Review – Rick & Morty Presents: The Vindicators #1 (Oni Press)

Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: J. Torres
Artwork: CJ Cannon, Nick Filardi (colors)
Release Date: 7th March 2018

“Oh, crap.  Not these posers again.”

For the first issue of “Rick and Morty Presents”, a new series of one-shots featuring some of the show’s supporting characters, we take a look at (almost) everyone’s favourite superhero team, The Vindicators.

After showing up out of nowhere to ask Rick and Morty for help, the Vindicators – or rather, the “All-New, All-Different Vindicators” – launch headlong into a mission to take down their latest nemesis, with Rick suggesting some new additions to the team as they flip from dimension to dimension on something of a recruiting drive.

It’s as good an excuse as any to throw some other well-loved faces into the mix, and with Scary Terry and – somewhat inevitably – Pickle Rick showing up along the way, there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had here in watching these characters interact.

Torres clearly has a firm grasp on the dialogue of the characters, with Rick delivering some great put-downs and Morty plodding along in typically “aw geez” awe of his heroes.   There are  some genuinely amusing moments, but it does feel a little like the creators are going after low hanging fruit with all the jibes about “event fatigue” and “reboots”.  Sure, if you’re fed up with the never-ending cycle of the ‘big two’ then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this issue, but even if you aren’t,  the creators make sure to throw in some of the typically shocking violence and absurd plot twists that fans of the series should be familiar with by now for good measure.

CJ Cannon’s artwork is suitably authentic – as you’d likely expect from the artist behind Oni’s main Rick and Morty series – and it’s clear that he’s having an absolute blast with the diverse cast of characters Torres presents him with here.  Everything flows smoothly, and there’s one brilliant meta-gag near the end of the issue where the writer serves up a fast-ball for the artist, only for it to be swatted aside with what I’m imagining is a bit of a wry smile on the part of Cannon.

Ultimately then, the first issue of this new series provides a fun swipe at the absurdity of ‘big two’ cape-and-cowl comics, but perhaps lacks a little of the smart, subversive approach that has become synonymous with Rick and Morty over the years.  There are definitely some laughs to be had here, but it feels like it’s missing that spark of creativity to elevate it from “just another Rick and Morty story” to the realm of something truly special.  That said, it’s still well worth a look if you’re a fan of the show – although that’s something that could pretty much be said for all of Oni’s Rick and Morty output so far.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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