The Impact of Rick and Morty on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Beyond
It has been a decade since the premiere of Rick and Morty, the animated sci-fi sitcom that has become a cultural phenomenon. Co-created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the show’s dark humor, irreverent creativity, and well-written characters have reshaped pop culture. One of the most significant contributions of Rick and Morty is the popularization of the multiverse concept, which has had a profound impact on various forms of media, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The Rise of the Multiverse in Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty’s earliest adventures revolved around the concept of the multiverse, a hypothetical set of infinitely variable universes. This central conceit elevated the show from a crass parody of Back to the Future to a complex and thought-provoking series. While the multiverse as a storytelling device originated in comic books, Rick and Morty introduced the term to popular culture, becoming the new backbone of the MCU.
The Influence on the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rick and Morty’s premiere in 2013 coincided with the release of The Avengers, marking the end of the first “phase” of the MCU. By 2019, with Avengers: Endgame concluding the Infinity Saga, Rick and Morty’s fourth season debuted. The show’s concept of the multiverse and the talent of its writers played a significant role in shaping the future of the MCU. Several Rick and Morty alumni joined the Marvel Studios team, working on TV shows and movies within the franchise, including the upcoming Multiverse Saga.
The Rick and Morty Alumni in the MCU
The impact of Rick and Morty can be seen through the success of its writers within the MCU. Jessica Gao, the writer behind the Primetime Emmy Award-winning episode “Pickle Rick,” became the showrunner and creator of Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Jeff Loveness, co-writer of the Primetime Emmy Award-winning “The Vat of Acid Episode,” wrote for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Michael Waldron, a writer on Rick and Morty, created Loki and wrote for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars. Even series co-creator Dan Harmon contributed to Doctor Strange.
Rick and Morty’s Broader Impact
Rick and Morty’s influence extends beyond the MCU. Writers from the show have worked on other popular series like Invincible and Star Trek: Lower Decks, as well as movies like Renfield. Justin Roiland, the co-creator who was dismissed from the show, has made a significant impact on pop culture through his voice acting, co-creation of Solar Opposites, video game involvement, and promotional tie-ins with various brands. Rick and Morty’s reach is vast, permeating nearly every part of mainstream media.
Rick and Morty’s impact on pop culture is undeniable. The show’s popularization of the multiverse concept has shaped the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and influenced various forms of media. With its talented writing staff and constant innovation, Rick and Morty continues to push boundaries and shape the next decade of pop culture. As the show moves forward, it remains a cultural force that refuses to be confined to its own groove, constantly reinventing itself and captivating audiences worldwide.