Rick and Morty #38 Review: Rick vs. Vampires and the World of Mortys

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Rick, Beth, and Jerry bring the now-vampire Morty to a large and foreboding castle where they believe the master vampire responsible for Morty's transformation to be located. Summer is also, being held captive within, though the severity of her captivity is left up to debate. Regardless, Rick and Beth intend to kill the master vampire, cure Morty, and save Summer.

Rick and Morty #38 cover by Marc Ellerby and Sarah Stern
Rick and Morty #38 cover by Marc Ellerby and Sarah Stern

Rick and Morty #38, pleasingly, reads like an Adult Swim episode of Rick and Morty. A relatively conventional plot such as this may seem out of character for the Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland sci-fi comedy cartoon, but this book's approach to it is completely in step with the show.

Much of the book's dialogue is devoted to Jerry's eponymous inadequacy, with Beth and Rick chastising him constantly for his reluctance to help his children in the face of vampiric horror.

Rick is the consummate badass we all know, and he is equipped with a vampire-killing arsenal that would make even Blade envious.

Summer is pretty awesome in this issue too. I alluded to the fact that the status of her "captivity" is ambiguous. Let's just say that many of the vampires are teenage boys, and Summer knows how to navigate the mind of a teenage boy.

The comic, importantly, is also quite funny. Rick's crass nihilism, the chastising of Jerry, Beth's constant ponderance of whether her marriage is worth it, and the oddly infantile vampire Morty all add up to a plot well made for comedy. It succeeds in delivering said comedy too, and I found myself laughing throughout most of the book.

Rick and Morty #38 art by Marc Ellerby and Sarah Stern
Rick and Morty #38 art by Marc Ellerby and Sarah Stern

Marc Ellerby and Sarah Stern recreate the style of the cartoon near-perfectly. It looks and moves like an episode of the cartoon. That said, the framing is often different for clarity's sakes, and some additional stylism is added to make the comic feel a little distinct. That's a good thing of course; treating the source material like an untouchable masterpiece that can't be improved is never a good idea.

The follow-up story from the world of Mortys, 'Mortycast', is pretty damn funny too. Rii Abrego and Sarah Stern bring the story to visual life well too.

Rick and Morty #38 is a funny and action-packed read tailor-made for those who enjoy the show. Like Oni Press' own Invader Zim comic, the creative team behind Rick and Morty know how to effectively adapt the source cartoon to a comic book format. This comic earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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