By Ryan North, Dustin Nguyen, Jess Fink, Jeffery Brown, Jim Rugg, Shelli Paroline & Brandon Lamb
Whoa. Where do you begin with an issue like this? Intense, exciting, funny, informative, crazy potential sneak peeks at the future and looking back at the past… just totally math. Without giving too much away, because everybody who’s anybody should pick this up, this issue pretty much has it all. Is all that vague-yet-intriguing enough for you to go out and pick up the issue? Hopefully it is.
Writer Ryan North really has these characters down to a science. Assuming that what North writes is part canon to the Cartoon Network series, there was a whole hell of a lot in here. North provided us with a great history of Marceline and Princess Bubblegum, cool and current adventures and possibly a look at the future for the land of Ooo. Now, in the paragraph above was all sorts of mad vagueness and this one kind of goes back on that but… it just can’t be helped. Everything reads like the show and if you’ve seen it and are as addicted as you should be everything sounds like the characters, literally and figuratively, and the story very well could be an episode or two and, frankly, let’s hope that actually happens. If Ryan North hasn’t written episodes or contributed to the show, Pen Ward really needs to call him up.
Now, it’s not entirely clear who’s doing what art, just that there’s a handful of them on this issue. Aside from the weird talking Dinosaur intro which appears to be done by one or two of the guest artists and maybe the flashback scene with Marceline and PB, regular series artists Shelli Paroline and Brandon Lamb shine with the bulk of the issue. That’s not to say the Dinosaur introduction and the flashback were bad, it’s just not what one might be used to seeing in Adventure Time. For example, the Dino scene is looser and almost… less cartoon-y than what one might immediately picture when thinking of AT while parts of the Marceline/Bubblegum flashback have almost a pencil crayon look to it. Again, it’s not bad and it actually works to sort of split up these different times in the history of Ooo but it’s not what we’re used to and, frankly, it’s just not Paroline/Lamb caliber.
Regular series artists Shelli Paroline and Brandon Lamb, as mentioned above, are on their own level when it comes to this series. It’s spot on to the cartoon, it’s spot on to the colors, feel and look that we’re, well, used to when thinking about AT. It’s as simple as that; these two artists are just so good at giving us the same look and feel that the cartoon does that it feels like you’re slipping into a comfortable, familiar sleeping bag that’s snuggly and warm.
Okay, so, the praise for this issue is high. Some of the art is a bit different that what we’re used to, but in context it works. As usual though, Ryan North gives us a fantastic story that very easily could be an episode on the Cartoon Network and both Paroline and Lamb provide stellar art that compliments North’s beyond perfectly. What does all this mean? Well, it means you need to read some Adventure Time from BOOM! Studios because they really do it right. If you’re a new fan or an old one, you need to check out this issue and this series.