Zac Gorman (Author) and C.J. Cannon and Marc Ellerby (Illustrators)
Oni Press (Publisher)
Review by Joe Tell
Rick and Morty: Volume One is based on the funny and entertaining [adult swim] show “Rick and Morty.” Created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, the adult animated science fiction sitcom show is popular enough to merit its own comic book series. If you read this graphic novel and have never seen an episode of the show, you will be interested in watching it. The series, which draws inspiration from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “Doctor Who,” is illustrated with a cartoon style that is heavily influenced by “The Simpsons.” Rick and Morty combines all of the best qualities of classic sci-fi and the movie “Back to the Future” to create a whimsical and unique black comedy. The characterization stays true to the show, and the edgy narrative combines warmth and intelligence with a youthful energy. Join the excitement as depraved genius Rick Sanchez embarks on cool adventures with his socially awkward grandson Morty across the universe and across time. The pair explores the beauty of the multiverse in wacky, fun-filled exploits, splitting their time between family life and interdimensional hijinks. Morty’s shaky family life and his escapades with his alcoholic grandfather combine to cause a great deal of distress at home and school. Also caught in the crossfire of Rick’s adventures are his daughter Beth, a veterinary surgeon; his teenage granddaughter Summer; and his Jerry, his useless son-in-law. There are even some cameos from other characters like Bird Person, Squanchy and Meeseeks. This collection includes the first five issues of the comic book series; after reading, you will be left wanting more. A special bonus section continues the hilarity, showcasing the entire family.
Mark Millar (Author) and Stephen McNiven (Illustrator)
Marvel Comics (Publisher)
Review by Gabriel Allandro
To those with a deep grounding in the history of the Marvel Universe, the advent of “Captain America: Civil War” in theaters is an explosion of excitement that drives them to brush up on their comics history by either grabbing their back issues of Civil War, Marvel’s 2006 crossover event from which the feature film is derived, or heading to their local comic shop for the trade paperback. To those without such a grounding, however, diving back into the source material is a tad problematic – not to mention confusing. Yes, you’ll still see a superheroic intervention go fatally wrong, with civilian casualties and massive property damage. Captain America and Iron Man will be at odds over the concept of a law designed to regulate superhuman activities. But many of the facts differ greatly. The comics event had decades of Marvel history from which to build upon. In contrast, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the continuity in which the reality of the films exists, hasn’t been around quite as long. As a result, differences can be expected … and thoroughly enjoyed. Millar, a God of Writing (Wanted, The Ultimates, The Authority, Kick-Ass, The Secret Service) , and McNiven (Meridian, New Avengers) craft an epic event that shook the Marvel Universe to its core, changing it in ways that are still evident today, a decade later. Millar’s tale is that of perception … right and wrong being mere perceptions of reality, and not necessarily accurate. Tensions build, blood is spilled … and McNiven renders it all in a beautiful palette of moody, grim imagery. Read the book, then see the movie. I sincerely doubt you’ll regret it.