The third episode of Rick and Morty introduced us to the marvelous creation that is Pickle Rick. He made such an impact on viewers everywhere that fans made countless posters in tribute of the pickle man. Many even went as far as suggesting Pickle Rick should join the Avengers.
Ironically Rick and Morty did answer the call to assemble in the latest episode of the show, "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender." The episode was in and of itself a grand parody of the superhero movie genre, filled with so many Marvel and DC references it would make any #Marvel and #DC fan squanch faster than Rick trying to get shwifty.
Note: This article contains spoilers for Episode 4 of Rick and Morty Season 3.
1. Avengers: Infinity War And The MCU's Phases
Before the episode turned into Rick and Morty's version of the Saw franchise, the original plan was to kill the entity known as Worldender. This call to adventure is the third time the Vindicators assemble in the show (hence the name of the episode), which is a nod to next year's third #Avengers film, Infinity War. Rick then goes to mock how each Vindicator adventure plots out the same every time, even mentioning how there are different phases, a clear moment of poking fun at Marvel Studios' use of their Phase system.
2. Avengers: Age Of Ultron And Quicksilver
When the Vindicators summoned Rick and Morty aboard their ship, Morty thought he was going to go on his second adventure with the super team. We later learn that their second adventure already happened a long time ago, when they faced the enemy known as Doomnomatron. Or should I say, Ultron.
Later, while Morty was catching up reading about "Vindicators 2," he learned that various superheroes died in the conflict against Doomnomatron, a nod to Quicksilver's death in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
3. Thanos, Darkseid, And Every Other Big Bad
The Big Bad of the episode was supposed to be the entity called Worldender, who the creators of the show described as, "if Thanos f-cked Darkseid and had a baby, and that baby then f-cked some other giant creature, that's Worldender." I say "supposed" because we soon discover that drunk Rick killed Worldender in a matter of seconds. Drunk Rick then becomes the villain of the episode, forcing the Vindicators to play a Saw-type game. Nonetheless, it seems not even Thanos or Darkseid are strong enough for the Rickest Rick.
4. The Justice League's Watchtower And Avengers Logo
The episode opened with the Vindicators calling Rick and Morty from their ship, much like the #JusticeLeague call up their members from their Watchtower. The Vindicators' ship also has a round table akin the Justice League's. And their logo? It's essentially an inverted version of the Avengers logo, which you can see on Vance Maximus' jacket in the image above. Classy, indeed.
5. Marvel And DC Superheroes Spoofed
The Vindicators are made up of Million Ants, Alan Rails, Crocubot, Vance Maximus: Renegade Star Soldier and Super Nova. Oh, and there's also Noob Noob, the janitor.
Million Ants is quite literally a sentient colony of a million ants. We should be calling him "Ant-Man." Alan Rails is able to summon green ghost trains. His powers are very similar to the powers of Green Lantern. Then we got Crocubot who is half lizard, half robot. He is essentially Cyborg—or Killer Croc. The Iron Man/Star-Lord of the team is Vance Maximus: Renegade Star Soldier. Last but not least we have the strongest member of the Vindicators, Super Nova, who is like a mix between Captain Marvel and Star Sapphire. I know, pretty awesome.
6. The Ending
In the end, every Vindicator dies except Super Nova. Rick throws a huge party and the rapper Logic performs live. The ending of the episode could be interpreted as a parody of how in almost every superhero movie, despite the catastrophe, there is always a happy ending. Another way to interpret this is that Rick and Morty is alluding to the end of Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers 4, where most of the superheroes are supposedly going to die—and then somehow have a happy ending.
"Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender" was an episode to remember. The only thing that could've made it better was if Rick turned himself into a pickle, again.
Did you catch any other fun Marvel and DC Easter Eggs? Let us know in the comments!