Mystery Science Theater 3000 pioneered the art of “movie riffing”—which is to say, making fun of the foibles of really low-quality movies—but never has it brought its particular brand of irreverent humor to the printed page. Until now, that is, because MST3K’s team-up with Dark Horse Comics, first announced in 2017, has finally arrived. And the first covers are quite the trip.
Reports on the comics say they the series is being “helmed” by series creator Joel Hodgson, which we can only assume means that he’s involved in the writing, although this isn’t explicitly stated. The announcement comes in lockstep with this week’s reveal that Hodgson will return to live riffing with the MST3K crew for the first time since season 5 of the show’s original run, donning the red Gizmonics jumpsuit for the upcoming 30th Anniversary Live Tour.
The comic, meanwhile, will feature the MST3K crew as it currently exists in the Netflix revival: Host Jonah Ray/Jonah Heston, Crow T. Robot (Hampton Yount), Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn) and Gypsy (Rebecca Hanson). Rather than non-riffing adventures aboard the Satellite of Love itself, the writers have made what we think is probably a wise decision by making the comic series still riff-centric. This they’ll achieve by having Jonah, Tom and Crow do superimposed riffing over a bevy of old, shameful public domain comics. Can we nominate some Chick Tracts, please?
Here’s an official synopsis:
The riffing hilarity loved by fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 since 1988 is taking on a whole new medium…comics! Created for comics by series creator Joel Hodgson, Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Comic finds Jonah Heston, Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo, and Gypsy thrust into the 2-D world of public domain comics, with riffing as their only defense! But trust us, these comics have it coming.
The six-part series will initially launch with two covers. The first and main cover is drawn by Todd Nauck, while the variant cover will look familiar to collectors of the MST3K DVD box sets from Shout! Factory, as it comes from Steve Vance, who designs all of them. You can take a gander at each of the covers below.
Season 12 of MST3K is forthcoming on Netflix, although a release date hasn’t yet been announced. Check out the comic covers below, and pick them up at your local comics shop when they hit shelves on Sept. 9, 2018.
And by all means, enjoy our excessively long ranking of all 191 MST3K episodes right here.
Cover by Todd Nauck, via Dark Horse Comics
Cover by Steve Vance, via Dark Horse Comics