"Adventure Time" #13 contains both a primary story by writer Ryan North and artists Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, as well as two short stories by other creators. All of the tales feature Jake the Dog and Finn the Human up to their usual heroic hi-jinx and are packed with imagination and charisma.
There's an inherent sweetness in the hilarity that is "Adventure Time," and Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb capture that vision with perfection in the primary story in this issue. They easily find that infectious charm that can deliver lines like: "And we're perfectly ready for [Adventure]!" "Because we're well-rested!" followed by "I love it when a sensible bedtime pays off." All of it is effortlessly the essence of "Adventure Time" -- creativity and fun incarnate.
In this story Finn, Jake and Marceline trying to save BMO (and a slew of other robots and machines) from a virus run amok. The story is a visual treat for both young and old, but it's the more adult humor in both the visuals and prose that hilariously references how boring it is to watch "hacking" that really brings the laughs. This story, which began in issue #12 and continues in the next issue, is excellent and the fact that you can't get it all in one sitting is perhaps the only downside between the comics and the show.
Josh Lesnick's short story "The Devilish Devourer Of Delicious Delicacies" is the least successful of the three tales, largely because it feels the least like "Adventure Time," both visually and in the writing. It's still a cute two-page tale, but there's just not a lot to grab onto and it doesn't have quite the same tone or vision as the series.
On the other hand, part one of Chris Schwiezer's utterly bizarre and thus utterly enjoyable "The Princess of Rad Hats," in which Finn becomes a princess, has the freewheeling sense of fun that defines "Adventure Time." Finn laments becoming Princess of Rad Hats (as a reward for defeating a monster) since he feels it will impinge on his adventuring, but he also embraces his duties and takes them seriously. It leads to the usual bizarre adventures and mind-bending creativity. I will also never get tired of hearing the people of Rad Hats correcting Jake so that he remembers to call Finn 'Princess Finn.' Hilarious.
Capturing the innovation and originality of a show like "Adventure Time" is not easy, and it's impressive to see this series doing it so well. It's also incredibly refreshing to see some great comics for kids that are also so effortlessly enjoyable for adults. "Adventure Time" gets it right.