Jul 23, 2013

[Comics] Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens

I'm a major Adventure Time fan, although ironically I realize that I have yet to really write about the series thus far on this blog. And I've watched all the episodes and read most of the comic books at this point - but still no reviews! I know, it rather weirds me out too!

I guess I've been too busy enjoying the series to actually write about it. Go figure.

So this is one of the first Adventure Time posts that I'll have on the Geeky Guide (and hopefully the start of many more to come). I certainly have a lot of catching up to do.

I figured it would be easier to start with this particular mini-series since it's a little harder to tackle the full on-going series (which has about 18 issues at this point). This was the first limited series released for the comic book adaptation of the popular animated TV series and they made an interesting choice in telling a story about Marceline and Princess Bubblegum traveling together.

But hey, it sort of works.

Synopsis: Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens is a 6-issue comic book mini-series by BOOM! Studios based on the characters from the popular Cartoon Network show. The comic was written and drawn by Meredith Gran.

Here we get to meet the Scream Queens - who are the rest of the band with Marceline the vampire as the lead. Their unique brand of rock and roll is pretty popular around the Land of Ooo and they're about to go on a whirlwind tour. The band consist of Keila as the vampire lead guitarist, Bongo the ghost drummer and the seemingly human keyboardist Guy.

One thing leads to another and an insult/challenge that Princess Bubblegum just didn't understand what good music is ends up with her joining the band on their tour as their road manager. But of course the musical tour of a paranormal band isn't going to go without a hitch and the crew face their own challenges along the way. But no matter what happens, they're certainly going to ROCK!

The art nicely captures the feel of the cartoon - something that most of the Adventure Time comics manage well enough, although at times they do take some artistic liberties here and there. And it was nice to see Marceline in her musical element - she's certainly a pretty fierce character on her own, but even more with her really rocking her guitar.

The band made for an interesting mix of characters to contrast her against, although ultimately only Guy has true back story worth following and learning about. The rest of the group end up being a lot of background fluff compared to the rest of the characters.

Now a cross-country rock and roll adventure wasn't exactly the kind of story that I was hoping from the world of Adventure Time, but at the same time the pairing of Marceline and Princess Bubblegum is one that works on a lot of levels. They're almost complete opposites as characters and thus naturally they have a lot of synergies where their differences help strengthen one another. And that was certainly evident in this book, thus stressing how the two are truly meant to be friends despite their differences.

One interesting tidbit that I had not realized while reading the individual issues is how most if not all of the different covers (and their many, many variants) are actually inspired by popular album covers in our world. It takes a bit of rock and rock knowledge to identify the parallels, but it's still a nice little Easter egg that the folks behind the comic threw in. And Adventure Time is all about subtle references lying in plain sight.

While this is not the strongest story initially, over time Marceline and the Scream Queens turns out to be a pretty fun romp around Ooo. There's a lot of character growth for both Marceline and Princess Bubblebum and I certainly hope that echoes of this makes its way to the cartoon as well. Thus I can rate the comic series as a whole with 3.5 BMO moments out of a possible 5.

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