RICK AND MORTY: RICK’S NEW HAT!, ISSUES #1-4

Writer: Alex Firer

Artist: Fred C. Stresing

Publisher: Oni Press

Rick and Morty: Rick’s New Hat!, Cover by Fred C. Stresing, Oni Press

WHAT IS IT?

A wacky sci-fi adventure that focuses on the perils of alienating others.


Think that episode of Futurama with the brain aliens meets Into The Woods.


WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

(Minor spoilers)

Rick has to make a daring rescue after Morty inadvertently gets himself transformed into a puzzle piece by the ruler of Puzzle Planet, Papa Puzzle.


Figuring out that the planet holds its puzzle population together through a magnetic force, Rick reverses the polarity, killing Papa Puzzle and lighting most of the planet on fire.


Wanting to capitalize on the discounts thanks to the Puzzle Planet’s imminent destruction, Morty asks Rick to stop at one of the gift shops. The shopkeeper sells Morty a simple-appearing, floppy-eared hat that he promises will make everyone at Morty’s school like him. Little does he know, the hat may be the downfall of Rick.


WHAT WORKS

  • Alex's script exemplarily emulates the irreverent, 4th-wall-breaking humor Rick and Morty fans love while also crafting an interesting conflict for the duo.

  • The subtlety is sublime in Fred's lines. Many scenes are bustling, with interesting creatures and small visual gags scattered throughout, rewarding the attentive reader.

  • Andrew really demonstrates his years of experience in this book. Most of the scenes use colorful flats that mimic the cartoon, but in others, he uses heavy shadows to imbue drama and, in one instance, a faded, hand-drawn look.

  • Crank!'s creative lettering was highly enjoyable. His use of pictures in the word bubbles for the nonverbal Cavemen was very creative.

  • The opening scenes go beyond being a simple, funny premise and set up the overarching theme of the story. This does an excellent job of avoiding the jokes that feel frivolous.

  • The mass amount of portal-jumping in issue three varies its different types of line work and coloring, maintaining interest throughout.

  • There are some refreshing emotional beats that stem from others being fed up by Rick’s behavior and his betrayals.

  • A lot of the humor felt relevant, thanks to references of current events.


WHAT DOESN’T WORK

  • There are some references to events from the tv show that those unfamiliar with Rick and Morty might not get.

  • Some of the jokes require knowledge of the tv show or else they won’t register as funny.

  • Parts of the story seem to diverge from the larger ideas in favor of wacky antics. While they were funny, they were also tiresome at times.


WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

Rick and Morty: Rick’s New Hat! #1, Page 4, Interior Art by Fred C. Stresing, Oni Press

Rick’s New Hat has all of the essentials for a quality Rick and Morty story: fun, strange worlds, humor that breaks an incredible amount of 4th walls, and some emotional depth. Marty’s need for connection, and his subsequent inability to find that in Rick is the thematic core that drives this story. It’s a quality dive into the inherent problems of the duo’s relationship and makes the humor surrounding this theme meaningful as well as hilarious.


The art team should be commended for the amount of styles and worlds they had to craft for this book. Everything from old Disney animation to the photorealistic was utilized expertly in a way only a Rick and Morty comic could. It was a wonderful display of how much artistic style creates stories. While the writing and visual gags are sometimes dependent on previous knowledge, the story is well-written and a fun ride. Fans of humorous sci-fi romps will enjoy these books, but Rick and Morty fans will enjoy it even more.


WHAT DO I READ NEXT?

If you like the writing:

  • Rick and Morty Presents: Mr. Nimvus by Alex Firer & Ryan Lee

  • Mom Presents: I Think These Guys Are Hot Stuff by Hana Michel & Alex Firer

  • The Last Kids On Earth by Max Brallier


If you like the art:

  • Rick and Morty Presents: Birdperson by Alex Firer & Fred C. Stresing

  • Invader Zim by Jhonen Vasquez & Fred C. Stresing

  • Gravity Falls: Lost Tales by Alex Hirsch


ABOUT THE CREATORS

Alex Firer (@alexfirer) – Writer

  • A Rick and Morty scribe, Alex has also penned Rick and Morty Presents: Birdperson and Rick and Morty Presents: Mr. Nimbus.

  • His writing has also appeared in The Onion, IFC, and Paste magazine.

  • With Hana Michel, Alex wrote the comedy book Mom Presents: I Think These Guys Are Hot Stuff.


Fred C. Stresing (@fredcstresing) – Artist

  • A prominent artist in all-ages material, he has also drawn Invader Zim and Munchkin.

  • Multialrnted, he is also a colorist and letterer and has worked on titles like Adventure Time, WWE and Rocko's Modern Life.

  • Fred got his start in comics through writing his webcomic Orson.


Andrew Dalhouse (@adalhouse) – Colorist

  • An established colorist, Andrew has done work for every major comics publisher.

  • Andrew counts Justin Posner, Frank D'Armata and Steve Firchow among his influences.


Crank! (@ccrank) – Letterer

  • Having a prolific career, Crank! has lettered for almost every major publisher with his biggest titles being Hack/Slash, Moneyshot, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters and Barbarella.

  • Crank has a weekly podcast he runs with artist Mike Norton where they talk about comics, music, or whatever else happens to currently tickle their fancy.

  • He plays in a goth rock band called Sono Mori.


HOW DO I BUY IT?


The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All Rick and Morty characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Oni Press or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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