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‘Bravest Warriors’ #33 is a unique spin on murder mysteries

‘Bravest Warriors’ #33 is a unique spin on murder mysteries


Bravest Warriors #33
Written by Kate Leth
Art by Ian McGinty, Adam Del Re, Kat Leyh, Jake Myler
Colors by Lisa Moore
Published by BOOM! Studios

Back from a summer camp, which ended up featuring an interdimensional eldritch being and Catbug’s evil brother, the Bravest Warriors are  ready for some well-earned R and R. However, when they get back to their hideout, they are greeted by a sweet and disgusting sight. Plum reunites with her girlfriend Peach, but Danny’s beloved “toast goblin” Jelly Kid is dead. In Bravest Warriors #33, Kate Leth scripts an interactive closed room mystery story finding out which Warrior, ally, or random intruder killed Jelly Kid. There are three answers at the end of the comic (drawn by Adam Del Re, Kat Leyh, and Leth’s  Fraggle Rock collaborator), but most of the fun is figuring out the “killer” yourself. Ian McGinty’s art is pretty expressive in this issue because of a variety of things, including Danny’s bond with Jelly Kid, the love between Peach and Plum, and everyone trying to calm Danny down in general.

In Bravest Warriors #33, Ian McGinty shows that he has a nice handle on the Pendleton Ward style of conveying big emotions through eye changes and shifts. For example, Danny accuses Peach of being the killer because she was at the hideout before them, and his eyes bug out and turn white. This kind of cartoon shorthad allows for a breezier reading experience while also showing Danny’s relationship with Jelly Kid without Kate Leth writing an uber long monologue. McGinty doesn’t skimp on details though with Plum and Peach getting some cute new outfits that would give Jamie McKelvie or Kevin Wada a run for their money. Catbug continues to be the centerpiece of his work on the title with sly, shifty movements and facial expressions to go with Leth’s adorable dialogue.

In fact, Bravest Warriors #33 is kind of a humorous deconstruction of the self-serious murder mystery genre. (*cough* Broadchurch Season 2) First of all, Leth and McGinty let readers who may have not seen the cartoon that Jelly Kid doesn’t actually die, but has weird healing/toast producing powers by having Danny freak out, then showing a panel of Jelly Kid of being cute with his toast, and then Danny becoming furious at a chilled out Impossibear. On the surface, this shouldn’t be a murder mystery story, but Leth and McGinty play with its tropes throughout seeding in red herrings and hidden (mostly visual) clues that prompt rereadings to figure out the ending as the “murders” continue to pile up.

Kate Leth’s banter filled dialogue is the icing on the cake of this stand alone issue. Her characters have an easy synergy with Danny, Wallow, and Catbug trading quips about finally getting to have clean pants now that they’re back from a mission to Peach and Plum’s reunion in which Ian McGinty goes full romance with his art and characters’ star filled eyes. Leth also adds some subtler jokes, like yet another Great Gatsby reference. Lisa Moore’s colors continue to translate the cartoon to the comics page, especially the clear stream blue of Jelly Kid.

With its send-up of murder mysteries, interactive nature, and pitch perfect writing and drawing of characters like Danny, Catbug, Peach, Plum, and an unnamed newcomer, Bravest Warriors #33 is a highlight in Kate Leth and Ian McGinty’s run on the comic as well as a good jumping on point for Cartoon Hangover neophytes. (And the subsection of Agatha Christie and Adventure Time fans. Holler in the comments if you’re out there.)