Battles Of Free Comic Book Day Round Five, and it’s a battle for the best comedy comic book. The Tick has been a source of hilarity for years, effortlessly deconstructing the superhero genre… but, you know, not in the moody Alan Moore and Frank Miller way. Meanwhile, relative newcomers Rick and Morty continue their assault on the comedy mainstream by mixing science, philosophy and gut-bustingly funny crude jokes.
It’s old vs. new. Dumb-smart vs. Smart-dumb. A bumbing idiot and his smart but hapless sidekick vs. a hapless sidekick and his savvy mentor. Or… ah, you know what I’m saying, right?
It’s the Tick’s birthday! Well, actually it kind of isn’t, but when the Tick and Arthur accidentally crash through a kid’s birthday party while battling evil, it raises all sorts of questions. Like, does the Tick even have a birthday? Why do people celebrate birthdays less the older they get? And are birthdays a celebration of surviving another year on the long and winding road of life until we inevitably die? Meanwhile, when the Red Scare runs for President against a floppy-haired, small-handed businessman, the Tick imagines himself in the Oval Office.
It’s The Tick, just the way his fans know and love him. Which means he’s completely clueless, tactless and just plain dumb. The second story may be a little too blunt in terms of the political parody it’s trying to tell, but both offer up a darn fine helping of justice pie with a delicious comedy crust.
Rick and Morty:
When Jerry tries to lecture Morty about the values of hard work, Rick scoffs at the idea. And let’s be honest, hard work is for suckers. After all, who wants to work long hours just so they can suffer a life of mortgage payments, never-ending bank loan repayments and living hand-to-mouth? Rick’s solution? To dabble with time travel and play the intergalactic stock market. But when a Doctor Who-inspired time cop smells a rat, the inherent paradox of time travel is revealed. But then, as Rick is aware, time travel is impossible. So how is he really playing the markets?
In a short teaser backup, Morty gets caught in a trap while trying to save Mer-Morty from hunger. Or being out of water too long. Or something. But why would Rick capture him, and what’s the hideous truth about fruit juice? For fans of Rick and Morty, this should hit all the right buttons. It’s sly, smart and at times completely offensive – but in all the right ways.
It’s a draw. Both do what they do best, with any complaints being minor. While neither are exactly standout issues, there’s a real sense of comedy anarchy pouring from the pages of both of them. Arguably The Tick is smarter and more charming, but the originality of Rick and Morty manages to make it completely unpredictable. Both have some intelligent philosophical points to make, and it’s impossible to choose between them. If you had the option to only take one, then you understand that the world is a cruel and unjust place.