Written by Christopher Hastings
Art by Ian McGinty & Maarta Laiho
Published by BOOM! Studios
Release Date: March 9, 2016

Remember: Books are only okay as a sometimes treat, per the wisdom of BMO.

The Lich makes a dastardly scheme to trap Finn in a book full of pictures of himself. As he travels through some of his past lives, the Lich is there at every corner tempting him with darkness. Eventually, Finn realizes his duty as a hero and as a part of history, dashing the Lich’s plans and getting back to Jake and BMO. In the final pages, we catch a glimpse of the future of Ooo and find that though some things change, others stay the same.

If you know me, you probably know I love Adventure Time the cartoon, and one of my favorite aspects of it is the extensive history. I tend to enjoy the Adventure Time comic because it’s pretty fresh, but I was floored by issue #50. This story explored some interesting parts of the history of Ooo and Finn’s place within it while keeping the lively and humorous spirit of Adventure Time media.

The story in this issue is just shmowzow. For one, the Adventure Time comics are considered canon, so everything that happens in these pages really happen in the world of Ooo. That being said, Christopher Hastings masters the use of lore and continuity within this universe to string together some awesome connections. On more than one occasion, Finn has explored his past lives. In Adventure Time #50, Hastings takes us through these prominent previous incarnations of the young blonde hero, leading him to solve the problems that many of his past selves had to face. Hastings takes a world that over the past six years has been revealed to be massively dense with history and puts it all together in a neat package. Finn is captured with an accuracy that underscores his pure heroism, but also the philosophical meaning that rides through much of this series, whether animated or on the page.

Much of the Adventure Time series’ art is pretty close to the animation, so the visuals of #50 aren’t really a departure from what we typically see. However, Ian McGinty and Maarta Laiho do well in keeping the style and energy throughout this world of media. Every page is wacky and emphatic, and this team works with every jump through the issue, displaying important changes in the setting from tone to color. In particular, there are some really cool pages with Finn as the comet. Laiho’s colors stand out as Finn is luminescent against the backdrop of space and the chaos and darkness of the Lich, and I like McGinty’s minimalistic and fluid use of from in these panels.

Finn has a great line in this issue, “The all of my being is yet to be determined.” This statement made me stop and think for a moment about my own work as a therapist. Finn’s monologue, in which his quote is placed, is a great jump-off for important introspection about meaning, life, and placing worth in who and what someone is.

I cannot express enough how great this story was. If you’re a fan of the larger mythos of Adventure Time, please pick up this issue, as it ties together some of the trippier episodes of the animated series while exploring Finn and the Lich’s relationship. Adventure Time #50 has the randomness and fun the series has been known for while also capturing deeper moments through Finn the Human. It was a great read and I look forward to keeping it in my collection.

And maybe another time I’ll talk about my theory that Billy the Hero is an AU Grunkle Ford who survived the Great Mushroom War and became functionally immortal.

The Verdict: 10/10


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