Rick and Morty. A sick, sociopathic genius and the grandson he uses to distract the enemy. By any metric Rick is a horrible person and yet we can’t take our eyes off the screen, all the while laughing, and feeling guilty for laughing. Yes, Rick and Morty is a guilty pleasure. There are only two seasons and season three is lurking somewhere over the horizon. Recently, Dan Harmon took to Reddit to answer any question at all, but couldn’t answer the question of when Season 3 will premier. That rat bastard.
So, what’s a Rick and Morty fan supposed to do while waiting for Harmon to finish putting on the final touches (and no ingesting large quantities of alcohol and exotic drugs is not, urrph, the answer)?
Our Friends at Oni Press have the answer – Rick and Morty Comics.
At New York Comic Con I met Tom Fowler, a terribly deranged and troubled man who wrote issues 11, 12, 13, and 15 of the comic, collected in Rick and Morty Volume 3. Issue 14, also included was written by Pamela Ribon.
I asked Tom whether it was a hassle dealing with Harmon and company, and whether there was close supervision of his work. He said it was easy, he wrote whatever he wanted, turned it into his editor and the folks at the Cartoon Network signed off on it. He had heard back that the show’s creators loved his work. And when you read it (and you know you will) you’ll see why.
Fans of cartoons often view the comic book adaptation with both fascination and dread. Fascination with the idea that a favorite character has a new story and dread because the comic will rarely live up to the quality and voice of the show. Rest assured, Fowler channels the innate insanity of the show with the spirit of Harmon.
Issues 11-13 comprise a single story line, Head-Space which is drawn by CJ Cannon. This easily could have easily been featured in season two. While it is reminiscent of the Inception/Freddy Krueger mashup, it goes its own and twisted way.
Jerry finds Rick’s head sitting in the garage attached to some strange device. Being Jerry, he naturally jumps to the wrong conclusion that Rick is dead and has the head disconnected. Morty is missing, which should have been the tip off that this was some other Rick’s head. At this point you’d think that no matter what happens, Jerry should know better, just nod his head and go back to watching television. But, that is not Jerry.
The head does belong to another Rick, who is mostly dead, and our Rick and Morty enter the brain in order to determine what killed him. Rick, by keeping the head mostly alive enters into the memories of the other Rick. But when Jerry disconnects the head, Rick’s plans go sideways.
In Ready Player Morty, Rick decides to turn Morty into a man, so, of course, kidnaps him while sleeping, in order to take him to HSS Academy. At this institute for lower learning Rick puts Morty through a virtual reality simulation of all of High School in one day. Since this is Rick, let’s just say that the lessons don’t include reading, writing and arithmetic In the meantime Summer and Jerry switch bodies. Summer becomes a major badass, while Jerry enjoys a girls-only camping trip with Summer’s friends.
In the final piece, written and drawn by Fowler, Rick decides to show Jerry a real competitive sport. It involves parents basically placing their children in an arena to fight to the death. Oh, yes, Rick volunteers Morty to participate.
On the whole, Volume Three of Rick and Morty should help ease those withdrawal pangs until Season 3 finally gets here.