May 5, 2015

[Comics] Adventure Time Vol. 3 - Seeing Red

The Adventure Time graphic novels are an interesting off-shoot of the franchise that largely operates on its own despite the fact that there are also continuing comics based on the show. These titles are standalone stories that are pretty interesting on their own and do not necessarily crossover directly with the show or the on-going comic book series.

Seeing Red is the 3rd Adventure Time graphic novel released by BOOM! Studios and follows the pattern thus far of largely focusing on a particular character for its narrative. The first book focused more on Flame Princess while the second book was about LSP and some of the other Princesses. This time around it's all about Marceline the Vampire Queen, as the title generally implies.

These graphic novels are interesting little adventures that clearly feel like an attempt to create a somewhat manga-like experience given their black and white pages and such. There's a lot to be said about going through a complete story in this graphic format that makes for an interesting experience.

Synopsis: Adventure Time Vol. 3 - Seeing Red is an original graphic novel written by Kate Leth with art by Zack Sterling. The book was published last year by BOOM! Studios.

Marceline the Vampire Queen has been summoned back home for a family reunion of some sort. She's loathe to return home and see her family. but then she realizes that she had left her axe (guitar) previously. Thus using the reunion as an excuse to go home may not be too bad if it means retrieving her instrument. But she also decides not to go alone and drags Jake the Dog to accompany her on this journey back to the Nightosphere.

But of course things aren't quite as they seem and the reunion is a bit more than just a reunion. Marceline's father, Hunson Abadeer, has other plans in mind. And how Marceline deals with her father and whether or not she finds her axe are really what flesh out this story. The comic also includes a short story involving LSP, which is pretty funny on its own.

The book puts Marceline and Jake together in a somewhat unusual pairing. We haven't seen these two characters really interact with one another on an extended basis and it was nice to see the comic try to explore what might happen. Don't expect anything too deep though in terms of overall character development - they have a few fun moments here and there, but that's about here.

The overall story of this title was kind of just okay but nothing exceptional. I was rather excited about this return to the Nightosphere and another chance to explore the relationship between Marceline and her father. But even with Hunson's little plot of sorts, things weren't too involved and it felt like the axe-search was really a lot bigger than that side of the story.

Art remains clean and consistent with the tone of the cartoon and many of the other Adventure Time comics. The main story remains pretty consistent in terms of art while the secondary story generally has that slightly rougher look to things that also has its own charm.

I wasn't quite blown away by Seeing Red compared to the other books, but it's still a pretty solid adventure. Plus getting the title helps you complete the little bit of spine art that the various graphic novels have been forming with each new release. The comic gets 3.5 strange creatures of the Nightosphere out of a possible 5.

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