Review: 'Midsummer Nights Scheme' #1 Is Lumberjanes At Its Best

More Lumberjanes is never a bad thing, but is the new special worth diving in once more?

Molly, Ripley, Jo, Mal, Molly, Jen, and Bubbles are all back for a one-shot special titled Lumberjanes: A Midsummer Night's Scheme, which features two self-contained stories that any Lumberjanes fan will appreciate.

We'll take this on a story by story basis, so first up is "A Midsummer Night's Scheme," which tasks the girls with putting together the Midsummer's Eve Masquerade. Sometimes it takes highlighting the differences between the cast to get to why they love each other, and that's certainly true in this issue. It's not often they disagree with each other to such an extent, but having that level of tension in the story allows the spotlight to hover over Molly a bit, one of the least vocal members of the group.

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(Photo: BOOM! Studios)

Writer Nicole Andelfinger takes advantage of the extra real estate, exposing the fact that Molly is really the glue that keeps this group together. Molly's easy going attitude has a tendency to be overlooked, and it's nice to see it appreciated.

Elsewhere the pairing of Ripley and April is a team-up we love to see, as Ripley's inventive imagination is a fun juxtaposition against April's endless ambition. Artist Maddi Gonzalez has a great deal of fun with this particular sequence and is truly a perfect fit for the cast and its quirky magical vibe. The expression work through the whole story is on point, especially when it comes to April and Mal.

If you're a fan of Molly and Mal, you'll probably love this story, as it moves them a bit further along in their relationship, at least from an "understanding each other" perspective. Whether some of the things introduced here will affect the regular series remains to be seen though.

As for the second story, it is titled "A Pondering Mystery," and as the pun implies, it does have to do with a pond. There's actually a lot of puns in store for you in this story, though that's not a bad thing... unless you hate puns, in which case it is bad for you, but not really bad because puns are awesome.

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(Photo: BOOM! Studios)

Sorry, I digress. Writer Brittney Williams tells a delightful tale that is quintessential Lumberjanes.In saying that I mean Ripley scares the bejesus out of everyone (mostly Jen) and the others go looking for her and find adventure. Williams' dialogue is hilarious at times, with Jen spouting reactions like "Holy Simone Manuel!" and "Ripley is lost to the Pond Lords forever." Williams' art is a lovely compliment to the lighthearted tale, including one sequence later on that dares you not to smile.

To be fair, we're pretty sure no one, and we mean no one, could help but smile in Ripley Land. Yep, it's a place, and we really hope to see it pop up time and time again in the ongoing series.

If this book had any faults it would be the lack of Jen in the first story, though she does have a bigger part to play in the second one. Otherwise, it would be that we only see the words "Sweet Hattie McDaniel, What Is This?" once by issue's end, and pretty sure we can agree we needed a few more instances, right?

If you enjoy the Lumberjanes you won't want to miss out on "A Midsummer Night's Scheme." Whether it will have any meaningful tie-ins to the core series remains to be seen, but even if it doesn't all the series' trademark charm is here in spades, and it looks fantastic to boot.

Published by Boom Studios

On August 8, 2018

Written by Nicole Andelfinger and Brittney Williams

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Illustrated by Maddi Gonzalez and Brittney Williams

Lettered by: Ariana Maher