Monday, August 15, 2016

CBR Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy

This Adventure is completely Bananas!

Comic title: Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy 
Art by Mad Rupert & Britt Wilson
Written by Kent Osborne & Dylan Haggerty

Published by Boom! Studios imprint KaBOOM!
From June 2015
Lineup Adventure Time series
Format: Trade Paperback collecting the mini-series Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy issues #1-6.

Not only is Adventure Time a great successful modern Cartoon Network animated series, but the comic book line published by KaBOOM! has been getting some big praises as well.

Thanks to the huge success of the main on-going series from the winning team of Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb & Mike Holmes and its sister-series of Original Graphic Novels from Danielle Corsetto, Zack Sterling & Meredith McClaren, BOOM! has been publishing all sorts of tie-in mini-series to provide even more Adventure Time material for the fans.

After the great Marceline and the Scream Queens, Fionna & Cake, Candy Capers and the excellent The Flip Side, we finally have another series revolving around secondary characters from the show! 

Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy is a 6-issue mini-series written by a head writer of the actual show, this time centered around the show's iconic Banana Guards! WeeeOOoo WeeEEOOoo!

Our story begins with Princess Bubblegum suffering from insomnia. If only she could eat a turnip sandwhich, turnips are great for insomnia troubles. But the thing is the Banana Guards keep eating all of the turnips!! Why did she made her Banana Guard forces only composed of bananas... Wait, there might be a solution to her turnip problem!

The next day PB announces anyone can now become a Banana Guard, being a banana is not mandatory anymore!

The captain of the Banana Guard, Root Beer Guy is set to look for the new recruits among the various citizens of Ooo. Soon the Candy Kingdom's boot camp is filled with new trainees - the long-running Adventure Time intro easter egg character Gingerbread Muto, Tree Trunks, Gum Drop Lass, Peppermint Butler and Mr. Cupcake! Peppermint Butler really just wanna explore the dungeons beneath the Banana Guard Academy, really. But the head Banana Guard commandant, Captain Banana Guard doesn't like these new faces. And if he must work with Princess Bubblegum's new plan, he will make their life a nightosphere-nightmare! They will decide to quit by themselves!

The cadets are put through a very difficult program. Some well-deserved R&R time becomes an adventure in the Ice King's Ice Kingdom!

Finally, our heroes have enough. They decide to turn the table on Captain Banana Guard and all prepare pranks for the ceremony at the end of the program!

Peppermint Butler finally enters the caves beneath the academy... And he's given a choice between two realities.. either let Captain Banana Guard get fired by PB... or get him promoted! But playing with the destiny causes a fracture in the space-time continuum!

It is now the future, and Ooo was taken over by robots...?! Wait, what??

Banana Guard Academy is yet another pretty fun Adventure Time comic book!

This one was actually written by one of the show’s writers and the actual creator of Root Beer Guy, Kent Osborne! He's a big creative head on the show and he's been responsible for several fan-favorite episodes of the show. This marks his first comic book!

The comic starts off pretty funny and in typical Adventure Time fashion. In fact it could have easily been an actual episode on the show. So the pacing is given some more room to breath since this was a 6-issue series.

Getting a look at the Banana Guards hierarchy and academy is a fun bonus for fans of the show. And the cast of characters assembled here is pretty fun!

Although the plot somehow gets pretty strange, elaborated and complicated for an Adventure Time plot. We somehow end up with yet another future post-apocalyptic alternate reality because of PButs' dark magics.

Finn and Jake only get quick cameos here. And as always Finn is revealed to be a huge badass missing an army in this future reality.

Since this comic was also running at the same time as the cartoon crew killed off fan favorite Root Beer Guy in the actual Adventure Time show, he gets killed off here in the background of these issues but this was pretty well implemented in the comic and even used in the plot since Kent Osborne was also working on the show.

The book is gorgeously illustrated by Mad Rupert. While the comic doesn't try to match the show's art as much as the main Adventure Time comic book, it's still pretty close to that, very colorful and cartoony.

This time the series only contained a single backup feature. And unlike the usual standalone short stories this backup runs concurrently to the main storyline. "I love to Party ", written and drawn by Britt Wilson introduces the character Punchy who gets to join the rest of the cast in the later issues.

Finally, as always we have a cover art gallery featuring the talents of Aimee Fleck, for the main covers, as well as Natalie Hall, Michele Petrucci, Coleman Engle, Jenn Liv, Kelsey Sunday, Syo Bee along the gorgeous connected-covers of Kyla Vanderklugt. This series didn't receive as many alternate covers (for a change), and they're all lovely!

Overall, Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy was a fun mini-series. A return to simpler smaller self-contained standalone tales taking place in the world of Adventure Time... which sadly gets hijacked in the end of yet another Finn & Jake adventure in a bad future reality!

But prior to that it was real fun. With this sort of title I really expected a more low-key adventure, from the different perspective of inhabitants of the Candy Kingdom. The sudden turn at the end wasn't really necessary. But I still say Check It Out if you're a fan of the show (and Root Beer Guy!).

It was a pretty fun All-Age title, but I also felt it was a big missed opportunity for a proper different comic from the main Adventure Time series.

I give it:
2 / 3 Snoopies!

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