Adventure Time 2017 Spooktacular
Creator: Pendleton Ward
Writers: Grady Hendrix, Alyssa Wong, Adam Cesare, Chris Lackey
Artists: Heather Danforth, Christine Larsen, Slimm Fabert, Kate Sherron
A review by Samantha Pearson
For a series that’s mostly about candy people, a human boy, and his dog, Adventure Time often takes some pretty dark turns. Several of the characters — Peppermint Butler included — are vaguely terrifying. The Adventure Time 2017 Spooktacular from KaBOOM! explores his general creepiness in four short comics collected as an anthology, each one a little different from the last.
I love how dark and weird Adventure Time can be. The 2017 Spooktacular, though, is in a league of its own. Peppermint Butler’s questionable alliance with the devil is explored quite a few times, even in the Fionna and Cake universe where he’s Butterscotch Butler instead. No matter how he presents himself, one thing is clear: this little candy man is hiding something big behind his beady little eyes.
My favorite story in this year’s Spooktacular was “Gumball’s Masquerade”. Written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Heather Danforth, and lettered by Warren Montgomery, this story follows Butterscotch Butler as he attempts to keep Marshall Lee away from Prince Gumball. I adore the Fionna and Cake verse, and I was tickled pink to see them appear in this anthology.
While I don’t find Butterscotch Butler as creepy as his Peppermint counterpart, I do find his unfailing loyalty to Prince Gumball really endearing. His means of protecting the prince remind me of a misguided parent trying to keep their kid from getting hurt by their first love, and that’s kind of oddly sweet.
I also enjoyed how “Candy In the House”, written by Chris Lackey and illustrated by Kate Sherron, takes a new twist on the Hansel and Gretel/old hag living in a candy house concept. Peppermint Butler is great at hiding his more sinister side from Princess Bubblegum, and even Finn and Jake… until, of course, they need help and he asks for their souls in return. But I’ll try not to spoil anything more, so you’ll have some incentive to pick up this wicked fun little book!
From cover to cover, the Adventure Time 2017 Spooktacular is… well, spooky. Strange creatures, devilish asides, and hilarious commentary from the creators make this book stand out even among other Adventure Time books. Its unique format and content make for a fun, entertaining read that’s hard to put down and may require a second, third, or even fourth read to pick up all of the intricate details. The writing in each story is sharp and darkly humorous, and the art is fantastic. A killer read from start to finish.
Buy it! With Halloween just around the corner, diving into the Adventure Time 2017 Spooktacular is frankly a wonderful idea. It’s super creepy and explores one of the weirder secondary characters in the Candy Kingdom in several ways, providing a little bit of fun for everyone. Check it out!