If you haven’t had the chance, check out our interview with artist and colorist CJ Cannon and Ryan Hill who contributed to this week’s issue! Get inside their heads before delving into our review of issue #18. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Alright then: is it good?
Rick and Morty #18 (Oni Press)
So what’s it about? The official Oni summary reads:
Rick’s drug dealing operation is going swimmingly! Except, of course, that little hiccup where a rival drug operation kidnapped Morty. Can Rick save Morty (AGAIN), even with the dead weight of Jerry insisting on joining him?
Why does this book matter?
Kyle Starks has been writing some of my favorite issues of this series and he’s only been writing it for a few. After talking to him it’s clear he’s a super cool guy too. On top of that, series regular CJ Cannon is in charge of art. What could go wrong!?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Rick is kind of the worst.
Sparks nicely progresses the story threads in this issue as he builds upon Rick being totally cool with making cash from drugs. Summer gets touched upon briefly, but it’s nice to see we are getting some new info on her deal with her new sidekick. This issue jumps around in time, which helps convey how crazy things can get in a short period of time in Rick’s world.
Fans of the show should get a kick out of this issue, since it contains nearly every running joke the show is known for–Rick using and abusing Jerry, Morty being scarred by Rick’s actions, Rick being a total douche, etc etc. There’s even an excellent action sequence drawn by CJ Cannon that exemplifies the horrifically graphic that’ll get you laughing your butt off.
Cannon does a great job throughout this issue and Ryan Hill’s colors give all the bloody gore a nice pop. All the aliens are wonderfully, weirdly designed and Rick’s (and Morty’s for that matter) facial expressions do well to convey his lack of caring or total insanity.
Fans of Pokémon Go should definitely check this issue out as Marc Ellerby’s backup deals with a universe where Rick collects Mortys like Pokémon. It’s a wonderfully weird and poignant sort of tale and it does well to convey how little Rick thinks of Morty.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a subplot with Summer that is touched upon in this issue, but not much is progressed and that’s unfortunate as it’s one of the more unique and funny story elements Starks has written into the series. That’s even more obvious when much of this issue feels like retread of the usual jokes and plot devices of the show–Rick’s a jerk, Morty suffers, Rick doesn’t care all that much, repeat. There’s also the always humorous bad guy getting their brains blown out and Morty being completely scarred by it. The thing is, we’ve seen that joke just in the last issue, so in more ways than one this issue feels like it’s retreading more than offering up brand new insane humor like Starks’ first issue did.
While the premise of the backup is good it rests too much on the absurdity of different Mortys for its humor. The joke runs thin rather quickly and makes the backup somewhat boring.
Give us more about this subplot!
Is It Good?
Oni Press has made it a sure bet you’ll find laughs in Rick and Morty. Every issue contains some type of hilarity, cool science fiction elements, and art that captures the show’s panache. This issue doesn’t quite do as well as the previous, but that’s because the bar was set quite high.