Aug 6, 2013

[Comics] Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake

I'm a big Adventure Time fan - there's just so much to love about the show, it's almost crazy how much it works for me and my partner Tobie. We're definitely fans of the show and to say that we're hooked may be a bit of an understatement! It's definitely the unique kind of cartoon that appeals to several different age brackets even if we don't fully understand the appeal of the show in a manner that can be expressed in words.

One of the more popular episodes in recent history was the gender-swapping episode "Fionna and Cake" from the third season of the show. Here we saw opposite alternatives of the most of the Adventure Time cast thus our hero Finn became the heroine Fionna and Jake the magical dog became Cake the magical cat. Thus far we've only really gotten to experience these characters in two episodes (as I remember it thus far), which isn't really saying much.

So when a comic mini-series featuring the gender-swapped universe was announce, you can imagine that I was pretty excited about it. And while we can argue until forever whether or not the comics can be considered true "canon" in the Adventure Time universe, I don't think we'll ever truly complain about reading more stories about them, "official" or not.


Synopsis: Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake is a 6-issue mini-series created by BOOM! Studios as set in the Adventure Time universe. Both story and art were by Natasha Allegri, who actually created a lot of the concepts for the original episode. Like the main Adventure Time comics, each issue features a main story that's part of the larger arc and the shorter story as a sort of bonus.

It's a stormy night and Cake is busy telling Fionna a story about a woman of fire. Coincidentally enough, Fionna then spies some fire lions running away from the Ice Queen. She races to help them but hesitates when it comes to deciding to bring a sword or not. She's been somewhat traumatized about trusting another sword after the events of the "Fionna and Cake" episode. She eventually settles on one of the swords that Cake had prepared and runs off to do battle with Ice Queen.

Eventually Flame Prince arrives and tries to stand up to Ice Queen and her attack on the Fire Lions. He manages to hold her off for a bit until he hesitates. This leaves Ice Queen the opening that she needs to knock him out just as Fionna & Cake arrive on the scene. And while they rescue Flame Prince, they're still going to need help bringing him back to full strength. Then there's the question of what Ice Queen was really up to when she had to drive out the fire lions.

First off, yay for more Fionna & Cake goodness! The characterization is spot on in this comic and it feels just like watching the TV show. And this goes beyond just the images and how the characters are drawn. I think a lot of what makes this comic so dynamic and awesome compared to the other Adventure Time titles is the creative use of fonts and typefaces to convey the different characters' personality. So you will get big, outrageous letters from Cake trying to stress a point or delicate cursive writing from Prince Bubblegum, because that's just the sort of guy that he is.

And the humor was definitely lived up to the Adventure Time spirit as well - the crazy assortment that Cake offers Fionna alone is proof of this. And no, I won't go on ahead and spoil things for you since you definitely have to find the time to read this comic.

My only critique really is how the plot as a whole was just a little weak. I know how madcap and crazy Adventure Time stories can be but for some reason it felt like the material that had been provided was not quite enough to run for the full six issues, thus there were parts that felt a little stretched. It didn't make the story bad - just that there were parts when pacing could have been a little better. Otherwise, I still loved the darn thing.

Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake is still a great read for any Adventure Time and especially if you love the gender-swapped universe created by Ice King. Thus it rates a respectable 4 crazy swords out of a possible 5.


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