Imagine if Marvel’s Thanos and DC’s Darkseid had a baby, and then that baby hooked up with another giant, evil space demon thing and had another baby. That baby, according to Rick and Morty director Bryan Newton, would be the show’s newest big bad, Worldender, who went toe to toe with the Vindicators last night.
Though the episode title “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” suggests that Rick and Morty have encountered the Avengers-esque team of space-faring superheroes before, last night was actually our first time seeing them, as their previous adventures happened off-camera. Rick and Morty isn’t the first show to ever poke fun at superheroes with thinly veiled analogues of archetypical characters, but some of the ideas at work with the Vindicators are truly inspired.
There’s Alan Rails, a half-human, half-ghost styled after John Henry and DC’s Steel, who can summon spectral ghost trains. Supernova—a cosmic being who’s equal parts Captain Marvel, Starfire, and Neo-Queen Serenity—is the powerhouse of the group, and is also in a weird relationship with Million Ants, a sentient ant colony.
That’s just a partial rundown of the group, but they’re all weird, fucked up, and super cool to see zooming around on screen, which makes it all the more disappointing that pretty much all of them died by the end of the episode.
But because this is Rick and Morty, there’s no reason that the Vindicators can’t make their triumphant return from the dead thanks to some sort of inter-dimensional thingamajig of Rick’s. It’s more than possible that we’ll get a chance to see The Vindicators 1 & 2 somewhere later down the road.
But honestly? I’d be entirely down for the team to get a series of their very own, if only so that we get to see more of how much fun a legitimately dysfunctional team of misanthropes can have with one another.