I recently read a pretty negative review for this series and it blew me away that the reviewer was completely oblivious to the satire in this comic. Man vs Rock is a series that works on two fronts: one is the surface level. Meaning if you want to see jokes that are ridiculous and perhaps juvenile then you’ll see and get those jokes. Depending on how far the stick up your ass is, you’ll laugh at them or not. The other side is if you understand that the writers are aware of their jokes and that they’re not so much being juvenile, but rather making fun of juvenile jokes. For instance, this entire issue is an origin story for the main character Buck Stone. The inspiration? Forrest Gump. That’s right, Buck’s origin is a Forrest Gump esque origin in which he’s been a part or just missed out on all of pop culture’s best moments. Did you know that Buck Stone was almost in N’Sync? Or that he nearly had the role of Gwen Stacy until his cousin Emma Stone won the role? No you didn’t because you probably haven’t read the issue yet. There’s a lot of jokes and the time line doesn’t add up and another character even points that out, but it doesn’t matter. It’s funny and it fits the world that the creators have made.
To go back to what I was stating before about the “juvenile” jokes, there’s an off color joke about electing a black president. Shocking! I know right, some people would instantly call that racist. But when you consider that the very next joke is Buck turning up his favorite Tupac song you can see the commentary and the real joke. They’re not making fun of a black president, but rather the hypocritical nature of people that don’t like the president because he’s black, but love rap music for the very same reason. They’re making fun of societies double standard and if you don’t get that… well that’s on you.
My only gripe with the story is that Buck has been gearing up to fight some rocks for a while now and I don’t really know how that’s going to go down. Is he really going to? Will he just forever be getting ready to fight some rocks while accidently taking human lives himself? That’s my only concern is that there might not be a rewarding conclusion to this battle, but then again… there might not need to be.
The artwork continues to add to the hilarity of this series. I’m going to spoil one tiny thing for you and tell you that Buck has his adult face the entire time. Meaning when he’s a baby he has a giant fucking adult face on. Same thing when he’s a kid. It’s perfect because I honestly couldn’t see it working any other way. Jared Lamp continues to improve with each issue. I almost feel sorry for him considering how many random things he’s asked to illustrate each issue. Can you draw a nuclear family? Oh and a rock in a bikini pole dancing? Again, this is satire people.
Obviously you’re either going to get this story and really appreciate the humor and the construction of the jokes or you’re only going to see the surface level and love it or hate it for just that. I think it’s a series that actually requires you to think as it makes a ton of social commentary. If you go in with the knowledge that this series is going to make you think about the jokes then you’ll do alright and yes, I know how strange that sounds considering the title is Man vs. Rock.
Man vs. Rock #4 Writers: Kevin Bieber and Victor Detroy Artist: Jared Lamp Price: $4.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital Website