In Review: Rick and Morty #50

This is a perfect 50th issue and if you don't like it have Rick wipe your memory.

The covers: Four different covers to collect, as if they were from different dimensions. The A by Marc Ellerby has Morty in the bottom center with the memory helmet on surrounded by different horrible memories of himself undergoing pain or humiliation. Behind him, with both fists raised in triumphant, is Rick exuberant at what he’s accomplishing. This is the perfect cover for what this issue is all about. The next two covers are by Matt Horak. The B features thirty-five (I may have missed some) different versions of Rick. Some I recognize, some I do not. All look great, with the Creature from the Black Lagoon Rick being a favorite. All are standing on tan ground with the telltale warp from a portal behind them. Outstanding. The A is the same format, but contains different Mortys. There are more Mortys on this than there were on the B cover and they look great. I like the Creature on this as well, plus the Mars Attacks! and Conan Mortys are cool. The setting on this is the same as the B and this cover connects to the right side of the B if one wants the entire epic illustration. The final cover, the D, is by Marc Ellerby. A giant light rose colored 50 is surround by all the famous and infamous characters from this series. Poor Morty is within the curve of the 5 and Rick has his gun in one hand and his flask in the other within the 0. Very cool. Having it on a light violet background makes each character stand out. Overall grades: All A 

The stories: There are six different writers on this issue, which is usually a sign that the story is going to be choppy, but that’s not the case with this landmark issue. Morty (re)discovers Rick’s chamber in the sub-basement that contains Morty’s memory tubes. He wants to (re)experience these memories, so Rick says as he puts the helmet on his grandson, “It looks like we just need to have ourselves a — URRRPMorty’s Mind Blowers Issue!Kyle Starks (Pages 1-12, 24-25, 30-31, and 36-40) does the intro and the tales that include Morty creating life, an adventure with the Ball Fondlers, Morty going into a room with guns ablazzin’, and a tale with Butter Robot. Tinin Howard (13-17) has the tale that traumatized me with Morty walking into a room he shouldn’t have. Sarah Graley (18-19) creates a tale of book love gone awry. Marc Ellerby (20-23) shows why fantasy creatures are not what they seem. Benjamin Dewey (26-29) has Morty helping Rick with some oversized foes. Addiction to a particular genre gets appropriately skewered by Josh Trujillo (32-35). This is a fun read from all the writers and the memory tubes are the perfect devices to deliver short stories. Overall grade: A

The art: There are seven different artists on this issue and they make each of their stories look fantastic. Marc Ellerby (1-7, 12, 24-25, 30-31, and 36-40) is responsible for the majority of the book and he opens and closes the issue. I love the way he draws each character, perfectly capturing their emotions, with Rick being a particular standout. Page 2 is a terrific full-paged splash that shows the reader the memory chamber with the chair and several of the tubes. I also love when the switch is pulled on Morty and he makes hilarious faces. The reveal at the top of 21 is horrible and flat out funny. Andrew Maclean (8-11) only gets three pages, but gets to draw quite a bit because he gets the Ball Fondlers’ story. I love Loggins in action, what happens to Morty, and everyone’s reactions to his state. Jarrett Williams (13-17) is great for how the older characters are drawn and Morty’s reactions, which would mirror any minor’s response. Sarah Graley (18-19) only gets a pair of pages and makes something really horribly really cute. Kyle Starks (20-23) does an outstanding job with turning expectations upside down. Benjamin Dewey (26-29) deals with a cavern filled with monstrous terrors that want to kill Rick. Again, expectations are turned around by the visuals. Rii Abrego (32-35) is the last artist and the style is unlike anything I’ve seen before in a Rick and Morty book. However, it is uniquely suited for the dark path this story goes down. It’s very thin line work, but I’d more than welcome Abrego back for more. Overall grade: A

The colors: Four colorists complete the visuals of this issue, with Sarah Stern (1-7, 12-17, 20-25, 30-40) doing the bulk of the pages. The memory tubes brighten up dark spaces, with those in the foreground on Page 2 really sharp. I also have to give a big thumbs up to the bright walls of the Smiths’ home, the blood on 31, and the colors of the cell that holds the heroes. Nick Filardi (8-11) uses some dark colors for his four pages with panels appropriately dim, but still bright enough for every element of the art to be seen. I really like the intense red used for the final six panels to increase the moment. Sarah Graley (18-19) colors the pages she wrote and drew and uses the most endearing colors possible which draw the reader into Morty’s mind frame better. Benjamin Dewey (26-29) also colors the pages he wrote and drew and he, too, employs bright and positive colors, which make the payoff sweeter. Overall grade: A

The letters: Crank! is the sole letterer of this book — thank you, Crank! He’s responsible for creating text, yells, sounds, text from a specific form of entertainment, and computer text. I love when characters yell at each other, whether it be in anger, fear, or frustration — it perfectly matches the characters’ tone at the moment. The sounds are fun, with several BEEPs making me laugh out loud. The Dewey story has some fun KLANGs that I enjoyed. Overall grade: A

The final line: A hilarious landmark issue that will have you laughing and squirming at the inappropriateness. Rick is brilliantly unhinged and Morty continues to make all the wrong decisions. The artwork looks fantastic, with it resembling the visuals from the screen and interpretations that deserve to return to this book. This is a perfect 50th issue and if you don’t like it have Rick wipe your memory. 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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