Rick and Morty Present: The Vindicators #1
Writer: J. Torres
Artist: CJ Cannon
Publisher: Oni Press
Review by Evan Maroun
Rick and Morty is one of those shows that continuously finds ways to appeal to its audience, and it’s hard not to understand why. With its off-beat (oftentimes dark) humor, numerous film references, and an endless amount of characters at their disposal, you can almost go in any direction with it. Fortunately for fans, between waiting for seasons, we have Oni putting out multiple comic series chronicling the adventures of the nervous nephew and his drunken uncle.
Now, even though Rick and Morty Present: The Vindicators #1 has a number following it, it’s a little deceiving as it’s actually the first in a series of one-shots that aim to flesh out or provide more adventures of side characters in the show.
As the name suggests, this one-shot is about the series hero team, The Vindicators. If you’re a fan of the show you are probably wondering the premise, because last time we saw the Vindicators, almost all of them died in gruesome ways, no thanks to Rick.
In this one-shot, the self-proclaimed “all-new, all-different” team shows up in Rick and Morty’s iconic base of operations, their garage, and ask them to join them in taking out a big threat known as Boon, who is going around the universe looking for Infinity Balls to bedazzle his glove. Sound familiar? That brings me to the comics strength while simultaneously being it’s biggest weakness. If you’re a fan of superhero comics and movies, namely Marvel, you will get a lot of these jokes. The problem is that only about 50% of them land.
The main reason for this being that the show itself works so well because of the way it cleverly subverts and satirizes other media. Here though, the jokes are a little too on-the-nose and many feel too *wink wink nudge nudge* in trying to callback to particular superhero moments and tropes. Torres is clearly a big fan of the show himself and he has the tone down– It’s just very much a mixed bag overall.
With comics based on animated TV shows it’s always hard to talk about the art, because a lot of the time the artwork is attempting to replicate the art style of the show, and here CJ Cannon goes that route and does it very well. It looks like the show in almost all aspects (besides a few nuances), so saying he nailed that has to be the highest compliment I can give on a book like this. Cannon shines in one page in particular where he illustrates a page’s format to complement the joke. I won’t spoil it for those hoping to pick it up, but it did leave me with a chuckle.
Verdict: Wait and see (…or pick it up if you’re a die-hard fan).
“Wait, how can I wait and see if this is a one-shot?” Well, like I mentioned, Rick and Morty Present: The Vindicators #1 is just one of the five quarterly one-shots that Oni has planned, so I imagine they will all be collected in one volume in the future. Unless you’re a die-hard looking to satisfy your appetite for R&M, I would wait for that… That is, if we get a bit more consistency when it comes to the humor.