Rick and Morty‘s team of lame superheroes the Vindicators get a makeover that makes them actually seem cool in a newly-released piece of fan art. Though the story indicated that Rick and Morty encountered the Vindicators before, the cosmic super-squad actually made their debut in an episode that savagely spoofs Marvel’s Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.
In the episode, Rick and Morty are just hanging in the garage when Morty receives a distress call on his Vindicators comm device, and convinces a very reluctant Rick that the two of them must rush to aid the heroes in their fight against the evil supervillain Worldender. Tough technically a member of the team, Rick is secretly jealous of the Vindicators and in a drunken black-out sets a series of elaborate Saw-style booby traps that test the other team members’ mettle, revealing that they all pretty much suck compared to the super-brilliant Rick.
One of the jokes is that the Vindicators are all lame and generic in their design, like comic book characters conceived by an incredibly lazy and unimaginative artist, but Rick and Morty fan Stephen Byrne decided to vindicate the Vindicators by giving them a makeover. The result is a team of superheroes that looks like it could actually avenge something or even guard the galaxy if called upon.
Starting at the top and going clockwise the Vindicators are Supernova, Crocubot (half-reptile, half-robot), Alan Rails (can conjure phantom trains at will), Maximus Renegade Star Soldier, and Million Ants (made of a million ants). Three former members of the Vindicators — Lady Katana, Calypso and Diablo Verde — died during a previous mission, greatly reducing the team’s diversity.
Morty genuinely admires the Vindicators despite their being sloppily-designed and somewhat interchangeable in terms of personality, and this bothers Rick who secretly worries that Morty doesn’t really need him. Rick’s solution? Go full booze-fueled supervillain himself and teach superheroes a lesson about how weak they really are (thus proving Rick’s superiority and hopefully convincing Morty to stay with him for more adventures).
Rick’s plan works so well that soon there are dead Vindicators everywhere (don’t look for a lot of recurring characters to come out of this very dark episode set during a very dark season). In true Rick and Morty fashion, the more stress Rick’s booby traps put on the dwindling Vindicator team, the more the chinks in their hero armor begin to show. Soon the Vindicators are at each other’s throats, and Rick is himself vindicated in his belief that no matter how heroic and perfect some people may act, people are all pretty much equally awful. The question we’re left with at the end is: when will Marvel let Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland give the Avengers their own much-needed makeover?
Rick and Morty continues Sunday with ‘The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy’ @11:30pm on Adult Swim.
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