Pullbox Reviews: Rick and Morty vs Dungeons & Dragons Chapter II: Painscape

 Oni Press / IDW – (W) Jim Zub (A/CA) Troy Little 

It’s Rick Sanchez VS The Tomb Of Horrors, the deadliest dungeon in D&D history!

Meanwhile, Morty and Summer face forgotten freaks from the Folio of Flawed Failures. If they flub this fight, they’re f**ked.

Fan favorite RPG-ist Jim Zub (Samurai Jack, Savage Sword of Conan) re-teams up with Eisner-nominated art mage Troy Little (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Powerpuff Girls) to magic-up Adult Swim’s pop culture mega-hit and smash it into the best-selling role-playing game that recently became cool again.

In Shops: Oct 16, 2019

I’ve been a fan of Jim Zub for a few years now, he’s the one got me to “get” Samurai Jack.  I then enjoyed his work on the various IDW D&D series, my fav being Shadows of the Vampire. Not only were these series a delightful throwback for me as a reader (me being an old man gamer and all) but Mr. Zub clearly showed that he could tell an amazing story while also staying within the confines of a world previously created (and often commented on by a hundred thousand gamer geek rule lawyer types who love their canon).   If you read his “There is no High Road” run for Marvel’s Thunderbolts, you will know he has a mastery of being able to write an amalgamation of humor and adventure while moving a story forward at the perfect pace. He is one of those modern comic writers that I will simply pick up the book based on his name being on it.

But for me, all of his previous projects were prelude for the brilliance that was last years’ “Rick and Morty vs Dungeons & Dragons”.  This series balanced the 40 years of investment, history and humor of playing Dungeons & Dragons with the quick-fire genius of Rick and Morty.  It is an amazing piece, while it pokes fun at the tropes of table top fantasy gaming, it lifted up the community of lifelong gamers rather than making them the butt of the joke.  If you haven’t bought it yet, you should!

In the first issue of the second volume of Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons (Chapter II – Painscape) Jim Zub brings us right back to the rapid wit and delight of this mash up event.  Even the name revives the mixed emotions in me (awe, wonder and WTH is that?) that was attached to tabletop RPG gaming in the 90’s. As per usual, something is wrong with our reality and only the singular figure of Rick Sanchez can set things right (or at least as right as he wants them to be).  Instead of being the very cool pastime and hobby of a particular subculture, Dungeons & Dragons has become an overwhelming obsession for all the citizens of Earth. All aspects of culture now revolve around Dungeons & Dragons. Personally, I’m not sure this is the worst possible outcome but Rick and Morty set off on a quest to find out why the world has changed and what devious force is behind this reality-altering change.

Fans of Rick and Morty will absolutely recognize the explosive and funny family interactions of the cast.  Both the characterizations and the dialogue is spot on. I think it the new and old school gamers (I will define old school as you bought gaming books when TSR was a thing) that will absolutely be enthralled with the seemingly throw-away geeky details of every page.  I read every page twice and I’m sure I still missed something. On that note, while I could be on the Jim Zub love train all day, I have to give equally high praise to the art team of illustrator Troy Little, colorist Leonardo Ito and letterer Crank! Every part of the page pull the reader in and keep them entranced.  It was exactly all the visual components I expected, only better.

This is a perfect team for seemingly perfect project!

Rick & Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons Chapter II gets a solid 13 rating from me.

Bottom Line: A must have for any D&D or Adult Swim fan!

Click below to get the first volume today!

Click below to pre-order Chapter II

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