Rick and Morty reach Fifth Edition… “we don’t talk about the Fourth Edition.”
After Rick and Morty’s epic D&D simulator was mistakenly unplugged, by who else, Jerry, the family is back to square one. Morty invokes his ability to choose every tenth adventure and brings his father into the party. The only place left for these adventurers to continue their 5th edition D&D tutorial is in another dimension, The Forgotten Realms.
Between Jerry’s expertise and a local Dungeon Master, Morty, Summer and Beth finally gain some characters that are much more bad-ass – well, except for Rick who ends up as Gee-Willikers Petalbutt. Jerry is able to teach Morty a different style of play than Rick’s stat-heavy play to win style, he shows him about the fun of the role-play. Unfortunately, the quest they are on takes a nasty turn, and the heroes may actually be the bad guys.
The best part about my job is reading comics. Sure, I love writing for Bubbleblabber and having the opportunity to review the best of animated programming. But, comic books is where my passion is. I have been a massive fan of the work they are doing on the Rick and Morty comic series. But, I have been all about this four-part miniseries featuring our favourite dimension hoppers learning the Dungeons and Dragons ropes. Written by Patrick Rothfuss, the legendary fantasy author, and long-time comic writer Jim Zub, Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons has been one of the best books on the stands.
What has made this series unique thus far is how different each book has been, but holding that underline story. Morty still has one day left before his D&D match with the cute girl he met at the game shop. Rick has done an excellent mentor-ship and taken Morty through editions 1, 2, and 3. We don’t talk about 4. They have been inside of a video game, Rick has built a virtual world, and the third book changes the game entirely. Rick is no longer in charge with Jerry, of all people, taking the helm. And, now they are in a world where the stakes appear to be much more real. As strange as this may sound, the unexpected was quite exciting.
It was a strange experience to see Jerry in such a dominant role. As his own kids explained, Jerry is the type to be scared off by a squirrel. But, isn’t that the whole point of D&D. Players can become whatever they want to be. The role-playing allows itself to be the ideal escape for somebody with as many flaws a Jerry. Being able to see Jerry like this adds some depth to his ongoing character. Deep down he wants to be heroic, he cherishes his family above all else and has a lot of hidden charisma. As cool as it is to see him in this form, it simply cannot last for entertainment’s sake.
A crossover like this is fun on many levels. Taking our favourite characters into worlds that we know and love is one thing. But, we also get to see them transform into D&D characters that are very fitting to who they are. This issue specifically had character bios as all of the players suited up. It was interesting to read the parallels between these made up characters and their ongoing stories that we have seen develop over the years. And, you just have to love the bonus character sheets that have been included in all of the issues thus far.
Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons have been a fantasy dream thus far. In just three books the amount of adventure, humour, and development we have seen is surprising. By far what has made this series one of my favourites right now is the story. Being previously familiar with Rothfuss’s work makes it easy to see that the mastermind has his fingerprints all over this story. Straight down to the underline countdown of Morty’s upcoming game is very reminiscent of the three-day story in Rothfuss’s opus, The Kingkiller Chronicles. Beyond that, both the writers have the ability to take these established characters and give them life throughout the comic books.
Where the second issue of this series took me on a weird little tangent, I am happy to say that issue three was precisely what I had hoped it would be. It was a solid adventure with all of the Rick and Morty flare that we love. Which is shocking as I think back and remember that Rick had a minimal role. Still, it keeps the story developing and has brought us through almost all of the D&D lessons that Morty needs to learn. I hate to see this book end, and I would love to see it become more, yet I am incredibly excited to read the conclusion.