A party of devoted sailors makes a treacherous voyage across uncharted oceans facing sea monsters, whirlpools, hallucinogenic jellyfish and a giant Cyclops. The brave explorers risk everything to find a hidden civilization that has supposedly been separated from the developed world for untold centuries. No, this isn’t the description of a recently discovered Homer Epic. It’s actually the plot of the newest installment of “Adventure Time.”
“Adventure Time” is a children’s cartoon series that premiered on Cartoon Network in 2010. Known for its bold and unbridled absurdism, the show follows the story of a human boy named Finn and his best friend, a magical dog named Jake. The two live together in the nonsensical Land of Ooo with a variety of friends that range anywhere from vampires to candy people to mini, green, pie-baking elephants.
The show began content with its casual and inexplicable wackiness, but the story gradually evolved to become a developed and comparatively realistic science fiction.
It is eventually revealed that the fantasy Land of Ooo is actually a post-apocalyptic Earth. Its strange inhabitants are life forms that have been severely mutated due to lingering radiation after a nuclear war that killed the majority of the human population. It is believed that Finn and his friend Susan are some of the only remaining humans on the planet.
“Islands,” the latest “Adventure Time” miniseries builds upon this science-fiction framework, and reveals much about the fascinating setting of the show.
The miniseries begins when sunbathers at the beach are suddenly overtaken by a large, stingray-like robot that emerges from the water. The machine probes a nearby cupcake-man hybrid and proceeds to bury him head first in the sand, deeming him a dangerous mutant. After storming The Candy Kingdom and incapacitating several other citizens of Ooo, The robot recognizes Finn as a human and attempts to fly away with him. But before it can do so, Jake smashes it to pieces.
It’s determined that the robot was built by humans, and that it was going to take Finn back to a remote island in the middle of the ocean. Finn, Susan, Jake and their robot friend BMO realize that this remote island may have a colony of humans living on it. Driven by insatiable curiosity, the four extract a map from the computerized stingray robot, and set off on a voyage to find other living humans.
The party makes many important discoveries, and much of Finn’s enigmatic background story is revealed.
Islands is a great addition to the already fantastic story of “Adventure Time.” It’s digestible enough to be entertaining to the casual viewer, but it’s also chock full of exclusive insights into the captivating history of the show’s world.