Marceline the Vampire Queen has long been one of the most fascinating characters on Adventure Time. And now, it looks like we’re going to be getting our most in-depth look at her backstory yet, with a new miniseries. We caught our first glimpse at New York Comic Con.
Season seven of Adventure Time returns November 2nd with regular episodes, but on November 14th a Marceline eigth-part miniseries, “Stakes,” will debut. Executive producer Adam Muto explained that Marceline’s story will be a “longer form event” and chance to tell previously unexplored backstories, like how she got her vampire powers.
The set-up for the miniseries is that an experiment on Marceline (to make her no longer a vampire) goes wrong, and Marceline’s dark secrets are exposed. We saw the first two episodes—so some spoilers for “Stakes” ahead.
In the first episode, Princess Bubblegum has created a vampire cure involving potions and a machine, and Marceline decides she no longer wants to be a vampire—that she is ready to “grow up” and eventually die as a human. Marceline takes the cure, and it will take a few days to see if it works. Through a sequence of events, Marceline is thrown into flashback-mode, and we see her as a young child with her mother (her mother is voiced by Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar, and sings a song composed by Sugar).
We then see Marceline in several successive eras of her life, from childhood through a punk-rock adolescence to her days of hunting other vampires and acquiring their powers. The second episode ends with the suggestion that the cure for vampirism has worked, just when the creepy Vampire King and his posse are threatening the present-day Land of Ooo and Marceline’s friends are in danger. The miniseries seems like an in-depth character exploration, and longtime fans of Adventure Time won’t be surprised at the emotional complexity beneath the surface of humor and fantastical fight scenes.
The panel also answered fans’ burning questions. One fan asked about the theory that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum are girlfriends. Muto diplomatically answered that “a theory can neither be real nor unreal,” not able to confirm or deny a popular fan “ship.”
We also learned that there will be another gender-swapped episode in season 7, meaning the return of Fionna and Cake—as well as a half-hour holiday special about Beemo that will be “an emotional story.” Another fan asked if the show ever plans to introduce Finn’s mom; we learn that this is an idea that’s being considered for season eight.
After getting philosophical in season six, featuring battles against cosmic gods and the like, the creators say that Adventure Time will be returning to its roots with simpler stories focused on the main characters. From what we saw of Marceline’s vampiric odyssey, they’re off to a bloody good start.