Title: Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1
Script: Patrick Rothfuss & Jim Zub
Pencils: Troy Little
Colors: Leonardo Ito
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Publication Date: August 29, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: When Morty needs to learn how to play D&D to keep up with the cool kids, his hard-drinking, old school-gaming, mad science-making grandpa is happy to teach him how to roll the dice, but neither of them is prepared for the saving throws they’re about to fail or the true quest yet to come. Strap on a +1 longsword and grab your 10-foot pole, because this is going to be a gaming gauntlet like no other! The world’s greatest role-playing game. Reality’s most dysfunctional family. What could go wrong?
Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1 is a clever and entertaining collision of two pop-culture worlds. Being the type of person that will buy and read nearly anything with a D&D symbol plastered on it, this was always going to be a book I was going to dive into. I did have reservations though. Knowing nothing about Rick and Morty besides it being an animated series and responsible for bringing back McDonald’s szechuan sauce, I didn’t know how these two would mix. Much to my delight, the book is easy to dive right into without having any prerequisite Rick & Morty knowledge. It asks the question: what would happen if Morty decides he wants to learn Dungeons & Dragons? The answer is a highly entertaining and funny story.
Growing up playing Dungeons & Dragons, it was easy to appreciate the clever writing by Patrick Rothfuss & Jim Zub. The feeling of how alluring gaming can be but also utterly overwhelming it can be at the same time is brilliantly captured. One particular scene that had me grinning was Morty playing with Rick’s old school gaming group. Anyone with any experience with older role playing games knows there are rules galore. We are talking 200 page rule books here. His utter confusion and ultimate frustration when met with these was priceless and took me back to my own playing days.
It was a pleasure to see that there was not the lazy reliance on D&D player stereotypes for the sake of a weak joke. The classic socially awkward twenty-year-old living in his mom’s basement humor can only go so far. In fact, Rothfuss & Zub flip that script on its head. But ultimately, this is a comic that is supposed to be funny and it consistently delivers that.
Troy Little’s artwork hits all the right notes at all the right times; there is an energetic quality to his art that brings this issue to life. His ability to display a variety of emotions and expressions on his characters is uncanny. There were some scenes that literally had me laughing out loud. The utter horror on Morty’s face, on the first page as kids are describing the “bloodbath” that occured in their D&D game before realizing they were just describing their gaming session, was perfect.
As the story transitions from the mundane modern world to something a bit weirder, Little does not miss a beat and makes this transition with ease. Something must be said of the variety of covers available. There are an astounding 23 cover variances to this issue. I am not normally a sucker for variants but I made an exception here. Some of the covers displayed a real appreciation for the game and even included a variation of the classic “red box” image D&D fans would instantly recognize.
The Bottom Line:
Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1 is a high energy, hilarious and cleverly written concoction. It is a strong recommendation for fans of high-quality comedy and a must-read for any Dungeons & Dragons fans or players. Or in the words so eloquently captured by Morty, “Dungeons & Dragons B*****s!”