Adventure Time: The Flip Side #1 of 6
Written by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin
Art and Cover by Wook Jin Clark
Published by Boom! Studios
At its best, Adventure Time is art in the truest sense, transporting older viewers back into their childhoods and tapping into the imaginations of younger viewers. It weaves together nostalgia for the recent past into something familiar, but completely original. Adventure Time seamlessly builds a magical world on the back of a nuclear holocaust. It has explored alternate realities and relationships in equal measure, building its audience as it has built the world of Ooo. The show’s DNA translates perfectly to the monthly offering, comic books and the Saturday morning cartoon being cousins. Adventure Time: The Flip Side takes almost all of that DNA, and creates something different.
Finn’s suffering from severe quest deficiency, so he sets off with BMO and Jake to get his fix. After helping some Pancake Princesses and Turtle Bob, they manage to find the good stuff on the back of a questing board: save Princess Painting from the Monkey Wizard. Adventure ensues among a flurry of jokes. The final pages introduce the eponymous ‘flip’ as Finn, Jake and BMO embark on a quest unlike any they’ve attempted.
Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s plot feels like Adventure Time, but they also invest their own sense of humor, using sight gags and call backs decidedly their own. The issue is also rife with MMORPG tropes: the questing board, collecting badges for completing quests, earning licenses to adventure. Minor characters constantly emphasize that Finn and the gang must complete smaller challenges before moving on to the big one. Wook Jin Clark draws a slightly less stylized Finn, giving a drape to his shirt and more shape to his body. He has a lot of fun with character design, especially Princess Painting, whose canvas face changes based on her dialogue or mood.
Flip Side promises to turn Ooo upside-down, but this issue delivers the Finn, Jake, and BMO readers know. It’s only in the last few pages that intimate what sort of change the characters might be going through. This issue moves slowly, something that Adventure Time usually relegates to further fleshing out its large cast. Flip Side moves slowly, filling the pages with jokes instead of building characters. It’s an odd choice that differentiates this book from the larger Adventure Time universe. The creative team behind Flip Side produces its own take on Adventure Time and the world of Ooo. While that makes Flip Side decidedly different, Ooo is nothing if not expansive. Readers will have to wait until at least the next issue to see how far Flip Side goes into uncharted territory.