For those familiar with the Rick and Morty TV show I’m sure there will be much excitement for the release of this new spin-off focusing on the most bizarre of characters: Mr. Poopybutthole himself. (He’s no Abradolf Lincler though…)
Now, I’ve already had the pleasure of reading the main Rick and Morty comic with visuals from Marc Ellerby and CJ Cannon, which is quite simply sumptuous in its gorgeous recreation of all the charm and wackiness from the hit show. The downside of this is that it sets the bar rather high and Lil’ Poopy Superstar fails to stand up in comparison. Sarah Graley’s artwork is quirky and interesting but save Mr. Poopybutthole himself, the characters look like slightly shorter and bulbous versions of themselves. This becomes more noticeable once you see the backup comic art by Marc Ellerby, which features towards the end of this comic and is fantastic, a far better recreation of the TV show’s magic.
Still, the quirkiness is strong with this one, and that’s what Rick and Morty is all about: crazy, sci-fi parody goodness. I think the title alone ticks this box as we see Mr. Poopybutthole asking Rick’s grandaughter Summer for help. There’s strange creatures taking pictures of him from atop the stairs and we’re left wondering if he’s on the run or in danger. I don’t want to spoil the rest of this rather brief first entry but things get more interesting once our main characters get their hands on Rick’s portal gun...I’ll let you read the issue to find out what I mean.
I can’t say the writing is strong exactly. It improves if you imagine all the characters talking in their TV show voices but really the dialogue should stand up on its own, without you having to help it along. You could argue that this comic is made for existing fans of the show, but it would be better if this comic was accessible to those who aren't already familiar with the source material.
Overall, this wasn’t the best first outing for a new spin-off series. It was all a little dumbed down and cartoonish, perhaps this was the point but the TV show always had a bit more maturity to it. It was satirical and even thought provoking at times, despite all its obvious, wacky craziness. This first issue of Lil’ Poopy Superstar doesn’t quite live up to the show’s successes, but it’s still a world I enjoy to be a part of and the end of the comic made me at least a little curious to see what happens next. But only a little curious. If you were to pass on this series I don’t think you’d hugely regret it, particularly with the much more excellent Rick and Morty comic series already in production. Go check that one out instead.
[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
Rick and Morty: Lil’ Poopy Superstar #1
Writer: Sarah Graley
Artist: Sarah Graley & Marc Ellerby
Colorist: Mildred Louis
Publisher: Oni Press
Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital