Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic #1

Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Comic variant cover

Well, that was disappointing. I had high hopes for translating a beloved TV show to comics, but there were so many things about this issue that didn’t work for me.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic #1 was written by Harold Buchholz, Joel Hodgson, Matt McGinnis, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, and Mary Robinson. The wrapper segment art is by Todd Nauck, with the old comic parody art by Mike Manley.

First, I didn’t realize how much I appreciated the introductory theme song. There’s nothing here to bring me into the premise, so I’m relying on my memories of the show. Unfortunately, this takes place in the relaunch setting, which I’m not familiar with, so I don’t know about a couple of the characters — apparently there are more robots? — and they’re not sufficiently introduced.

Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Comic

The guys are sent into the 1962 Johnny Jason, Teen Reporter #2. Which is pretty generic. I’ve read a number of older comics for the laughs, and this one is a lot flatter than many of those.

Weirdly, it’s Tom Servo that we follow, perhaps because it was more amusing to see the gumball machine as the character’s head.

The robots are drawn on top of the existing art, at times, and the word balloons have been rewritten. Sadly, it’s not funny. Instead, I found myself bored, flipping pages instead of laughing. And isn’t that the worst problem here, given the inspiration? (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)

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