Adventure Time #11
Created by Pendleton Ward
Written by Ryan North, Zack Giallongo
Art by Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, Zack Giallongo
Colors by Lisa Moore
Letters by Steve Wands
Covers by Chris Houghton, Kevin Wada, Logan Faerber, Paul Pope, JJ Harrison, Rich Kolowski
Release date: December 19, 2012
Let me be straight with you. I adore Adventure Time on Cartoon Network. This means that I am automatically drawn to anything that carries the name. It also means that I’ll be twice as critical. The best parts of Adventure Time, after the stories, are the insane animation. I was a bit worried how this wonderful series would play out in comics form. There are other TV series, animated and live-action, that have let me down when they crossed mediums. After reading Adventure Time #11 I have to say that my fears were unfounded.
Issue #11 is written by Ryan North and is a new arc in the Kaboom production of the comic series. A perfect jumping on point for new readers, including this reviewer.
The adventure begins with my favorite character Marceline the Vampire Queen visiting Finn and Jake at their tree house. The guys were just coming off the high of watching Blood Drive, a movie that’s got, “race cars! And vampires! And vampire race cars!” BMO, their resident sentient walking/talking game boy, suggests they all play a new game he dug up called Super Guts Punch 3. After winding-up the entire group with an excellent teaser pitch of the game’s synopsis, and an offhand warning that if they “die in the game they die in real life,” BMO zaps the trio into his game matrix.
One Art Shift later, we find our heroes are inside BMO and ready to play. After a few antics and several game levels the guys and lass realize Super Guts Punch 3 is impressively varied but all the bosses are significantly weaker than they should be. This is when they realize there is not only something wrong with the game but BMO as well.
The only problem I have with Adventure Time #11 is the same problem I have with most multi-part stories. Sometimes the beginning of serial comics has a different pacing than it would have if it were told all at once. All our players are cool and very much in character for the Adventure Time-verse but the build-up is less natural and feels like setup for the real meat of the story. That meat being what’s wrong with BMO and how are they going to fix him.
Shelli Paroline and Brandon Lamb‘s art is on point. The characters and set pieces are in line with the animated series. There’s also a background bonus or two if you look closer(check the guys bookshelf on the bottom panel of the first page). The art shift after the gang enter BMO’s game world is reminiscent of the “Guardians of Sunshine” episode. Only Super Guts Punch 3 has more advanced graphics. A fact that’s mentioned in story. I love little details like that.
As a beginning piece for the newest arc in the Adventure Time comics this issue hit all the points. It established the main thrust of the arc while staying true to the series voice. I’m just impatient these days cause I like my stories all in one go.
The Meaning of Bravery is a short story written by Zach Giallango with colors by Lisa Moore. It features Susan Strong, my second favorite character the Demon Cat that has “approximate knowledge of many things, ” and Finn and Jake’s hero BILLY! I adore this seven page tale of monsters bravery. I might like it a bit more than the previous tale. But that’s only because, like I mentioned earlier, I get the beginning, middle and end in one go.