The Bravest Warriors is the first part of a six-issue mini-series from kaboom!, Boom Studios' young-readers imprint… and though it’s true that this series, based on a cartoon series (created and produced by the Adventure Time dudes), skews young… it also skews unpredictable.
To a wildly entertaining degree! From the first page set-up, to the introduction bubbles (even the omnipresent narrator can’t decide who’s the Bravest Warrior!), to the asides of an on-going cupcake death feud (yeah, you heard me), the Bravest Warriors is so gad-damed entertaining it’s not even funny. Though it IS funnery.
Though the logic of it is at times hard to explain, the unpredictability is never without logic… in true Pendleton Ward fashion, it’s just without cynicism. Can’t help but admire that.
For instance… just because the opening page is of an alien that looks like a banana questioning the relevance of the Bravest Warriors and their ability to stop a civil war built around sexism, that doesn’t mean that the Bravest Warriors aren’t DEATHLY series that you pull their finger.
Seriously. Pull my finger.
You have Chris the leader, Danny the rogue, Wallow the big lovable bruiser and Beth the sly foxy one who is not so secretly excessively talented (and who Chris is secretly madly in love with). Nothing is as you expect it, from the character archetypes to the world that awaits you not only issue to issue… but also on the next page. Big ideas and strangely adult concepts, among them. There’s Plum, the unofficial fifth Bravest Warrior who shares her brain, or possibly even has a secret, second brain, that lets her talk as and carry on a conversation with an ancient and dark personality… possibly having to do with her as-yet unseen mermaid tail.
Also they’ve got an invisible robot base!
Really this is half an amazingly entertaining story and an awesome game of cool things mad-libs all at once.
Nailing the Pendleton Ward style is Mike Holmes (seriously), an artist who is adept at not only his own enjoyable style but also in copying the style and more importantly the heart of others. Check out his blog (That Thing You Drew), and his book Mikenesses, in which he does 100 portraits of himself and his fat cat. Seriously, you won’t be sorry.
So if you, at all, enjoyed Adventure Time but was sad that there wasn’t enough Sci-Fi to go with your Pendleton Ward created Fantasy… look no further, don’t frown:
You got Bravest Warriors! It’ll smack the frowns right off your faces!