Rick and Morty are trapped in a Hunger Games/Battle Royale-style experience that pits them against a horde of killers in the hopes that they can win a trip to Balls Deep, a high-end resort where your every whim is catered. Their tactics involve Rick turning himself into an inanimate object to distract their enemies while Morty kills them. Unfortunately, it's starting to get to Morty. He can't handle the killing anymore.
Rick and Morty #40 puts our heroes into a subgenre of action/sci-fi (like the Purge episode) to confront one of the most ubiquitous and now-tired jokes of the series: Pickle Rick.
This comic essentially has one last blowout of Pickle Rick-style jokes until the reader becomes sick of it while Morty criticizes the joke for its shallowness and lack of versatility.
Don't get me wrong, Pickle Rick was funny the first time I watched the episode. The episode is still funny. However, I think we can all agree the people who practically worship Rick Sanchez and parroted this joke for months after the episode aired kinda killed the joke. In fact, the joke is so dead that this statement isn't even controversial at this point — I think.
Regardless, this comic did win me over with its self-satire and once again showing Rick to be the cruel and at-times petty supergenius that he is, while Morty once again gets the ass-end of the deal. The kills are creative, and the payoff at the end is funny.
Marc Ellerby once again does a good job of recreating the Rick and Morty style in comic form while doing a solid job of conveying the motion lost in the lack of animation. The numerous aliens have fun designs, and the Rick items are presented in a funny manner. Sarah Stern's colors suit the wacky sci-fi setting perfectly.
There is a follow-up story in the world of Morty's that involves a court case against Fancy Rick. This is funny too, and Rii Abrego and Sarah Stern do a good job on these visuals as well.
Rick and Morty #40 is a genuinely entertaining one-off story that puts our heroes and one of their most famous jokes through a battle royal stress test to see how they stack up. It's a solid comic, and it earns a recommendation. Check it out.