“Trouble’s just an adventure you haven’t finished yet.” -Jake the Dog
From the first collection, KaBOOM!’s Adventure Time comics have captured the spirit of the show—its look, humor, life lessons and…adventurousness, for lack of a better word—and used the comic format to enhance it. Volume 5 is no exception. This being a “mathematical edition,” it contains extra notes at the end.
The first chapter, a standalone, puts the reader in the story as it is drawn from the point of view of a character who is going on an adventure with Finn and Jake (the character is not revealed until the end). This chapter is heartwarming, but not essential to the next four chapters, which concern a sentient bubblegum who is taking over the land of Ooo and the brains of its citizens, just as Princess Bubblegum is having a personal crisis about how much she has to rely on a boy and his dog to get her kingdom out of trouble time and time again. Bubblegum doubts her leadership skills, and is handily trapped in her castle, testing those very skills to get her and Marceline out of a jam—or, out of a gum, as would be more appropriate.
While this volume doesn’t play with the original format as much as other volumes have (some of which have included “Choose Your Own Adventure” chapters), it does take time to focus on Bubblegum as a central character. Of course, all the characters are important in the show, but it is driven by the adventures of Finn and Jake. Bubblegum dresses up for a hangout with Marceline, has a great moment with the power of physics, and once again is forced to temporarily come into contact with the results of one of her more wayward products of scientific experimentation. Speaking of, Lemongrab makes an appearance, and North has the tone of the show down so well that it’s hard not to believe his screams are not emanating from the pages.
The art, too, is pitch perfect. The coloring never less than bright and saturated and the characters all appear as themselves, as they appear on the screen. Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb don’t miss opportunities to take advantage of the casual tone to slip in great details (look out for the waving snail) and make the gross parts really hilariously gross (see Chapter 5), or simultaneously cute and gross at the same time, like the bubblegum entity. Rest assured that Adventure Time is still well worth the time for readers, whether they are hardcore fans of the show or not.
Adventure Time, vol. 5
by Ryan North
Art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb
Publisher Age Rating: