes them so interesting as characters and so popular with the fans as well.

Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake was a quick but fun time. Maybe this just proves the old adage “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I’m looking forward to the next issue already to find out who the fire boy is and what Ice Queen did to him. And of course, to just see more of Fionna and Cake! This is a title that should get into the hands of boys and girls alike, and especially into the hands of Adventure Time fans!

Image © Boom! Studios

Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!

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