This volume collects the first four issues of the comic based on Pendleton Ward’s wildly successful Adventure Time cartoon series. Despite being a media-tie in series, it has actually won several awards, including the Will Eisner Award, and the Harvey Awards for Best Original Publication for Younger Readers and Special Award for Humor. It is geared towards middle grade readers, but will be enjoyable for anyone who likes the show and can appreciate the blend of silliness and occasional darkness it has to offer.
Finn the Human and Jake the Dog are having a pretty regular day in the Land of Ooo, teaching adorable computer BMO how to become a great fighter. Turns out, tiny computers don’t make great fighters, but BMO teaches Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum the art of the Battle Burn, which comes in handy when The Lich shows up and tries to destroy the world yet again.
The Lich travels the land, sucking the world into his magic bag and trapping the denizens of Ooo in a strange desert world. Inside the bag, Finn and Jake meet the Desert Princess (who may or may not be a result of the bag squishing together several individuals) and with their new ally, they team up with other friends (and foes) like Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess and the Ice King to escape the bag and defeat The Lich.
The story and the art have all the surrealism and optimistic absurdity of the show, as well as a lot of the heart, too. Adventure Time is a deceptive show, with a silly, saccharine aesthetic that belies a darker, post-apocalyptic undercurrent (it's also heavily influenced by Dungeons & Dragons). The appeal is difficult to sum up in words, as so much of it lies in a combination of elements; the dialogue, the design of the world, the relationships between the characters all work together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Kids will enjoy the adventure and overall giddiness, and adults can enjoy the deeper elements that peek through.