The world of comics has seen some unlikely crossovers and team-ups, but IDW Publishing's Rick & Morty Vs. Dungeons & Dragons series may be the strangest one ever. The oddity of the pairing, in this case, has less to do with its implausibility and more to do with Dungeons & Dragons being officially associated with something as dark as Rick and Morty.
Granting that the linear nature of an RPG can allow for whatever twisted things a game-master can imagine, publisher Wizards of the Coast has taken tremendous strides to combat the so-called "Satanic Panic" that threatened Dungeons & Dragons in the 1980s, where various religious groups rallied against the game. As a result, the game still has a sordid reputation in some circles, even as youth groups and public libraries now host Dungeons & Dragons games for teens, promoting the social and educational benefits of role-playing.
This, coupled with the increasing popularity of podcasts devoted to Dungeons & Dragons, has helped to remove the stigma of the game in popular culture as something "evil" or "uncool." In fact, one of the most popular of these podcasts, Harmonquest, is the brainchild of Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon. So in some ways, it's a match made in Heaven.
Nobody was more shocked about the crossover than co-writer Jim Zub, according to an interview in Previews World. Most famous for his work on Marvel's Avengers, Zub has a long background in fantasy comics. He is beloved for his original comedic series Skullkickers and for co-writing the first Conan/Red Sonja team-up in two decades with Gail Simone.
"Of course, I’d love to be on board, but it would NEVER happen. Wizards of the Coast wouldn’t let the crown jewel of gaming be violated by Adult Swim’s dimension-hopping bastards... Little did I know that in a world of swirling media synergies and crazy memes, it’s the perfect time to let these properties off the chain. I’m so glad the team at WotC realize that. This project is a warped and freakish monster, but it’s also a love letter to gaming glory."
Zub is joined in the writing of this "freakish monster" by Patrick Rothfuss - author of the acclaimed Kingkiller Chronicle series of fantasy novels. The artwork and cover for the series will be provided by Eisner-nominated artist Troy Little, who is most famous for his work on the graphic novel adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Take a look at the preview pages below.
The four-issue mini-series will see Rick attempting to teach Morty everything there is to know about old-school adventuring, when Morty needs to learn about Dungeons & Dragons to fit in with the cool kids at his school. Naturally, something goes wrong and the whole Smith Family soon find themselves dragged into an epic quest with no way out. In addition to the comic, each issue will also include character sheets for those who wish to play the various characters from the series in their respective campaigns.
Check out a full synopsis for the issue below:
RICK & MORTY VS DUNGEONS & DRAGONS #1
Written by Patrick Rothfuss & Jim Zub
Art and Cover Art by Troy Little
When Morty needs to learn how to play D&D to keep up with the cool kids, his hard-drinking, old school-gaming, mad science-making grandpa is happy to teach him how to roll the dice, but neither of them is prepared for the saving throws they're about to fail or the true quest yet to come. Strap on a +1 longsword and grab your 10-foot pole, because this is going to be a gaming gauntlet like no other!
The world's greatest role-playing game.Reality's most dysfunctional family.What could go wrong?
Rick & Morty Vs Dungeons & Dragons #1 will be available from IDW Publishing on August 22, 2018.
Source: Previews World