It has been nearly a year since Man vs. Rock put out their last issue, but in anticipation of SDCC they’ve put issue #5 out. Is it good?
Man vs. Rock Volume 5
So what’s it about? Basically, a man named Buck Stone is a scientist (I think) that’s basically every hero you’ve ever seen in an action film combined. He’s angry, yet gentle; cunning, yet blatant and most importantly he hates rocks. Rocks have taken over the world and only Buck can stop them. Along the way writers Kevin Bieber and Victor Detroy stick as many pop culture barbs as possible. It involves jokes that take shots at pop culture, culture at large, and race.
Why does this book matter?
If you haven’t read our reviews of volume 1 through 4, go ahead and do that. You’ll see this is the kind of comic that’s all about being in your face with outrageous humor. It goes way over the line, but it’s aware of that fact, which makes the joke land more often than not. Plus this is the first volume in color!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Don’t you ever change Buck!
This issue opens with Buck Stone, Luke and Jackie going across country blowing up gas stations. They’re on their way to acquire more help to stop the rocks, and they’re doing it the old fashioned way: by drilling for oil. Meanwhile a character we thought dead comes back, a Mexican dumpster diver joins the fray, and we learn more about the gender bending relationship between Luke and Jackie.
You’re bound to laugh reading this volume and nearly everyone gets made fun of–from women, to people from Texas, gun owners, the Kardashians, Mexicans, and even Osama Bin Laden. It’s all very wacky with the plot moving forward (and a MacGuffin added to drive things along) a smidge along the way. Cut aways to the nation are hilarious, bringing in hipsters and Cosby into the writing team’s crosshairs. Ultimately it’s all very nonsensical fun.
The art by Jared Lamp is good enough to get the jokes across. It’s effective at capturing likenesses and the absurdity of every moment. It certainly looks better in color too, which helps sell the humor.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Maybe unsurprisingly with Luke and Jackie joining Buck we get a lot less Buck humor. The always over-the-top and insane character is more subdued in this volume and Jackie and Luke take up more of the pages. It’s a bit of a disappointment since Buck is one of the funniest elements of this series.
The Mexican character named Fluffer the Rock Whisperer didn’t do it for me either as most of the humor fell flat. The main element of this character is his obviously false need for voyeur pictures of girls in the bathroom. The joke runs a bit too long and I didn’t find it funny from the start, but hell, maybe you will.
While the color definitely helps I don’t know if it was used to full effect. There’s more than one page that doesn’t take advantage of color and really could have been in black and white and enjoyed the same. Backgrounds don’t typically have much detail and the color reminds us of this, especially in scenes with heavy use of close ups inside tight rooms.
Get these men a mohel!
Is It Good?
If you’ve made it this far you’re going to enjoy Man vs. Rock. It offers up quite a few extremely offensive jokes with a wink which is part of its charm.
You can purchase volume 5 and any of the previous volumes from their website.