“Adventure Time: The Flip Side” is a topsy-turvy mini-series that upended my initial expectations. Unfortunately, the newest issue fails to deliver. “The Flip Side” #4 sacrifices some of the fun in the name of craziness and insanity, resulting in a muddled plot and a book that can be hard to understand.
The pieces are seemingly all there for this to be an incredibly enjoyable comic experience. Finn and Jake are once again scheming to get Princess Painting kidnapped by Monkey Wizard in order to complete their backwards quest, thereby reversing the Reverse Curse and straightening out the land of Ooo. Individual issues have been dedicated to a certain storytelling genre, which is a really cool idea. For example, #2 tells a heist story and #3 is a western drama. “The Flip Side” #4 is set in the war genre, with Lumpy Space Princess as Finn and Jake’s general in their dating war. The heroes are representing Princess Painting as she competes to become Queen of the Marshmallow Mixer, fighting against other eligible couples to claim her title. On paper that all sounds like a lot of fun, but something’s missing in the execution.
There are chuckles to be found in this book (and chuckles are important, no doubt); I laughed to myself when I saw one couple using literal birds and bees to fight their romance battle. But ultimately those chuckles were few, and I was more confused than entertained. The voices of some characters felt off, particularly Jake’s and Lumpy Space Princess’s; they sounded different, like parodies of themselves. And the jokes missed the mark too. I’m used to the absurdist humor and non sequiturs that make Adventure Time so funny, but “The Flip Side” #4 abuses that humor to some extent, taking it for granted the reader will understand and appreciate the all the nonsense.
One thing I do like about this book is the art. Wook Jin Clark draws everything from explosions to geriatric dancers with aplomb. His style suits the world of adventure time, and I hope in the future we have more chances to his work in mainstream comics.
After my first read through I was lost , but having given the comic a few extra readings I can enjoy it slightly more. I still think that the last couple issues of “The Flip Side” have the potential to be radical, but before the writers can reach the heights of insanity they promised this series would be, they first need to focus on telling a solid story. That’s the lesson to be learned from “Adventure Time: The Flip Side” #4.
Curtis’s Crazy Romance-War Score: 2 / 5
“Adventure Time: The Flip Side” #4
Written by: Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover.
Interior art by: Wook Jin Clark.
Published by: BOOM!
Available on: 4/2/14