When Adventure Time voice actor Justin Roiland teamed up with Community scribe Dan Harmon, the result was one of the most incisively irreverent animated science-fiction comedies in a generation. For those tragically unversed in this particular corner of geekdom, Rick and Morty began as a parody of Robert Zemeckis’ definitive 1985 sci-fi comedy, Back to the Future, for the monthly Los Angeles based short film festival Channel 101, which was also created by Harmon along with Ron Schrab. The series was subsequently picked up by Cartoon Network and premiered in their [adult swim] programming block in December of 2013, quickly attracting a diehard following as it developed into what has been described as “a never-ending fart joke wrapped around a studied look into nihilism.”
The series, which has so far aired 36 episodes over its first three-and-a-half seasons, has also generated an on-going comic series currently 57 issues deep, the five-issue Pocket Like You Stole It miniseries, the five-issue Lil’ Poopy Superstar miniseries, the eight-issue Rick and Morty Presents… anthology, the four-part Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons crossover story, and its four-part sequel series Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons II: Painscape. But as of January 22nd, Rick and Morty has become part of a much more expansive comic book universe, appearing within the pages of Gerry Duggan’s latest installment of his Marauders series set in the prime continuity of the Marvel Universe.
If you were hoping to see trans-dimensional mad scientist Rick Sanchez facing off against the likes of Otto Octavius or Victor von Doom, however, you’ll find yourself disappointed (unless you’re brave enough to plumb the depths of Fanfiction.net), because Rick and Morty has appeared in the Marvel Universe, but Rick and Morty have not. On page 15 of the Marauders issue in question, Darren Cross reports that St. John Allerdyce is relaxing with a Long Island Iced Tea in the movie theater of a yacht watching Rick and Morty. The quirky sitcom, it seems, exists as a piece of fictional entertainment in Earth-616 just as it does in our reality, which is designated within Marvel’s cosmology as Earth-1218.
MORE FROM THE WEB
One must wonder, then, if alternate versions of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon also exist in Earth-616, and what sorts of projects they might be working on in a world where time-traveling, multiverse-traversing super-powered heroes and villains are commonplace. Over here in Earth-1218, one must also wonder if our Roiland and Harmon, who haven’t been shy about lampooning comic book movies, particularly in the third-season episode “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” will respond to this volley by establishing Marvel Comics in their own Rickleverse.
We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, we know that Rick and Morty returns for the second half of season four later this year, while Rick and Morty #58, “The Rickoning (Part 3 of 5)” arrives in comic book stores on January 29th. Marauders #6 is available now.