Home > Blackthorne Publishing > Man of Rust: The Retold Story #1

Man of Rust: The Retold Story #1

February 11, 2012

Title: The Retold Story

Writer: Cliff MacGillivray
Art:
Rick Burchett
Letters:
Craig Cobert
Editor:
Mike Friedrich
Publisher:
Blackthorne Publishing

Back in the 80s, there were a few publishers for which parodies of other comics were their lifeblood. Blackthorne was one of the independents that mixed together parodies with a few more legit properties, but the ones I’ve read in the past have all been so-so. This one-shot, produced during the run-up to the John Byrne Superman relaunch in 1986, was somewhat different than the rest of them.

Instead of being a straight-up parody of Man of Steel (which hadn’t been released yet when this book was written), Cliff MacGillivray puts together a story of a Superman pastiche in the far future who, in front of an adoring audience, is forced to confront the many different, contradictory versions of himself from throughout history. Somehow, rather than simply parodying the stories of Superman, MacGillivray weaves a humorous – yet somehow effective – story about the way the Superman legend has evolved over the years. These days, with metatextual comics being all the rage, this same story could be published as an official Superman story simply by stripping a few jokes. And in fact, it would be a pretty good one.

A lot of the humor comes through Rick Burchett’s artwork. Burchett works in lots of little bits and sight gags that work much better to make the book funny where it needs to be, without detracting from the commentary that exists throughout.

When I grabbed this comic from a bargain bin at a convention, I thought I’d just be reading another goofy parody, but I was impressed by what I read.

Rating: 8/10

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