The Lumberjanes celebrate their BOOM! Studios 50th issue doing what they do best, and that's finding adventure in even the most mundane of circumstances, regardless of whether...you know, they should.
Being a Lumberjane is all about sleuthing out adventure, but it's also about making the most out of any given opportunity. Both are readily on display in the 50th issue, though you might be surprised to learn that this isn't really an event-style book in the traditional sense. Don't expect several anthology-like stories celebrating the 50-issue milestone, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, it is worth noting.
What is here though is quintessential Lumberjanes. Jo, Molly, April, Mal, and Ripley are as delightful and charming as ever, and each group's adventure compliments the other. A new mystery unravels with April, Mal, and Ripley in the lead, allowing Dozerdraws and Maarta Laiho the room to craft some lively backdrops and stellar action sequences. The Jo and Molly side of the equation spotlights the art team's grasp on warmer tones and expressive character work, and you'll look forward to seeing more of both storylines as the arc progresses.
Writers Shannon Watters and Kat Lehy have such a great grasp on these characters that you don't always need larger than life elements to keep things interesting. Jo and Molly never do more than play a board game (though a highly competitive one) with several other friends, and yet you can't help but become invested in who wins this game and how they pull it off.
Seriously, if you ever needed proof of how fun sitting around the tabletop can be you've found it here. Windmills, "double gasps", and not-what-you-thought alliances will have you scheduling your next board game night pronto.
The mystery at play in the alternating story is just as intriguing, leading to a litany of questions we want answers to. Who or what is that thing, what are these tunnels, and why was there a secret entrance to this cave in such a readily accessible place? We need to know more, and this issue solidified those hooks for next issue and after.
Fans do get a bonus story as part of the 50th issue though, titled A Memory, and we can't help but commend the art of Brooklyn Allen with Laiho yet again on colors. Allen's pencils are very different stylistically from Dozerdraws, yet both seem as if they could be part of the same universe. Trust us though, bears and wolves never seemed so intimidating, and anything that sheds light on Rosie and the Bear Woman's early days is always welcome.
We're always up for seeing more of course, and another shorter story would have been welcome. However, sometimes these trips down memory lane are better served in small doses, so better to leave them wanting more than overstaying your welcome.
Few books capture that youthful sense of adventure quite like Lumberjanes, but as always the true star is the genuine love fans have for the cast, as well as the heart at the core of every story. Lumberjanes still has the magic at issue #50, and we don't expect the series to lose it anytime soon.
Published By: BOOM! Studios
Written By: Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh (Board, Board, Board), and Shannon Watters (A Memory).
Illustrated By: Dozerdraws (Board, Board, Board), Maarta Laiho, and Brooklyn Allen (A Memory).