‘Mystery Science Theater 3000 #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I’ll be honest: When I first launched into Dark Horse’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 comic book, I didn’t know what to expect. How are they going to translate this cult favorite into a piece of literature? And why?

Well, 12 pages in, I finally understood the concept of this bonkers-town adaptation, and let me tell you something...it works. It works so well that now I am mad they have never tried this before. Tonally, they have captured the same magic that MST3K locked down in their miraculously ageless riffs. The writing is as stupid as ever before (I say this as a compliment.), and even more stupid are the ways they have implemented comic-book-specific framing to blow one’s mind away. (Again, compliment.) You will laugh out loud, literally, throughout the issue and continue laughing when thinking about it later. Mystery Science Theater 3000 is just as quotable as its predecessor in moving picture form and works as a great companion piece to the beloved program.

For all of those who might be like, “Hey, I like MST3K, but...wha??” The book works just like the movies and just like the television show. The only difference is that instead of films, the gang is transported into eternally bad comic books and forced to riff their way through the plots. Here are some things they can do:

  1. They can manipulate the voices of characters in the original comic.
  2. They can use the panels to create bizarre alternate contexts.
  3. They can become characters themselves. (Actual Tom Servo assumes the role of the lead in the story.)
  4. They can appear as themselves in the book’s story, as well.


Here is a frame of them making fun of comic books . . .



I love this frame. I have literally thought about this frame all weekend. It tickles me, and it’s delightful. Making light of bad comic books is hilarious and should have been done a long time ago.

Jonah Heston, played by Jonah Ray in the Netflix show, is the main human character. This was a surprise to me, as a fan of the series, especially seeing the comic book is written by Joel Hodgson. I suppose they are keeping the continuity of their new show relevant, but as a fan of the old stuff, I was a little disappointed when I didn’t see an old comic book drawing of Joel as the human role. Then again, it’s only the first issue and they can do anything in this format. They can even throw in Michael J. Nelson if they want. How fun would it be to see all three hosts, just like, hanging out together?


Creative Team:  Joel Hodgson, Harold Buchholz, Matt McGinnis, Mary Robinson, Seth Robinson, and Sharyl Volpe (writers), Mike Manley and Wes Dzioba (artists), Todd Nauck (artist / cover artist)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.


Go to top