“Adventure Time: Candy Capers” #6 by Ananth Panagariya, Yuko Ota and Ian McGinty concludes the mini-series saga in which Finn and Jake go missing, and Princess Bubblegum has charged Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun with filling the hero void.
At the beginning of “Adventure Time: Candy Capers” #6, Peppermint Butler has given up on finding new heroes, and has turned instead to synthesizing them from sugar. His line, “Heroes can’t just be found, they have to be MADE!” is hilarious because it turns feel-good advice into a justification for Frankenstein-style shenanigans. Peppermint Butler’s resulting “recipe” for heroism has a classic fairy-tale progression into disaster. Peppermint Butler’s can-do attitude leads him horribly wrong, and then he and his co-conspirator Cinnamon Bun must spend most of the subplot trying to right all the trouble they have created. The plot is nothing new, but the details make it worthwhile, particularly the dialogue.
The overarching story of “Adventure Time: Candy Capers” has centered on the friendship of Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun. Or more precisely, much of the humor rests on the double act or comedy duo nature of their uneven partnership. The two are foils for each other, with the stern, ambitious Peppermint Butler being instigator of action. He is a grumpy and dictatorial straight man to the goofy, “dumb,” and emotional Cinnamon Bun. Their dynamic is closest to the lead characters from the “Pinky and the Brain” cartoon, and Panagariya and Ota’s dialogue is scattered with joke gems, such as when Peppermint asks where Cinnamon Bun’s costume came from (the answer: INSIDE).
It’s a classic but effective reversal when Cinnamon Bun saves his “smarter” friend, and the scene underscores the charming literality of the Candy Kingdom. Even in Peppermint Butler’s lowest moment of failure is lightened by the wordplay of a ridiculous pun. The ending sequence divulges where Finn and Jake have been this entire time. It’s not much of a revelation, but again, the meat of the ending scene is the irony of the shift in power between Peppermint Butler, who has to eat some crow, and Cinnamon Bun, who is given a new position by Princess Bubblegum.
As in previous issues, McGinty’s art makes for a smooth reading experience. His panel compositions are dynamic but never confusing, and his thick line keeps the action cartoony and upbeat. There’s enough background detail to make the settings feel roomy and exciting, and McGinty’s grasp of comic timing and facial expressions are crucial to cementing the characterization that give the jokes and plot developments some depth. Laiho’s vivid color work is an excellent partner to McGinty’s shapes, with particularly lovely complementary hues in the panel in which Peppermint Butler lies facedown in a puddle.
“Adventure Time: Candy Capers” is a satisfying ending to another strong “Adventure Time” spin-off miniseries. It’s notable for its non-mammalian protagonists and how it deliberately takes Finn and Jake out of the story and successfully directs the spotlight to supporting cast members and their friendships.