The comic based off a parody mobile game based off a TV show comes to an end, as the “Pocket Mortys” saga concludes. Can it match the humor and wit of the show, or even the mobile game?
Not really, but it’s alright. Let’s look on, with some spoilers here and there.
Written by Tini Howard
Illustrated by Marc Ellerby
Colored by Katy Farina
Lettered by Crank!
Morty has made it through the labyrinth, and arrived at the Council of Ricks. Now he just has to gain entrance, defeat all the Ricks, and free all the Morties. Should be totally doable for a Morty, or not, who cares, the multiverse is endless and nothing matters —
except for the epic finale of Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It!
While the end of season 3 of Rick and Morty left fans clamoring for more episodes, theorizing answers to questions, and with a reputation as people who will go crazy over sauce from McDonalds, the comics have been continuing to provide content each month. The “Pocket Like You Stole It” spinoff, based off the “Pocket Mortys” mobile game, provided an alternate history to the many Ricks, making them victims of Pokemon-style trainers who overthrew their masters and then enslaved Mortys in the same way. It’s certainly different from the game that inspired it, but different is not necessarily bad. Unfortunately, it doesn’t entirely mesh with the universe it’s set in, and overall doesn’t work with the characters.
That said, “Pocket Like You Stole It” does still have some moments that are true to the characters, even when put in a comic all about catching Mortys with microchips and forcing them to fight each other. There are some twists near the end, wherein we’re led to believe Rick has been controlling Morty with a microchip, that raises questions as to whether or not Rick does care for him or not, as the show is known to do. Similarly, Morty’s violent outbreak against the Council of Ricks is a nice callback to the occasional outbursts the show has given him; it’s clear that Tini Howard watched the show more than enough to get the little details and drives behind the characters.
Similarly, the voices are relatively strong with each character. Even though there are multiple multiversal variants of most of the characters, Tini Howard gives them little differences that help them stand apart, even the multiple Ricks of the Council.
Art-wise, Marc Ellerby manages to capture the character designs and overall look of the show in comic form nicely. There are a few moments where the character designs seem a bit off, but overall it’s solid. Katy Farina’s color work is equally solid, providing a bright, appropriately cartoon-like look to the comic. In other moments, she utilizes shadows over the Council of Ricks well, adding to their presence.
Additionally, there are some nice moments where the art really adds an impact to the story. When Morty enters the council’s collection room, we get an impressive panel, taking up most of the page, showing off all the different Mortys captured and imprisoned there. There’s a wide range of different Morty designs, with a good blend of those from the “Pocket Mortys” game and those of Marc Ellerby’s own design. The way the panel is drawn at an upwards angle adds to the enormity of the room, making it an impressive scene overall.
At some points in “Pocket Like You Stole It,” the art and story really come together to create amusing moments. The entire buildup to Morty’s rampage against the Council of Ricks is nicely paced and drawn, resulting in a rather funny scene where the readers only see Rick sitting outside, but the cries of pandemonium and horror from within the Council’s chamber tell a hilariously horrific tale. The blood-splattered panel that follows is over-the-top in the best of ways, and the juxtaposing expressions Marc Ellerby gives both Ricks adds nicely to the humor of the scene.
In the end, it seems like perhaps progress has been made. The Mortys are saved, Rick proves he wasn’t controlling Morty, and it’s about to wrap up nicely. But in a move that’s very true to the spirit of Rick and Morty, a last-minute swerve shows that nothing ever really changes, and we shouldn’t expect happy endings from this show. That is the perfect note to end the comic on, very true to the tone and philosophy of the series.Continued below
Overall, “Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It” is a far cry from the story of “Pocket Mortys,” and different enough from the Rick and Morty show that no one would try to fit anything from it into the show’s canon. Instead of a Pokemon parody using Mortys in place of Pokemon, it tries to tell a story of Ricks enslaved and forced to fight, only to take control and force the same life upon their Mortys, while working to ensure they do not get similarly overthrown. While I can appreciate the idea of a tale about history repeating itself and those escaping oppression themselves becoming oppressors, this is perhaps not the best comic to tell that kind of tale in. The comic does little to explore the idea of Mortys being caught and trained like Pokemon, all because some Ricks thought it would be fun, which is the main idea of the mobile game the “Pocket Like You Stole It” story is based on.
In the end, though, true to the themes of Rick and Morty, it doesn’t really matter. Everybody dies. Let’s read some comics.
Final Verdict: 5.2 – It’s… alright. The dialogue and characters are more or less on point, the artwork is good given the look it’s going for. There are some noteworthy moments in there, but overall it doesn’t reach the full potential that a “Pocket Mortys” story could be.