Comic Review: Adventure Time/Regular Show #1

Writer: Conor McCreery
Artist: Mattia Di Meo
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

The two cartoon hits which took up so much of my free time freshman year of college (I always preferred Regular Show and its slacker heroes though.) , Adventure Time and Regular Show, finally cross over in comic book form thanks to writer Conor McCreery (Kill Shakespeare), artist Mattia Di Meo (Adventure Time Comics), and colorist Joana Lafuente (Jem and the Holograms). Finn and Jake are battling the very mathematical Master of Division and his army of Quarter Orcs when Prince Bubblegum’s Portal of Limitless Power throws them smack dab in the middle of Mordecai’s attempt to corral the denizens of a summer camp for little dictators. Using an abundance of double page spreads, the comic spends a lot of time developing the separate Adventure Time and Regular Show plotlines, but when McCreery and Di Meo smash them together, the fun really begins.

At the heart of both Adventure Time and Regular Show is the friendship between their two leads Finn and Jake and Mordecai and Rigby respectively. McCreery immediately dissolves this bond with the help of the Master of Division, whose powers aren’t just summoning upside down ice cream cone laser shooting things, but cursing good friends to hate,one-up, and pull each other’s pants up. There is a real elasticity to Di Meo’s art, and he is particularly good at showing Jake’s shape shifting abilities, especially when goes off the reservation and betrays his friends by giving the Master of Location his literal butt’s location. This rubbery feel hits its peak when the Adventure Time characters collide with the Regular Show one when they overload the portal, and the dreamy, quest driven collides with the more slice of life, yet no less surreal one. Mordecai’s goal might be to get a letter of recommendation from his boss and not find a new energy source, but his job involves dealing with diminutive dictators drawn with a caricaturist’s careful eye by Di Meo.

I’m not a big fan of having the Adventure Time and Regular Show stories running on the same page with tons and tons of little panels until they cross over. Conor McCreery and Mattia Di Meo do a solid job establishing the tone of both universes and separate plotlines, but the sheer amount of material on the page kind of hinders the comedy. Di Meo does save this with some adorable sight gags like the little dictators’ scrunched up faces, and McCreery’s take on Lumpy Space Princess is flat out funny especially when she meets up with her Regular Show second banana counterparts, Muscle Man and High Five Ghost. Adventure Time/Regular Show #1 is better when it loses the linear thinking (and plotting) and embraces chaos, and it looks like that’s going to be the case from the final third of the book.

The final few pages of Adventure Time/Regular Show #1 are why I read this comic even though I’ve been out of the loop of both TV shows and their comic book counterparts for several years. They are anarchic and filled with energy and cartoon violence plus bright, brash colors from Joanna Lafuente, who brings the candy colored world of Adventure Time crashing into the more sedate (For now.) palette of Regular Show and its parks, yoga, and art classes. McCreery also finds time for a little characterization like having Rigby stick up for Mordecai while Finn and Jake are still feuding, making Ice King feel right at home in the world of Regular Show, and making Marceline the team(s) mom.

Overall: 5 (out of 7)- Adventure Time/Regular Show #1 is slow to start, but when Rigby socks that annoying twerp Finn in the face, it shows that this crossover means business and has potential to be a memorable one and not just a cash-in.

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