In Review: Rick and Morty #49

The stories aren't as strong as the visuals, but this is still a decent read.

The covers: Two covers involving time are the frontpieces for this issue. The Regular cover by Mike Vasquez has the title characters trapped within a giant hourglass with the sand pouring behind them. Before the pair, in the foreground, are skeletons of Rick and Morty, obviously them as they’re wearing their iconic clothing. Rick looks worried, but isn’t as petrified as his grandson. The hourglass is surrounded by several colorful planets, some having jagged rings. I like this, but the Variant cover by Mike Ellerby and Sarah Stern was the one that had me reaching to pick this book up. Rick is bored as he pilots his ship through an onslaught of dinosaurs seeking to devour the vessel. A Tyrannosaurus Rex is on the left, its mouth open to bite the ship. A Pteranodon is on the right, its feet about to grasp the heroes. Below is a Triceratops and an unidentifiable dino rising up out of the mist to scream at the ship. This is terrific, though the title could have been a little larger. Overall grades: Regular A- and Variant A

The stories: “Ricktoractive” by Kyle Starks is Groundhog Day, with Rick acknowledging that’s what he is going through. Rick wakes up from beeping noises inside his ship. Morty complains it’s not his fault, but the pair due end up crashing on an unknown world. Nearby is another version of their ship, complete with skeletons of Rick and Morty on the ground. Rick thinks nothing of it and the pair get back in their ship and fly off. Page 4 is practically the same as Page 1, though Rick is visually curious about what’s occurring. Once Rick figures out what’s going on he uses his portal gun to go anywhere to do whatever he wants, leaving Morty to fend for himself. He enjoys it, he hates it, and comes to the conclusion that his life is pointless. Morty is able to show Rick something new that solves the repetitious problem, with the story ending with a simple joke. I wasn’t keen on this story as Groundhog Day stories have been done before and better in other media. The closing joke didn’t work either. “Don’t Tell Rick the Jerrysitter’s Dead” by Karla Pacheco has Jerry being dropped off at Jerryboree again while Rick and Morty go off on an adventure without him. Naturally, Jerry meets new Jerrys and a problem comes up on the third page. This could have been a full issue story, but is wrapped up on the fourth page, with most of action not being shown, occurring between pages. This was disappointing. Overall grade: “Rictoractive” C- and “Don’t Tell Rick the Jerrysitter’s Dead” C-

The art: The visuals for the first story are fun not only because they’re by Marc Ellerby, but because of the repeated panels to show the repeating of time. It’s neat to go back and see the slight changes as events begin to change. Rick’s awakenings to the the beeping is different every time, though if one is reading quickly they will miss the subtle changes. Rick’s joy that starts Page 8 is great, with him looking like the expected ecstatic Rick. The disgust that begins to form on his face as he becomes unhappy is funny. My favorite things he does are all found on Page 15 — they are sick, twisted, and hilarious. The tired shock on Sanchez’s face on the final page is great, as is the drool worthy joy on 18. Ian McGinty is the artist on the four paged second tale. The first panel is funny for being a close-up of the form Rick is filling out to drop off Jerry. The construction scene on the second page is full of solid over-the-top tension. I like the angle of the final panel on 3, which is wonderfully emotionally exaggerated. Jerry’s final state at the book’s end is good, but I wish the reader could have seen how he got to this point. Overall grade: “Rictoractive” A- and “Don’t Tell Rick the Jerrysitter’s Dead” A

The colors: Sarah Stern does a great job echoing the colors of the television series, with the colors of alien worlds bright, alien creatures of every shade, a cool pink for an important object, the perfect yellow to make the beeping stand out, and incredibly vivid colors for Jerryborre. Overall grade: Both A 

The letters: Sounds, dialogue, yells, and a chant in the final tale are created by Crank! The sounds are fun, with KABLOOEY being my favorite. The dialogue and yells are the same size, differed only by italicizing used for the yells. The chant, though brief, looks good. Overall grade: A

The final line: The stories aren’t as strong as the visuals, but this is still a decent read. I would have liked to seen the length of the tales reversed, because the first story is too familiar and the second has all the chaos happening between pages. The visuals are good for mirroring the look of the series. This will feed your Rick and Morty need while waiting for new episodes to drop in November. Overall grade: B

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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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