The Lich King is back, and nothing will stand between him and the total destruction of the Land of Ooo. Nothing, that is, but adventuring heroes Finn and Jake! Facing their most destructive foe yet, Finn and Jake must find a way to stop him, and it may just take the combined strength of Ice King, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, and even Lumpy Space Princess to do it!
Review: Adventure Time with Finn and Jake #1-4
Written by Ryan North; Art by Braden Lamb, Mike Holmes, Shelli Paroline
BOOM! Studios, November 2012
128 pgs, $14.99
Adventure Time, the cartoon series that runs on Cartoon Network, has become an insanely hot property. It is popular among kids and adults, so it’s no surprise that it got its own comic series. BOOM! Studios has continued that success by creating a series that keeps the feel of the cartoon while giving readers new stories that expand the characters and the world of Ooo.
These first four issues cover the first story arc, which includes the return of the Lich King, the villain from the season finale of season 4 of the cartoon. Free to roam the world again, he finds the Bag of Holding, a bag that is like the TARDIS in that it is bigger on the inside than on the outside and can probably hold the universe. Lich King uses the bag to scoop up kingdoms and people from the land of Ooo, including Finn and Jake. Trapped inside, everyone must work together along with a new ally, Desert Princess, to find a way out of the bag and stop Lich King from throwing it into the sun.
I wasn’t sure I would like Adventure Time. I liked the gender-swapped version with Fionna and Cake, but the bits I had seen of regular Adventure Time didn’t appeal to me as much. I have to admit now that I did enjoy this first story arc. Finn and Jake have their own appeal, which is mostly as gung-ho boys always searching for an adventure. They don’t just like to play the heroes. They are ready to take on any challenge no matter how big, and they don’t really look at failure as an option. I don’t mean they don’t think they can fail, but they see failure as an obstacle to be overcome. They don’t get down when their first few plans to stop the Lich King fail; they just keep coming up with new ideas and try new things. It’s nice to read a series that doesn’t feel the need to get overly dramatic every once in a while. Jake and Finn just don’t do that.
I also enjoyed seeing the all characters working together. Finn and Jake worked with Marceline and the Ice King instead of fighting them. They made a pretty good team once Finn figured out how to make the best use of everyone’s skills, which is how they were able to finally defeat the Lich King. It was good way to show that cooperation is more effective. While Finn and Jake wanted to be the ones to save the day, they couldn’t do it without the help of everyone in Ooo.
Each issue included two short stories that featured different characters. Most of the stories I liked featured Marceline. “Laundomarceline” was a funny story that made use of her ability to “de-redify” things. In the Land of Ooo, vampires don’t drink blood but the color red. It was a cute use of this fact. I also liked the two-page story “After the Show” with Marceline and Princess Bubblegum. It wasn’t really a story, more of a slice of life moment between the pair. The short flashback in the last issue that shows Marceline before she became a vampire was cute too.
Adventure Time might seem strange or kooky sometimes, but it has an internal logic and it keeps to it, making it a story that is easy to pick up and enjoy. You don’t have to have seen the cartoon series or know who the characters are to enjoy this title. The story does a good job introducing them and the Land of Ooo. But it certainly doesn’t hurt. It won the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids 8-12 and a Harvey for Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers this year. With two big wins like that, you know it’s doing something right! Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is a fun title that both kids and adults will enjoy.