A new collection of Adventure Time is always a thing to rejoice, and Card Wars, featuring 16 episodes going back to Season 4 is no exception. Especially since we get five episodes from Season 6 and seven from Season 7 while we wait for those complete seasons to be released. Card Wars was first introduced all the way back in Season 4 in the appropriately titled, “Card Wars.” Since then, the game has been released as both an actual collectible card game (with a variety of starter packs) and in digital format for your Android device. The show returned to the world of competitive card games with Season 7’s sequel, “Daddy-Daughter Card Wars” where we finally get to see Jake overcome his hyper-competitiveness and bury his Twenties. It’s a touching episode about growing up, gaining wisdom, and being dignified. After the back-to-back opening of “Card Wars” and “Daddy-Daughter Card Wars,” the rest of the collection is an entertaining grab-bag of episodes, with nary a misstep in the bunch. There’s the Season 3 introduction of a potential relationship between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline with “What was Missing,” and Season 5’s “Up a Tree” and the David O’Reilly showcase “A Glitch is a Glitch,” and then we’re off to the races with some of the strongest Season 6 episodes. We’ve already talked about some of them here at Psycho Drive-In: “Nemesis” showcased the conflict between Peace Master (Rainn Wilson) and Peppermint Butler; “Everything’s Jake” which features a Futurama voice-acting reunion between John DiMaggio and Billy West; and “Dentist” was a fun distraction as Finn faced off against Tiffany and featured a guest appearance by Lucy Lawless! In addition to these, we also get “The Diary” which is an interesting exercise in both father-son relations and in the emotional impact of reading (while also providing insight into the history of a recurring minor character), and what is my second favorite episode in the collection, “Evergreen.” Evergreen is the name of an ancient Ice Avatar/Wizard who eons earlier witnessed the impending arrival of a world-destroying comet (sound familiar?). When the other elemental avatars (Fire, Slime, and Candy) refuse to help him stop the oncoming doom, he sets out to do it himself by crafting a magical crown (also familiar?) that will allow its wearer to manifest their heart’s truest desire – which should be stopping the comet, of course. But disaster strikes and Evergreen’s apprentice/slave Gunther (!!), a lizard Evergreen mutated into sentience (voiced by the incomparable Pamela Adlon) is forced into putting on the crown, but his obsession with being like Evergreen undermines the wizard’s plan and instead Gunther is transformed into an insane version of Evergreen, complete with blue robes, white beard, ice powers, and obsession with chastising Gunther. Which, of course, leads to the destruction of all pre-historic civilization. When it comes to world-building, nobody’s got anything on Adventure Time. From here on out it’s all Season 7, for better or worse. And by that, I mean that Season 7 has been a bit scattered. The good news is that the episodes collected here are some of the strongest. “Varmints” is the second episode from the season and is another episode of bonding as Bubblegum and Marceline take on the nasty critters ruining P-Bubs pumpkin patch. Oh yeah, Bonnie (Princess Bubblegum’s first name!) isn’t in charge as the season began, and is instead hanging out in a tiny shack with just Peppermint Butler for company. It’s a solid episode with some nice character growth for the Princess. Then we move on to “Football” where BMO either switches places with his reflection, Football, or has had some sort of schizophrenic break with reality. Either way, it’s good stuff. The final four episodes in the collection are a back-to-back run of episodes 23-26 and every single one is gold. We’ve got episode 7.24 “The Hall of Egress,” which is a mind-fuck comparable to the most classic of classic sci-fi alternate reality stories, as Finn finds himself hallucinating an alternate life as he tries to find his way out of a diabolical maze. Then there’s 7.25 “Flute Spell” which introduces a potential new love interest for Finn as he helps Huntress Wizard (Jenny Slate from Parks and Recreation and Lady Dynamite) try to contact the Forest Spirit (Matthew Broderick from, well, you know who he is). The collection wraps with “The Thin Yellow Line” where Finn and Jake infiltrate the Banana Guards and discover that they’re not quite the simpletons we’ve been led to believe. We also get a nice example of the new, kinder, gentler Princess Bubblegum. But the episode that I’d buy the whole collection to own is episode 7.23 “Crossover.” Prismo (Kumail Nanjiani) contacts Finn and Jake with a super-secret mission to fix a multiversal problem that could undo all of reality! It seems that the alternate reality that Finn created in the classic “Jake the Human” and “Finn the Dog” episodes, didn’t disappear when Jake wished his own fix, and in that alternate timeline Farmworld Finn is now mad with power from the Ice Crown and being influenced by the Lich (Ron Perlman) to open up a gateway to the entire multiverse, providing the Lich with the opportunity to destroy all life everywhere! Whew! As usual, any episode written or co-written by Jesse Moynihan is going to be one of the best, but this one is spectacular. It’s a perfect example of just what Adventure Time is capable of when the creators are given free rein to craft exemplary science fiction/fantasy. “Crossover” is at the same time horrifying, imaginative, and inspiring. Someday I’m going to sit down and just watch all the Lich episodes back-to-back-to-back and enjoy one of the greatest science fiction/fantasy epics ever put on screen. And with that, dear reader, you should definitely go add Adventure Time: Card Wars to your collection. Although there are no extras, and the gaming conceit of the titular episode is only vaguely played out in the selection of episodes included on the disc, you do get an exclusive Card Wars card and it’s freaking Adventure Time. It’s well worth your time and money. Adventure Time: Card Wars hits the shelves on Tuesday July 12, 2016! See larger image Cartoon Network: Adventure Time: Card Wars (DVD) Cartoon Network: Adventure Time: Card Wars (DVD) Finn and Jake play an epic card game, but when Jake becomes overly competitive and insists on playing for a “cool guy cup” and the “dweeb cup”, hilarity ensues. Adventure Time: Card Wars DVD releases with 16 episodes including the original Card Wars episode and the brand new Card Wars episode – Daddy Daughter Card Wars! Adventure Time: Card Wars DVD also comes packaged with an exclusive Card Wars playing card, making this DVD a must have for fans, collectors, and the huge following that Card Wars has accrued since the episode, app, and physical game debuted. New From: $9.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related John E. Meredith Not having any kind of TV beyond rabbit ears, I always feel like I’m missing out on the finer things that cable has to offer. Like this. I’m a huge fan of THE REGULAR SHOW, which I picked up on a fluke from the library, and each disc includes an ad for ADVENTURE TIME. I’ve heard the show I like described as “written by monkeys” in comparison to this one, which really makes me wanna get off my simian ass and check it out. Maybe I should start here. Paul Brian McCoy If you can get the full seasons at the library, start with Season 4. Season 3 wouldn’t be bad, but 4 was when it really came into its own. If you can’t get the full seasons, try starting with the Finn the Human collection to get a face full of alternate reality.