Anime Reporter changes pace now to bring you the word on the first dozen issues of the Rick and Morty comic book series. Rick and Morty is one of my favourite animated series’ at the moment, so the bar is already pretty high. Let’s see how the comic book holds up so far!
Well, it was inevitable, with the success of the cartoon series, that Rick and Morty was going to get some kind of spin-off treatment. That treatment started last year in the form of the Rick and Morty comic book. For the sake of continuity-freedom and taking advantage of the particular style of Rick and Morty, this series officially follows the misadventures of Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith from Earth Dimension C-132, not to be confused with the main characters of the cartoon, the occupants of Earth Dimension C-137. What this basically means is that these characters are close enough to be identical in their timelines so, except in any way that the comic may need them to have been secretly different all along. Makes sense? Excellent.
The first thing that I noticed was that the art for the comic feels a little… wobbly. Characters are often drawn as if it’s a snapshot in the awkward middle of a movement or gesture. While this is fairly in keeping with the animation style of the cartoon, which doesn’t try to impress, the comic feels like it should have a higher quality of art to keep things interesting. That said, the focus for this series should really be on the entertainment it provides. The cartoon is pretty famous for its improvised insults and banter between characters, making it feel bizarre and organic all at once. The comic has a somewhat different direction. Characters interact like a first draft of Rick and Morty fan-fiction and it lacks a lot of the direct humour of the original source. More often than not, dialogue reads like exposition with an added “bitch” thrown in so it might sound like something Rick would say. Jerry doesn’t sound whiny enough to be Jerry, Beth is pretty much in the background except when she’s berating Jerry and Summer is basically all over the place as a character. It’s not bad. It’s just not quite what you experience when watching the show, but I think it’s just generally the case with cartoons adapted to comic books. They never quite live up to the original, as a static version of animation.
The comics are split into two stories per issue, with the first story usually making up more of an ongoing narrative and the second occasionally being a smaller story or skit. The stories fit the Rick and Morty themes with space travel, inter-dimensional capers and a general sense that Jerry sucks at all times. It’s clear that the people writing the comic are keen to emulate many elements of the show, the problem is just that it’s a little too clear. These moments are pretty heavily signposted where they should just be integrated more smoothly into the story.
So yeah, mainly it’s a limited version of Rick and Morty, but, hell, it’s still a long way before Season 03 and we all need some way to get our R&M fix. This comic has a decent attempt at matching the humour or the characters, or it at least stands as a well-meaning tribute. This will do. This will satisfy the hunger to find out how the hell Season 02’s ending will be resolved. Maybe.
That was some serious finale, though.
Thanks for squanching,