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‘Mystery Science Theater 3000 #4:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Hai Keeba, Manos, and welcome. Today, we discuss the majesty and magnitude of that which is Mystery Science Theater 3000. For over 30 years, MST3k has been dazzling audiences with wit, charm, and the occasional touch of snark, forever affecting the lives of people who love to hate bad movies. That stalwart pillar of intelligence and pop culture references, appreciated on various levels by those in the know. Now that the butt kissing is through, here’s the story so far…

As many good MSTies are aware, Jonah Heston (portrayed by comedian Jonah Ray) is the most recent meatbag in charge of hosting the show, taking the reigns from Michael J. Nelson who took up the mantel from show creator and original host Joel Hodgson. Myriad characters appeared throughout the series, but none so important as Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, the bots created to provide their friend and caregiver the companionship and distraction he needs from the torture and pain inflicted by the Mads, two jerks who wish to drive him crazy by feeding them a steady diet of straight-to-video and never-meant-to-be seen movies, to rot whatever sanity they have left!

Phew! All caught up? Good. Moving right along. Now that we’re on the same page (See what I did there?), I can let you know… “WE’VE GOT MOVIE SIGN!!!” The phrase that’s been uttered countless times over the past quarter century now takes a more relevant turn for the medium. Join me in a hearty yell, “WE’VE GOT COMIC SIGN!!!”

Like Inception, English trifle, or Ralphie’s brother Randy, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic has many layers. Our regularly scheduled format now switches from riffing movies that should burn in a garbage fire to the wonderfully kitschy concept of transporting our heroes into bad comics and making them part of the painful tales. This is the Inception bit: a comic, inside a TV show, inside a comic. Mind blown? You know it is. And this is where it gets really fun.

Being able to riff on pre-recorded movies and shorts gives hosts a starting point on which to poke jabs and spout jokes. Comics bestow so much more creative opportunity. They offer a blank canvas (literally) on which they can set up their own bad stories and freely plant Jonah and the Bots into those worlds to tear them a new… well, you know.

Jonah is planted into the hard-boiled beauty crime fighter title, Black Cat. No relation. The Crow Keeper (played lovingly by Crow T. Robot, in case you didn’t guess) continues his rifftracular responses to the unending morose and macabre tale he’s subjected to in The Clay Coffin! Think film noir meets Poe meets 5 minutes of your life you can never get back. Finally, we meet up with some new faces (Do robots have faces?) in the MST3k-verse. Gypsy, the only original face (Seriously, do ROBOTS HAVE FACES?!) from the series, is joined by Growler and M. Waverly, the new bots on the block, in a story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz if sponsored by Totino’s Pizza Rolls.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic is (as previously mentioned) fun on levels besides puns and callbacks to MST3k episodes past. The show always seemed to have their cold metal fingers on the pulse on pop culture references (and that’s just Jonah! Zing!) and words of the day in the lexicon of “Generation X.” Joel had his jokes about 3M, and Mike had his “Swazye” jokes.  Now, in the time of Heston, we get pop culture references from within the past 20 years! Things I know, things I grew up with, references to things I remember! Damn the old MST3heads; it’s time for Generation NeXt to get their own jokes about dated fads and styles from the days hyper-color, slap bracelets, and free love if you wore plaid and looked depressed. Would your mom get jokes and recollections like, “Don’t you get all Mrs. Garrett on us.” or dropping bons mots about Chris Christie or Febreeze? She might, but you’d laugh more.

Every generation deserves their own MST3k. In program and comic, this iteration is mine.

Take a ride on the paper Satellite of Love and see what I’m fawning over.

You can thank me later…

Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

J.C. Ciesielski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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