Season 4 of Rick and Morty is probably far off, but thanks to the comics creators over at Oni Press, we’re getting a series of one-shot 40-page issues exploring the backstories of beloved characters from the show. First up: The Vindicators.
Oni announced Monday it’s publishing these quarterly issues under Rick and Morty Presents, with each new issue focusing on a different side character from the animated series. The first — due out March 7, 2018 — follows the Vindicators superhero team as they travel through time and accidentally create a new villain. Oni Press says that fans will “gasp in shock and awe as the plot twists and previously irrelevant characters revive the dead,” but they will also “frown in frustration as [they] forget the complicated backstory of suddenly important mythic items.”
Will Noob-Noob get necromancy powers? Does the new villain have a mythic item akin to the Infinity Gauntlet? How is everyone alive?
This weird superhero team was first introduced in “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” during Rick and Morty Season 3, in which they called on Rick and Morty to help defeat Worldender. But Rick instead defeats Worldender while blackout drunk and leaves a trail of deadly traps for all the heroes. Rick, Morty, and Nebula are the only ones that survive.
But this new comic involves time travel, right? So who the hell knows how this will shake out.
Three other issues next year will focus on Krombopulos Michael (#2), Sleepy Gary (#3), and Pickle Rick and Jaguar (#4). But those other titles don’t explain why the following cover art for Rick and Morty Presents: The Vindicators! includes some totally new team members and alternate looks for several of its heroes:
Crocubot and Nebula look almost identical to their forms from the show, and million ants just has some kind of gladiator harness on. Vance Maximus and Alan Rails look different, perhaps even much younger than what we saw on the show.
On the bottom-right we see Tinkles, the magical ballerina lamb created by an alien parasite in “Total Rickall” who’s supposed to be Summer’s imaginary friend who takes her to a magical world called Never Past Bedtime Land. So we’re clear, Tinkles does not exist — but then again, neither does Sleepy Gary, and he gets his own comic. To the left is Scary Terry with an eyepatch on — or perhaps a similar nightmarish being of his kind. He made his debut in “Lawnmower Dog,” a very early Season 1 episode.
Perhaps most exciting is the inclusion of Pickle Rick atop Alan Rails’ shoulder.
Does this mean that they’ll travel throughout all of time and space, into dreams and fantasy realities, to assemble this even more insane team of heroes? Note the looming figure in the background with massive eyes.
J. Torres is doing the Vindicators one-off with artist C.J. Cannon and colorist Nick Filardi. The next three issues — Krombopulos Michael, Sleepy Gary, and Pickle Rick and Jaguar — will be written by Mallory Ortberg, Mags Visaggio, and Delilah Dawson, respectively.
Rick and Morty Presents: The Vindicators will be published March 7, 2018 with the remaining issues being released in June, September, and November.