Writer – Christopher Hastings
Artist – Zachary Sterling
Colorist – Maarta Laiho
Letterer – Steve Wands
Backup story “Axe Before Taking”:
Written and Illustrated by Jake Wyatt
Oh man, I enjoyed this issue a lot. Let’s start with the covers. There are 3 different variants, all of which are great. The main cover was done by Paul Pope. The sub cover and a 3rd variant are equally fun to look at, by Laura Dawson and Simon Leclerc respectively. Once you crack one of these finely illustrated covers, you are thrust right into the story. It’s a fairly simple plot, a mission of protecting some fragile egg people from breaking, but the way it plays out is pretty funny and cute. It’s not so much the plot itself, but the reactions and interactions of the heroes, Jake, Finn, BMO, and Princess Bubblegum, who is there primarily to set them on the mission and then act as the person they are accountable to if they lose the mission.
A subplot emerges, that is very meta. It reminds me of something out of Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III Promethea book from about 10 years ago. Only cuter. The strength of this book is the adherence to the Adventure Time house style married with the loose freedom to have panels filled with wild and imaginative imagery. So much is going right with this book, I really can’t find a complaint. So the egg storyline progressed humorously, and the meta subplot progresses in a kind of game-like interaction with the reader (I don’t want to ruin it, but I’ve never seen something like this done with a comic and was very entertained by it) by the end of the story, the two threads are reconciled and brought to a close in a very seamless way. The resolution of both plots at the same time gives the reader a really pleasing sense of closure.
The art is great, vibrant, fun, colorful, leaping off the page (almost literally). The writing is not the most advanced in terms of story, but very advanced in the execution of two very simple plots told in a very pleasing way. This sort of book is aimed at a younger audience, and when I read something like this I am jealous of younger readers of today. The comics I was reading in my formative years were not nearly as fun as this. I read a lot of 90’s era comics as a youth, and man… the difference between the tone of books at that time, versus what we have on display here is like the difference between ink soaked, crosshatched dark grim and gritty night vs. clean, fluid, rubbery, simple line art fun and happy day. Such a reversal.
So anyway, the main story rocked 110%. The backup story did nothing less than that. Written and illustrated by Jake Wyatt, it’s again, a simple plot, told very well. The art is great and fits with the Adventure Time look while at the same time letting Wyatt express it how he wishes.
The backup stars Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. Nothing too earth shattering in terms of story, but it’s one of those light, simple comic stories told beautifully that is just pleasing to lay your eyes on. It’s like an ice cream cone for your eyes…. or something. It’s good.
Conclusion: I need to read more Adventure Time. Way more.