If you have ever seen the Adult Swim cartoon Rick and Morty, then you are aware of the show’s crazy black humor and zany characters. It has grown in populararity, with toys, apparel, and even mobile app games. One such game, Pocket Mortys, allows players to collect different types of Mortys and have them battle various alien players and their own collection of Mortys (an obvious parody of the Pokémon franchise). Now the game has turned into its own comic, appropriately titled Rick & Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It, introducing fans to the mobile game and bringing together the characters in yet another adventure. Illustrator Marc Ellerby and writer Tini Howard have created a story that fans will definitely enjoy, but may leave unfamiliar readers confused.

In the universe of Rick and Morty, Rick is a drunk scientific genius who goes on intergalactic and inter-dimensional adventures with his good-natured but stressed out preteen grandson Morty. In this adventure, it turns out that other Ricks from other dimensions are collecting various Mortys and training them to fight in battles. The main Morty from Earth wants no part of this and runs from his grandfather. During his travels he discovers the history behind Morty Battling, the universe he is in, and the Ricks who take part in the sport. He decides to free the Mortys from the Ricks but his heroic task becomes difficult when his own Rick hunts him down, along with other Mortys, in order to train them to defeat his enemies.

Due to the requirement of background information, this comic will not appeal to readers who are unfamiliar with the original show. They will be left scratching their heads at why there are multiple clones of the same two characters and the reason behind their behavior toward each other. However, dedicated fans of Rick and Morty and frequent players of their gaming app will find it very enjoyable and similar to a regular episode. Ellerby’s illustrations are similar to the cartoon style of the show, using a bright color palette and detailed landscapes. He captures the character’s actions and emotions very well, using comic onomatopoeia to enhance either the action or comedic scenes. Because of the nature of the comic’s universe, the illustrator has also created numerous different Mortys with very specific characteristics, which are usually shown by their wardrobe or their physical appearance. Howard’s storytelling and dialogue is also similar to the show, including Rick’s constant burps and Morty’s anxious speech patterns. She is able to copy the same humor style that can be found within the show, with plenty of adult jokes and pop culture references that audiences are familiar with. The comic also comes with Pocket Morty trading cards, created in the style of Pokémon cards, so that readers can play the game.

Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It is a great choice for Rick and Morty fans, but may leave new readers a bit confused if they are unfamiliar with the show’s universe. If there are fans within your library’s young adult (preferably those in grades 10th-12th) and adult departments, then you will want to purchase this comic for your collection. It matches the same zany and adult humor from the show, along with the same characters and illustration style that audiences are familiar with.

Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It
By Tini Howard
Art by Marc Ellerby
ISBN: 9781620104743
Oni Press, 2018

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NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18), Adult (18+)

Related to…: TV to Comic, Game to Comic

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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