Story: Harold Buchholz, Joel Hodgson, Matt McGinnis, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe, & Mary Robinson
Host Segment Art: Todd Nauck
“In-Comic” Art: Jack Pollock & Mike Manley
Colors: Wes Dzioba, Jack Pollock, & Mike Manley
All together now (ugh, I don’t feel good about that)! Mystery Science Theater 3000 #3 brings all three of the comics to one issue. We get to check back in with Tom Servo on the ranch after breaking up a raucous party, join Johan as he tries to protect Black Cat’s identity, and Crow delivers a bit more horrific justice.
MST3K is back and my heart is happy. This issue served as a good way to wrap up my MST3K intake for 2018 (that’s not true, I will probably re-read these and/or re-watch some episodes on Netflix before we get to Christmas). MST3K: The Gauntlet is streaming now, and it’s pretty great (everyone needs Killer Fish in their life), but there is something about this series that had me even more excited than The Gauntlet coming out. MST3K #3 is a lot of fun, and I feel it’s only right to go story by story.
Tom Servo, Teen Reporter
This is easily my favorite comic of the whole issue. Even reading this issue twice, I still get some deep belly laughs at a lot of the riffs (IKEA dishware gets me every time). The Bot pop ups are a bit of mixed bag; sometimes you laugh out loud, other times your exhaling out of your nose because you know there should be a laugh there. The lol’s are way more frequent though (I don’t like that I just used “lol’s”, at all) and, for the most part, these are the best Bot pop ups of the issue. I absolutely loved M. Waverly through this entire issue though. The riffs themselves are hilarious and are an excellent way to start off this issue. The actual story is chaotic enough that they really didn’t need to mess with it much, and when you have a story like that, riffing is less work and more fun (though, lots of work goes into those riffs, trust me). If I had to pick one to read over and over, it would definitely be this one (and honestly, that will probably happen). It also leaves us with a pretty great cliff hanger, and it will be hard to wait until January to see what happens next (yeah, I will definitely be absorbing more MST3K before Christmas).
This comic was so-so for me. There are some really fun riffs and pokes at the artwork that gave me a pretty solid chuckle (dare I say, chortle?). At the same time, there were a few panels with an abundance of riffs that made it a little distracting. Again, M. Waverly has some pretty great pop ups, but they can get a bit lost in the bubbles. The thing that is a bit more noticeable (intentionally I hope, I don’t want to be the nerd that Max talks about at the beginning) is that Johan and the Bots seem to be getting more integrated into their stories. Some of the text bubbles that you’d think would have the small circle (indicating a riff of some sort from the source material) didn’t. It seems like there may be an issue with Kinga’s machine, and the characters could get trapped in their comics. Overall, this is a solid second story for the issue as a whole. A pretty basic wrap up from the source material, and some fun riffs sprinkled in. Though, I do wonder what is the plan for Jonah since this seemed to have wrapped up this Black Cat story.
Here’s the thing. I like Crow. Like, a lot. I enjoy old horror stories (I grew up watching Tales from the Crypt and loved going back to the comic line from the 60’s). This story was a bit of a slog for me. One thing that is noticeable is that, aside from Crow, there are no Bots (I think I am the nerd Max talked about). This story is just riffs (sort of). The biggest issue I had with this story was that the riffs just felt a bit forced. They didn’t seem to always flow with the dialogue or action taking place, and some of it was just waaaaay too easy of a joke. It didn’t feel like MST3K (aside from Crow). The thing that saved this story for me was the Pizza Rolls bit. It had to happen! This is one may be my favorite Pizza Roll bit, simply because of Crow’s reaction. His reaction gave me that MST3K feeling again. There is more story after is, and it follows the standard horror strip ending (which I loved), but the riffs just didn’t land for me (even some of Crow’s).
Mystery Science Theater 3000 #3 simultaneously gave me my favorite story (Tom Servo, Teen Reporter) and least favorite story (Horror) of the series so far. For me, the strength of the Tom Servo story and the Jonah/Black Cat story outweighed Horror. The artwork throughout (since I seemed not to have mentioned it yet; sorry about that) continues to be such a well done part of this series. The look of the golden age comic is what makes the comic version of MST3K more exciting than streaming it (though streaming it is still pretty great. Seriously… Killer Fish. Watch it.) Though this issue as a whole was the best, it is still a great read and will give you a much needed laugh while you’re stressing about buying presents and spending time with family (you know the ones I’m talking about). I know it’s only a few weeks away, but January 2019 seems so far away!