Review: Rick and Morty #1

Story: Zac Gorman
Art: CJ Cannon (illustrations) and Ryan Hill (colours)

Yet another television property gets it’s own comic-book. That’s a comparison most people will make given the proliferation of the practice with shows like Transformers and various Cartoon Network shows – but make no mistake, this was NOT your average TV show and so I think it’s fair to say that it’s not going to be quite like the others of it’s ilk.

The Basics:

Not too many people would have caught the animated series that spawned this comic-book, for you, know that it is the brain-child of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon (after he was unceremoniously kicked off Community) and is about a super-genius like the ones we see on TV shows and movies, the guys who know everything and are a billion times smarter than the rest of us – except he’s a drunken, drug-addled wierdo. Oh and Morty is his grandson who is constantly terrified and horrified at the adventures he has with Rick. Plus their family – Ricks daugher Beth is Morty’s mom, there’s his father Jerry and older sister Summer who put up with them and have quirks all their own.

What’s good:

The biggest danger with a series as off-beat and strange as this one is that not every writer can do it quite the same way – so it helps to have a writer like Zac Gorman who has previously written his share of quirky comics with Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors and Uncle Grandpa.

He definitely has a real feel for the material as Rick and Morty go out to prove wrong Jerry’s assertation that Morty needs by using time-tech on an intergalactic stock-market. While in some respects a tad tame and less random than the TV version, the story itself is quite fun I must admit – the dynamic between the main duo being true enough to the source material.

One of the biggest positives (though it’s annoying for other reasons) is that this is not a done-in-one, i.e., the story is continued past one issue. I say this is a good thing because the stories of Rick and Morty tend to be a LOT of detail and craziness and multiple twists and things crammed into its very short run-time and the single-issue comic medium is shorter still so more than one would be desirable to flesh out the kind of crazy story-line this series should be bringing to the table.

The other huge up is the Summer back-up story which I must admit came as a nice little surprise. I can’t say much about it without spoiling such a tiny tale, but it’s quick, clever and very enjoyable and I hope to see more.

The good thing about the artwork is that it looks like the show. That’s about it, it wasn’t terribly exciting besides that.

What’s not so good:

The story itself is not bad and the main characters are pretty much themselves – but there’s definitely something missing in this incarnation. There’s a banter, a dialogue, a snappy-ness that a video version of something can have that either doesn’t translate too well to a non-video medium like this or is just not done so well. Either way, it slows down the whole thing and for a fan of the show, this will be a down-side.

The other bit negative is that this seems to be trying to go for a kind of regular comic look and for a quirky and strange source as this one has, that seems like a waste. By playing more with layout and flow and cramming and spreading out as needed, I think this could have come across way better than it did.

The Last Word:

A good, solid adaptation of an understandably hard-to-adapt and strange TV series, the comic is enjoyable and will be fun for both fans of the show and people with a slightly kooky sense of humour.

It could definitely do with some work though and I hope that this is just teething pains as they find their feet in a new medium.

Story Score: 7 / 10
Art Score: 6 / 10
Overall Score: 6.5 / 10


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