The hilarious Kyle Starks writes and draws the main story in this latest issue of Rick and Morty. That’s very good news if you’re a fan of Sexcastle, but is it good?
Rick and Morty #20 (Oni Press)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
In this standalone issue illustrated by series writer Kyle Starks (Sexcastle), Morty takes on America’s second-favorite pastime: the illustrious sport of basketball. In an attempt to win Jessica’s affections, Morty uses alien technology to become the best there ever was at putting a ball into a hoop. But as Morty’s star rises, will Rick get left back on the ground? And is he really going to put up with that?
Why does this book matter?
Starks is not only a good guy, but he gets the characters in Rick and Morty. Just read our interview and you’ll see. Plus, Marc Ellerby writes and draws a Christmas-centric backup story. What’s not to love?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is funny and captures everything you love about Rick and Morty. Not only do the characters speak and act as they do in the show, but their high jinks are at once similar and fresh. Morty, of course, bites off more than he can chew and Rick must bail him out as always. This time though, Rick gives him what he wants and things play out almost too well. This allows Starks to build up the feels for the characters so that they can come hilariously crashing down.
Morty reaps the benefits of being a buff basketball stud, his father gets a real friend (who has a company with the slogan “If you get a falling ceiling feeling call me”), and the family is finally collectively happy with how things are turning out. These themes play like an 80’s comedy, but add in a bit of the science fiction goodness of this title and Rick’s sadistic nihilism and you have a genuinely fun story.
Starks’ art is a nice change of pace with good colors by Katy Farina. His style is certainly different than the look of the cartoon, something CJ Cannon is very good at, but the comedic timing and visual gags all land nicely.
Ellerby’s backup story is quite fun and well timed given the Christmas season is kicking into gear. Jerry once again screws something up and Morty must fix things reluctantly with a fun holiday twist. Plus, we find out Rick is a big fan of a certain nerd collectable item! The art is, as always, close to the show with a slightly more detailed looked that allows the gore to be all the funnier.
You look great…
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are a few references to pop culture that weren’t funny or all that meaningful to the overall script. They weren’t unwelcome by any means–really this is a nitpick, but they didn’t do much more than act as a reference.
Is It Good?
Oni Press’ Rick and Morty has proven itself ten times over, especially with issues like this that are self contained. Kyle Starks is very good at capturing the characters, the wacky originality of the scenarios, and the most importantly the sense of humor of the show. Here’s to hoping he continues to write this series for a long time to come.