Review: Rick and Morty #5

Continuing with the one-issue stories, Rick and Morty #5 is, unfortunately, yet another demonstration of why you should probably just watch the show. As I've harped on so far in these reviews, the straight-laced, storyboard-esque style that the creators have opted for with the Rick and Morty comic does not lend itself well to drawn-out stories.  I was relieved when the fourth issue moved to a one-shot story structure that didn't rest on a broader arc.

But issue #5 proved that even the one-shot formula isn't without its limits.  The premise of this issue is that Morty is at summer camp, but that not everything is as it seems.  Events happen from place to place with what appear to be awkward time-skips in between certain pages and panels.

Rick and Morty #5The awkwardness of the flow of time in the issue is only signaled by Morty looking around and wondering what's going on; but, this is intensely awkward because his puzzlement is, in a couple of instances, the only thing which seems awkward.  By their very nature, panels in comics carve up time in a fragmented way.  The creators have to put in extra work to make the time hop from one place to the next seem awkward but still work on the page.  That doesn't happen in this issue: Morty essentially tells us that something awkward is happening and it sucks a huge amount of charm out of the driving force of this issue's plot.

The shorter stories at the end of the issue, this one clocking in at four pages, have all been a lot of fun.  If anything, these comics have shown that there is a lot of potential for a short-length, perhaps even Sunday-Funnies-length run of stories featuring these characters.  Since the comic itself isn't exactly bending over backwards to provide a unique visual interpretation of these characters or how to tell their story, just save the longer stories for the damn show.

I've got no problem with the quality of the content of these stories, but with yet another issue making me wish I had the story on my TV screen, I think it's time to pack it in.

Score: 2/5

Rick and Morty #5 Writer: Zac Gorman Artist: CJ Cannon Colorist: Ryan Hill Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/19/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital