In Review: Rick and Morty #24

Every bit as sick and twisted as the television show. I loved it. Highest possible recommendation.

The covers: Nothing is typical about the twosome to collect for this issue. The Regular cover is by CJ Cannon and features Rick, Morty, and Summer looking upon something horrific rising up before them. What that thing is unshown, as its shadow falls upon them. However, anything that makes Rick worried can’t be good. The three are inside some chamber with several columns and a steel floor. This is a nice tease for what’s to be found within. Given the recent spate of Action Figure Variant covers from other companies, it was only a matter of time that Rick and Morty would follow suit, but not in the way collectors may have wanted. Rather than focus on just one character, artist Sfe R. Monster has teased eight action figures on the Variant, with only Rick and Morty clearly shown. I love Rick’s look on his face and his accessory, the portal gun; while Morty looks lost and comes with a plumbus. I like that Monster teased a slew of the figures all at once, but I admit to wanting to see just one get the focus on every cover. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant B

The story: This is something I haven’t encountered since picking up this title: a self-contained story! Kyle Starks has Rick, Morty, and Summer flying through space in Rick’s spaceship. Summer is bearing her soul to her grandfather, but Rick’s sarcastic commentary shuts her down. This precedes Rick almost crashing into a ship that appears before them. The ship, which has Mr Mistoffelees written on its side, was made by Rick and disappeared thirty-five years ago. Summer doesn’t want to go on board because the passengers and crew are going to be dead, but Rick says there’s something valuable on it, so they’re landing. When Summer asks about the name of the ship, Rick responds, “It was 1981, Summer. We were all crazy about Cats.” Morty begins to harass his grandfather’s love of the musical, Rick naturally has a comment to take him down, but Morty fires back with something that grosses out both Summer and Rick. What Rick wants from the ship was funny and very topical, but something goes wrong. In this case there are several somethings. Starks nicely has Morty being the voice of reality for Summer as she sees things that would drive most people insane. Every when separated from Rick, Morty tries to calm his sister down. Unfortunately Rick encoutners some things that push him over the edge. Weapons are picked up and things go horribly awry. There’s a really terrible turn on Page 17 that’s graphic, but it made me laugh hysterically. The next two pages contain no dialogue, but feature a terrific build, which leads to another hilarious turn. Even writing this review, with the book open next to me, I’m laughing at the story. Overall grade: A+   

The art: Marc Ellerby’s art perfectly resembles the visuals from the television show. The first panel of the book displays the characters, their vehicle, and the setting quickly, allowing Ellerby to have fun with the characters’ expressions, such as in the third panel. Rick’s monobrow moves about wonderfully to show the deranged genius’s mind at work, such as at the top of the next page. Morty shows an unseen sense of confidence on Page 4 that continues to make me smile. When Rick discovers what he was looking for, the look of maniacal glee on his face is terrific. And this item also looks like the interior of some creature, which foreshadows the book’s ghostly elements well. The initial ghosts seen on 7 and 8 aren’t threatening, and it’s because of this that the large panel on 9 is understandably disturbing. I would be hard pressed to find a reader who doesn’t feel the same as Summer, given what the trio is looking at. The full page splash on 12 is excellent, showing past characters confronting Rick. Rick’s demeanor at the top of 13 is a laugh out loud moment. The creatures on 16 were creepy and funny, but — hands down — the best visual of the book is the final panel on 17. It’s gross. It’s disgusting. It’s the best punchline in this series’ history! The next two pages have no dialogue, relying on Ellerby to tell the next 96 days solely with his art. They are brilliant, and then the action on 20, which is also sick and funny, return to silence on 21. A reader can tell when they’re encountering an outstanding artist when the story can be clearly communicated without text. This is perfection. Overall grade: A+ 

The colors: Providing some good tension and sick reveals are the colors by Katy Farina. There’s a subtle green glow around Mr Mistoffelees alerting readers that all is not well with this ship. Against the backdrop of space and the metallic interiors of the ship, the characters’ bright colors really pop out, making them constant sources of focus for the reader. There’s some really cool shadow work done by Farina throughout the scenes in space, giving everything depth and an ominous feel. The first ghosts are gloriously luminescent in green, while the blood shown is bright and shiny. Pages 18 and 19 have very calming background colors, suggesting normalcy, but notice that when Rick reenters the story, the colors go dark, showing what his inclusion brings to one character’s life. Well done, Ms. Farina! Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: Dialogue, yells, sounds, and a television theme song are all brought to life by Crank! Considering how much of this tale depends on the visuals, especially in regards to the emotions on characters’ faces, Crank! does a great job placing dialogue without stepping on any key components of the art. This is especially true with all the numbers of poltergeists that populate this publication. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This book is every bit as sick and twisted as the television show. I loved it. This was the best book of the week. Highest possible recommendation. Overall grade: A+

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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