Story by: Emily Partridge
Writer: Pranas Naujokaitis
Artist: Natalie Andrewson
Release Date: 20th January, 2016
We all love Adventure Time, right? Instantly quotable, gloriously surreal and utterly hilarious… what’s not to love? It’s also safe to say that, to date, the standard of BOOM! Studios’ Adventure Time comic book output has been consistently high, with a steady stream of truly authentic-feeling titles that have managed to perfectly capture the distinctive ‘vibe’ of Pendleton Ward’s fan-favourite series. This latest AT miniseries is based around loveable bad guy The Ice King trying to find his penguin Gunter who is missing, presumed kidnapped.
This first issue is filled with cameos from familiar Adventure Time faces, and sets things up fairly well for the rest of the series as the Ice King ends up travelling to Wizard City in order to enlist some magical assistance. Unfortunately, the humour – while definitely bearing more than a passing resemblance to the familiar Adventure Time style – just doesn’t land, resulting in a flat, frustrating read. The sharpness isn’t there, the wittiness isn’t there, and the whole thing ends up feeling more than a little uninspired as a result. BOOM! Studios’ Adventure Time comics usually have me chuckling away as I read through them, but I’m sad to report that I don’t think this first issue even raised a smile – with the possible exception of the gag early on about all penguins looking the same.
Natalie Andrewson’s artwork is perhaps the only real saving grace of the first issue, creating an impressively authentic Adventure Time world and cramming in several neat visual gags along the way. The pages are bright and colourful, and while the lettering can be unforgivably rough in places, there’s no denying that – from a visual point of view, at least – this series is going to be able to more than hold its own alongside the rest of BOOM!’s Adventure Time back catalogue.
While the idea does have potential, this first issue just didn’t pop like it probably should, and while it did just enough to feel authentic to the Adventure Time world, it still felt like a bit of a missed opportunity to me. Flat, uninspired and ultimately disappointing, ICE KING is an unexpected blip on BOOM! Studios’ otherwise stellar Adventure Time output.
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