Two of media’s biggest franchises collide in the IDW Publishing and Oni Press crossover featuring one of the most popular television shows currently on the air and the most popular tabletop game in history. With the success of other skewed, property-jumping interactions between the Rick and Morty universe, dropping into the world of Dungerons & Dragons seems like an odd, yet perfect, fit. After finding out that games such as D&D aren’t only popular, but there’s actually some intimate appeal to them, Morty finds himself attempting to delve into a game that has such a detailed and vibrant history, blindly forcing himself into a game to impress women and, of course, not having any idea what he’s doing. Like any potentially dangerous situation, Morty goes to Rick to help him prepare for the game, much to the excitement of an old-school player like Rick.
With the unabashed love of the ages-old game, Rick begins to take Morty on a fantastical virtual reality journey to experience of the game first hand by fully placing Morty into the game as if it were a real existence. As the series opens, like many adventures with the dour scientist and his anxious grandson, things go off the rails pretty quickly, leaving the pair to find a way out of a tricky situation.
The series has some major hitters in terms of the writers on this book. Comics savant Jim Zub works his magic as a seasoned and talented veteran of the comics industry, and joining him is a modern literary giant in Patrick Rothfuss, whose prose work is some of the most well-regarded fiction in recent memory. Pairing these two together could have been potentially risky, but so far, they seem to be working well together. Zub’s prowess in the industry seems to be guiding the admittedly wordy Rothfuss well, and the joy in writing this is evident from both authors.
The art is incredible, as well. With this kind of crossover, there is a pre-requisite for some off-the-wall scenes and ridiculousness, and so far, there’s nothing to disappoint. Artist Troy Little teams up with colorist Loeonardo Ito and letterer Robbie Robbins to build a fantastical world of swords and sorcery and a futuristic space world simultaneously as the sci-fi heavy Rick & Morty universe clashes with the old-world Dungeons & Dragons setting. This is a fine line to walk, but so far, Little, Ito, and Robbins are making fine work of it.
With some incredible talent, rich worlds, and a penchant for being a bit on the eccentric side, two franchises could not be more different but more perfect for each other. Fans of both the tabletop game and the show should be thrilled to read this, and fans of other tabletop-based shows such as The Adventure Zone, Critical Role, and Acquisitions, Inc. should grin about the shout-outs (especially TAZ and the show’s creators, Justin, Griffin, and Travis McElroy, as they get an extended and very inappropriate reference). We’re gonna get some meta D&D, folks, and it’s never sounded so fun.
Creators: Jim Zub, Patrick Rothfuss (writers), Troy Little (art), Leonardo Ito (colors), Robbie Robbins (letters)
Publisher: IDW Publishing/Oni Press
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